New York City Department of Records

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New York City Department of Records
Surrogate's Courthouse Hall of Records 31 Chambers Street from west.jpg

Contact Information

E-mail:[1]

Address:[2][3]

Department of Records and Information Services
31 Chambers St
New York, NY 10007

Telephone: for information about Department of Records services:

if in New York City[1] telephone 311
if outside New York City telephone 212-639-9675
  • Telephone orders for vital record searches are not accepted.[4]

Hours and holidays:[2][3] both Archives and Library are open to the public Monday through Thursday 9 am to 4:30 pm, Friday 9 am to 1 pm.  Holiday Schedule

Map, parking, and public transportation:

  • Google map:  NYC Department of Records (Archives and Library).
  • Parking:[5]  Visitors are advised to take public transportation as there is very little on-street parking in the vicinity.
  • Public transportation:[5]  The Brooklyn Bridge Station on the 4, 5, 6, and the Chambers Street Station on the J and Z subway lines are one block from 31 Chambers Street. The City Hall Station on the N and R subway lines, and the Chambers Street Station on the A, C, E, 1, 2 and 3 subway lines all are within a short distance.

Internet sites and databases:

  • NYC Department of Records visitors center, family history research, library catalog, photo gallery, latest news, newsletter sign-up, about, government publications, FAQs, and events.
  • Municipal Archives history, collection, conservation, micrographics, and photography.
  • Municipal Library history of NYC, reading area, reference assistance, publications, research guides, and fees.

Collection Description

The New York City Department of Records and Information Services in the Surrogate's Court of New York County / Hall of Records building is the branch of the municipal government of New York City that organizes and stores records and information from the Municipal Archives, and the Municipal Library (also known as the City Hall Library).

  • The Municipal Archives in room 103 preserves and makes available the historical records of the New York City municipal government. The collection includes documents from the early 1600s to the present. Over 100 city agencies have contributed over 221,000 cubic feet of records. Content includes 10.5 million vital records, early censuses, city directories, city cemeteries 1881-1950s, office records, manuscripts, still and moving images, ledgers, maps, blueprints, and sound recordings. The criminal justice records 1684-1966 are the largest and most comprehensive collection of their type in the English-speaking world. They have over 1 million photographs including every building in New York City in about 1940. Legislative records go back to the first Dutch colonial government of New Amsterdam.[2][6][7]
    • Census records for Manhattan 1890 "Police Census" ; Brooklyn 1855, 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915 state censuses ; and Staten Island 1855, 1865, 1870, 1875, 1880, 1915, 1925 state censuses.[8]
    • City directories of Manhattan for 1873-1913, 1915-1918, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1931, and 1933; and Brooklyn for 1796, 1802, 1811, 1822-1826, 1829-1910, 1912-1913, and 1933.[8]
    • Vital records:
Available at the NYC Municipal Archives (Dept. of Records)[8]
Record Type Manhattan Brooklyn Bronx Queens Staten Island
Births July 1847 - 1848,
July 1853 - 1909
1866 - 1909 1898 - 1909 1898 - 1909 1898 - 1909
Marriages July 1847 - 1848,
July 1853 - 1937
1866 - 1937 1898 - 1937 1898 - 1937 1898 - 1937
Deaths 1795, 1802-1804,
1808, 1812 - 1948
1847 - 1853,
1857 - 1948
1898 - 1948 1898 - 1948 1898 - 1948
See also  How to Find NYC births, marriages, and deaths.

Obtaining B,M,D Certificates from New York City[4]
Vital Record Years Agency in Charge To request a copy
Birth Certificates prior to 1910 NYC Department of Records Order form and instructions
1910 - present City Health Department City Health Department website
Marriage Certificates prior to 1930 NYC Department of Records Order form and instructions
1930 - present City Clerk City Clerk website
Death Certificates prior to 1949 NYC Department of Records Order form and instructions
1949 - present City Health Department City Health Department website

  • The Municipal Library in room 112 is a public library with a collection of 400,000 unique reports, books, periodicals, and documents focused on the history of New York City. Researchers can get reference assistance in person, via phone, fax, or e-mail. The collection includes annual reports published by city agencies from the 1800s to now, biographical files about local officials, and legislative material. For 38 short guides on various research topics see Research Guides.[3][7]

Tips

  • Tips for First Time Visitors We suggest you visit this website before you visit the Municpal Archives to conduct genealogy research.
  • Images New online resource. New York City Department of Records Posts 870,000 Photos online going back to the mid-1800s, the photographs feature all manner of city oversight.
  • Birth Certificates The New York State Department of Health does not file and cannot issue copies of New York City birth certificates. For births in one of the five (5) boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Kings, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island), please visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene web site. Please note that the borough of Kings is sometimes referred to as Brooklyn and the borough of Staten Island is sometimes referred to as Richmond.
  • Visit Trip Advisor for the latest info and advice before you visit New York City; written for travellers by travellers.
  • New York Research "New York Genealogy: News You can Use in your New York Research. This page gathers news items and tips that could benefit your New York research.

