Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, 1861. By D.T. Valentine
update: we just found  the other half of this book in another box. What's here is only a partial. There's 300 pages more. 
Half of the book sits here. The other half is now being remarried to it. A stirring document, an amazingly thorough, totally obsessive, administratively caffeinated record of New York City as it grew. The book has its original brown cloth. The gold is the official arms of New York City.

The foldout maps were found this way, having cracked along the folds.
It's an ex-libris edition that belonged to a New Yorker.
The title page has a 3-D effect, as if you're about to embark on a remarkable journey. Illustrations are colored like this throughout. There's a transcript of the index to the illustrations here. Obsessiveness breeds obsessiveness.

Another foldout, the paper cracked along the creases.

The engravings carry through that 3-D effect. Beautifully lettered caption. This is one of the first illustrated histories of the city.
D.T. Valentine was the Common Council's deputy clerk who copiously researched and assembled these books on his own. He was the first to compile and assemble official documents of record like this.

A careful, correct diagram of the councilmen's chamber is followed by signatures of all its members.

Manhattan, Second Avenue and 42nd Street.

City Hall looking like a palace of all things right and civilized.

The firemen on parade.

No comments: