New York State Archives
The New York State Archives is a unit of the Office of Cultural Education within the New York State Education Department, with its main facility located in the Cultural Education Center on Madison Avenue in Albany, New York, United States. The New York State Library and the New York State Museum are also located in the Cultural Education Center.
The New York State Archives was established in 1971 to preserve and make accessible recorded evidence documenting New York State’s history, governments, events, and peoples from the 17th century to the present. Full operations began in 1978 when the organization’s storage and research facility opened in the Cultural Education Center (CEC). The facility provides access to over 200 million documents relating to Dutch and British colonial rule, as well as to records from the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of state government. Topics covered in those records include relations with American Indians, the Erie Canal and westward expansion, industrial development, labor, the rise of the modern social welfare system, public education, public health, the environmental movement, and numerous military conflicts.
In 1987 the New York State Archives assumed the responsibility for overseeing management and disposition of state government records, including operation of the State Records Center in Albany. Legislation in 1988 created the Documentary Heritage Program that provided for regional technical advisory services and competitive grants to historical societies, museums, libraries, and other nonprofit organizations holding historical records. A local government records law in 1987 required the appointment of records management officers in 4300 local governments, including every county, city, town, village, and school and special district. A Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund was established in 1989 to support technical advisory services and competitive grants to local governments to help them develop and maintain records management programs. Under this legislation nine regional offices were created to provide archives and records management advice and support to every area of the State.
The New York State Archives serves students and teachers, scholars and community researchers, government officials, the legal and business community, and the general public. It encourages students through awards, grants, and internships; helps teachers use historical documents as primary source material in the classroom; and offers stipends for research using State Archives’ records. The nonprofit Archives Partnership Trust, established in 1992, provides support for preservation of and access to the treasures of the State Archives, educational projects that make historical records available to teachers and students and programs that promote New York State’s archives and history.
Roe, Kathleen. “New York State Archives,” The Encyclopedia of New York State, Editor Peter Eisenstadt, Syracuse University Press, 2005; ISBN 0-8156-0808-X