Guides

  • Census Records, Immigrants, & Statistics  Goldmine full of guides and articles.  This guide provides resources related to New York City.  Includes tips for deciphering the census records of 1790-1840 and 1850-1930. 
  • NYC Research Guide  NYC Research Guide, Part One:  Vital Records, Property Records, and Estate Records.
  • Resources "A Guide to Research Resources in New York City."  Great and important tips.  The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
  • Help Help on the New York City Department of Records and Information. 

Alternate Repositories

If you cannot visit or find a source at the New York City Department of Records, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • New York Public Library Genealogy Division has an outstanding collection of American history at national, state and local levels; international genealogy and heraldry in Roman alphabets; Dorot Jewish collection; photos; New York censuses, directories, and vital records.
  • New York Public Library Branches over 90 in New York City.
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, national in scope. Over 100 million name database, of vital records, genealogies, journals, over 200,000 books, 100,000 microfilms, and over 20 million manuscripts with emphasis on New England and New York since the 1600s.
  • National Archives at New York City, censuses, Ancestry.com, military, pensions, bounty land, photos, passenger indexes, New York port and shipping, naturalizations, inventions.
  • National Archives Northeast Region (Boston) (that is Waltham), censuses, Ancestry.com, military, pensions, bounty land, photos, passenger indexes, naturalizations, African Americans, Indians.
  • Stadsarchief Amsterdam (Amsterdam Municipal Archives) early Dutch notarial records of New York.

Similar Collections

  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, holds 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 3.1 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, and Mormon records.
  • Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana, premier periodical collection, genealogies, local histories, databases, military, censuses, directories, passenger lists, ethnic collections, and Canadians.
  • Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Local History and Genealogy Reading Room is part of the world's largest library including 50,000 genealogies, 100,000 local histories, manuscripts, microfilms, maps, newspapers, photographs, books, strong in North American, British Isles, and German sources
  • Newberry Library, Chicago, genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records mostly from the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, & British Isles.
  • Mid-Continent Public Library Midwest Genealogy Center, Independence, MO, national censuses/indexes, 80,000 family histories, 100,000 local histories, 565,000 microfilms, 7,000 maps, and newspapers.
  • National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons.
  • Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 85,000 volumes about the Jewish Holocaust, largest yizkor book collection.

Neighboring Collections

  • New York State Library, Albany, has local histories, genealogies, atlases, church, cemetery (including DAR), city directories, microfilmed newspapers, censuses, passenger lists, and periodicals.
  • New York State Archives, Albany, has manuscripts, vital record indexes, land grants, maps, military, court, alien depositions, prisoners, Erie Canal passenger lists, wills, estates, and state censuses.
  • New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York City has censuses, city directories, church, cemetery, Bible, land, probates, genealogy, local history, and manuscripts.
  • New York Historical Society manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, histories, directories, maps, photos.
  • Vital Records Section of the New York State Dept. of Health, Menands, NY, for outside New York City births and deaths (1881-present), and marriage licenses (1880-present). Also, all divorces since 1963.
  • Municipal Archives has New York City birth, death, and marriage records; the 1890 police census; city directories; voter registrations; almshouse records; and municipal government records.
  • Courts: city, state, and federal.
  • Brooklyn Historical Society includes finding aids and collections guides to archives, manuscripts, oral histories, photographs, paintings, oral history database, and maps.
  • Columbia University Libraries, history, biography, ethnic studies, newspapers, government documents.
  • Holland Society 7,000 New Netherland family and local history books, Dutch Reformed Church records.
  • Huguenot Historical Society open by appointment: history, settlement, genealogy, biography, theology.
  • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research East European Jewish immigrant studies, gazetteers, yizkor books (Holocaust town memorial books), biographical directories, Landsmanshaft records.
  • Leo Baeck Insitiute preserves family and community histories about Jews in German speaking countries.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Contact Records in NYC Department of Records (accessed 1 April 2016).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Municipal Archives in NYC Department of Records (accessed 1 April 2016).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Municipal Library in NYC Department of Records (accessed 1 April 2016).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Genealogy in New York City Department of Records (accessed 31 March 2016).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Visit the Department of Records and Information Services in NYC Department of Records (accessed 1 April 2016).
  6. Collections in NYC Department of Records (accessed 2 April 2016).
  7. 7.0 7.1 About Records in NYC Department of Records (accessed 2 April 2016).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 List of Holdings in NYC Department of Records (accessed 2 April 2016).