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Greater Online Access to our Colonial Era Documents

The NYC Department of Records and Information Services added to its online collection a rare colonial-era ledger documenting Queens deeds and wills, dating between 1683 to 1713, and unveiled a new version of its website, New Amsterdam Stories, a shared cultural heritage partnership with the Amsterdam Archives. 


Archival Review Board 2016 Report to the Mayor

Read about the Municipal Archives’ accomplishments during the last two years — new accessions and updates on collections and projects in conservation, photography, and vital records. The Archival Review Board is charged with overseeing and reporting on activities of the Municipal Archives; this report covers the period 2014 to 2016.  Archival Review Board 2016 Report (in PDF).


Marriage License Records Transferred to Municipal Archives

In the first significant transfer of vital records to the Municipal Archives in many years, we are pleased to announce that marriage license records dating from 1908 through 1949, for all five Boroughs of New York City, will be available at the Municipal Archives beginning October 31, 2016.  Patrons are welcome to visit the Archives to view and order copies of the license records, or request copies via mail order.  On-line ordering will be available begin in August of 2017.


Agency Blog Has Launched

We've launched our blog, For the Record. Weekly posts will provide insight into the Department's work and explore connections between our historical materials and New York City communities. Join us to learn more from our staff and guest bloggers!


Share Your Stories on Women Activists

The NYC Department of Records & Information Services/WomensActivism.NYC wants to hear the stories of women activists who inspire you.  These stories will be part of an archive of women activists and a permanent part of the NYC archives. Our goal is to capture 20,000 stories by the suffrage centennial in 2020 (#20000by2020). To share the story of a woman activist - past or present - whom you admire, please visit:  


FOIL Requests

If you would like to file a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Request with the NYC Department of Records and Information Services, please visit NYC OpenRECORDS.




Register to Vote

Visit the NYC Campaign Finance Board website to learn how you can register to vote.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

On December 17, 1964 New York City Mayor Robert F. Wagner presented the Medallion of Honor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a ceremony in City Hall in consideration of Dr. King’s commitment to civil rights. Dr. King and Mayor Wagner are pictured with Mrs. King (Dr. King's mother), Ambassador Richard C. Patterson, and Dr. King's wife, Coretta Scott King.

Click here to listen to Dr. King's speech at City Hall, starting at 24:10.




  New York Municipal Archives with Ken Cobb

Our Assistant Commissioner, Ken Cobb, was interviewed on The Forget-Me-Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want to Be Told podcast show on May 6th. He discussed many topics including the history of the Archives as well as the collections within. Do you know the difference between the Municipal Archives and the Municipal Library? Ken explains it to Jane Wilcox, the host of the show.

You can listen to the entire hour-long program here.


1939 photo of a weapon that combined a gun, brass knuckles and a shank (knife).

  National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Award of $125,000

The grant will be used to rehouse, describe and digitize a collection of photographs taken by the NYC Police Department from 1914 to 1975. The funds will allow us to preserve and make available for viewing online an important part of NYC history. The press release announcing the award can be found here.

An article about the grant award was published in the NY Times. It also includes a brief slideshow of images. You can read the article here.


  Government Publications Portal is Now Available

The revamped Government Publications Portal provides easy access to reports issued by City agencies. The site will continue to expand as new reports, additional types of information, and previously issued reports will be added in upcoming months. If you have technical suggestions, please go to github and post your comments.

You can find the portal at

  Women Make History: A March Through the Archives is Available Online

Selections from our last exhibit, Women Make History: A March Through the Archives, are available in an online gallery at Check out photos showing women in City government. You might be surprised to learn that women have been in City government since the mid-1850s.




New Amsterdam Digital Gallery Now Available

The Municipal Archives has digitized early colonial collections. Ordinances drawn from the Records of New Amsterdam for the period 1647-1661 and their corresponding translations are now available at

Digitizing the records and posting them online are the first steps in making the City Archives more accesible.

These 17th century documents show the foundation of City government. There are several ordinances regulating the sale of alcohol, the price of bread, and the maintenance of chimneys and fireplaces. The records also depict tensions in the new settlement, prohibiting the sale of alcohol to the native people but also prohibiting traders from going inland to fraudently trade with the natives.

Calling the digitization project "inspired", Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World urges viewers to "Roam through these documents - in the 17th century originals or in the 19th century English translations" and notes that "a realization dawns on you: New York was New York right from the start."

Please visit





Own a piece of New York City History...
The Department of Records and Information Services has teamed up with the CityStore to produce unique gifts based on our historic collections.

From more than two million photographs we have selected the iconic "painters on the Brooklyn Bridge, 1914" and transformed it into a unique ceramic mug. Beautiful Central Park designs are reproduced as buttons, tiles, magnets, tote bags and ornaments showcasing the precise and colorful details in every element of the Park. The Department of Parks collections at the Municipal Archives include the 1,500 original plans for Central Park, one of the most important public works achievements of the 19th century. Some of the striking items are the pen and ink watercolor wash renderings of the encaustic tiles, dating from 1867-1869, by architect Jacob Wrey Mould. 

Visit the CityStore to learn more and to order.



Archive Review Board - Video Recordings of Board Meetings are Available on YouTube

Video recordings of the Archive Review Board meetings are now available on our YouTube Channel.

  The Department of Records Celebrates Women's Equality Day
Between Women’s Equality Day in 2014 and 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, DORIS will coordinate a multi-year series of events celebrating the empowerment of women in New York City. Learn more on our launch page, our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter

  30,000 Photos Added to Online Gallery
The New York City Department of Records and Information Services, announced the addition of 30,000 photographs to its on-line gallery. The new additions consist of pictures drawn from the Municipal Archives vast holdings and include 187 historical pictures from the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Alien Squad.

View more photos

That's So New York: Department of Records Visitor Center
City History is on display for the public at the Department of Records Visitor Center in Downtown Manhattan. They feature an often-changing museum series that highlights artifacts, photos and other treasures direct from the City’s archives. With more than 400 years of civic history, and over 221,000 cubic feet of historic City documents, you never know what you’re going to find at the Visitor Center exhibits.

Watch the video at 

Tax Photographs
Between 1939 and 1941, and again in the mid-1980s, the city photographed every house and building in the five Boroughs. Copies of these unique images are now available for purchase.

Learn more about Tax Photos 

Government Publications
Official City of New York government publications are now available in electronic format.

Read more 

Collections Archives
With records dating back to the earliest days of European colonial settlement, the Municipal Archives houses 150,000 cubic feet of historical government records.

View samples 


NYC CityStore - The Official Store of the City of New York

CityStore - The Place For Everything New York!
 - Official NYC licensed NYPD, FDNY, DSNY and Parks Merchandise
 - Authentic NYC memorabilia, many original and exclusive items
 - Unique selections of books about New York
 - Wide range of publications issued by various agencies detailing,
    analyzing and explaining specific areas of government.
 - 100% of all sales benefit the City of New York

Visit CityStore