The Vanderbilt Museum Archives

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the historic records and collection of William K. Vanderbilt II. The museum’s archives contain nearly 13,000 unique materials relating to Mr. Vanderbilt’s life and various interests, including:

  • 1,000+ books on exploration, natural history, and the decorative arts as well as scientific journal
  • 15 scrapbooks
  • 6,000 black and white photographs documenting William K. Vanderbilt II’s life, times, and scientific expeditions
  • 280+ architectural plans on the construction of the estate in Centerport, NY, and Fisher Island, FL
  • 38 log books of Vanderbilt’s expeditions
  • Motion picture films from the 1920s and 1930s documenting his experiences
  • 300+ pen and ink, and watercolor illustrations by William E. Belanske, Vanderbilt’s original curator
  • 57.3 linear feet of materials related to the Long Island Motor Parkway and the Vanderbilt Cup Races


The archives are open to researchers by appointment during the week. Please contact Archives, Collections, and Exhibit Information to schedule an appointment or submit a research inquiry with the staff.

Reproduction Policy

Written permission is required for the use and reproduction of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s archival materials. The reproduction of certain materials may be subject to a Publication Fee depending on the nature of use. The general Publication Fee per image is as follows:


Books, Commercial, or Advertising Purposes: $50

Magazines, Periodicals, etc

– Under 50, 000 circulation: $30

– Over 50,000 circulation: $50


– Commercial: $50 / $100 worldwide rights

– Non-commercial Educational: $30 / Fee waived for Non-profits

Video Footage: $.20 cents per second

Note: Fees for multiple images for one publication are subject to additional charges, often at a discounted rate, depending on the number of images, use, and media. Additional charges for shipping or other associated services may be imposed as necessary.