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New York's Archives

((Banner: New York Archives))
((Reporter: Anna Nelson))
((Camera: Max Avloshenko, Elena Matusovsky, Dmitrii
((Adapted by: Zdenko Novacki))
((VOA Russian))
((Map: New York City, New York))

((Kenneth Cobb, Records Access Officer, NYC
Department of Records and Information Services))
April 24th, 1865. The name of the deceased person:
Lincoln, Abraham. Age: 56 years and two months. Nativity:
Kentucky. Place of death: Washington D.C. The column
reads “disease”, but it's really “Cause of Death: Pistol Shot”.
Date of death: April 15th,1865. Place of internment:
Springfield, Illinois. It didn't matter who the person was, a
soldier or a president. Listed the name right there.
((Pauline Toole, Commissioner, NYC Department of
Records and Information Services))
The archive holds New York City government’s historical
records dating from 1645 through the Bloomberg
administration and they’re fabulously interesting because
New York has a really colorful history dating as far back as
the Dutch, certainly through the present. We have historical
birth, death and marriage records. We have maps. We
have census records. We have all the mayor's papers. We
have records of enslaved New Yorkers. We have all of the
Central Park drawings. We have the Brooklyn Bridge
drawings which are ornate and beautiful. We have many
collections of photographs from every single department:
sanitation, transportation, finance. And they're all
fascinating. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
((Michael Lorenzini, Operations Manager, NYC
Department of Records and Information Services))
A number of Jewish residents who applied to be burghers,
they were denied and they were told to petition if they didn't
believe that was just answer. They did. The petition actually
went all the way back to Amsterdam. And the directors of
the Dutch West India Company said, “No”, you know, “If
they're here to trade and be citizens, they should be allowed
to become citizens.”
((Matt Minor, Municipal Archives Photographer, NYC
Department of Records and Information Services))
The strangest thing that I had to photograph was a suitcase
that we have that was part of a mafia murder trial in the
(19)20s and it has bloody sheets inside it from when they
disposed off the body and we had to take this out and
photograph it so that it could be sealed up and hopefully
never taken out again.
((Pauline Toole, Commissioner, NYC Department of
Records and Information Services))
We need to move our records management practices into
the 21st century and we're trying to do that. And one of the
ways we're successful is that we've increased their number
of staff and we've increased our budget and are building
expertise in helping agencies build expertise internally so
that they’re managing their records better and transferring
records to the archives better.