New York Archives and Libraries

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United States go to New York go to Archives and Libraries

These archives, libraries, and societies preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in New York State.


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National Archives Northeast Region (New York City)
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004
Telephone: Toll-free 866-840-1752 or 212-401-1620
Fax: 212-401-1638

This branch of the National Archives has records created by federal agencies and courts in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The archives has naturalization records, internal revenue service records, customs lists, and records of the U.S. District Court of Appeals. They also has microfilms of all available federal census records, many naturalization records, court records, passenger lists for New York City and other ports, Revolutionary War military records, some Civil War service indexes, and World War I draft registrations. The staff will make photocopies for a fee.[1]

New York Public Library
New York Public Library exterior.jpg

U.S. History, Local History & Genealogy Division
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, Room 315S
New York, NY 10018-2788
Tel: 212-930-0829
E-mail: Ask a librarian

This is one of the largest research libraries in the world including excellent genealogical resources. The library has city and telephone directories, vital records indexes, local histories, genealogies, federal and state censuses, passenger lists, genealogical collections (including DAR transcripts), and church records.[1] For maps, write to the Map Division at the same address. Guides and catalogs to this important library include:

Huguenot Society of America
20 West 44th Street #510
New York, NY 10036
Telephone: 212-755-0592

Largest Huguenot collection outside of London, including records from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, and colonial America since the 1600s.[1] Topics include Huguenot history in France, Huguenot history in other countries, church history, French history, American history, biography, genealogy, manuscripts, societies, periodicals, and theology.[2]


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New York State Archives
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Ave
Albany, NY 12230
Telephone: 518-474-5161
Internet: and Genealogical Records at the Archives

The New York State Archives has the original records of New York government jurisdictions. The collection includes manuscripts, statewide vital records indexes, documents relating to land grants, land survey maps, alien deposition records, military records, state court records, prison records, Erie Canal passenger lists for 1827–1829, wills, and estate records. The archives collection also has microfilms of some state censuses and the original census returns for 1915 and 1925.[3] [4]
The Family History Library has very few of the state archives records on microfilm. The state archives makes photocopies and performs limited searches of indexed records for a fee, but it does not circulate microfilms of land and vital records. The guide to the collection is

New York State Library
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Ave
Albany, NY 12230
Telephone: 518-474-5161
Fax: 518-474-5786
E-mail: E-mail Reference Requests

The Humanities-History section has local histories, genealogies, atlases, church and cemetery records (including the Daughters of the American Revolution collection), city directories, microfilmed newspapers, microfilmed federal and state censuses, microfilmed passenger lists, and periodicals. The Manuscripts and Special Collections Section houses nongovernmental maps and manuscripts. The library staff will make photocopies for a fee.[3] [5] Catalogs and guides to the library's genealogical holdings include:
  • Melinda Yates, Gateway to America: Genealogical Research in the New York State Library, 2nd ed. (Albany, N.Y.: University of the state of New York, State Education Dept., New York State Library, 1982). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 974.7 D23y.
  • New York State Library Card Catalog File of Vital Records in the History and Genealogy Section ([Albany, New York: New York State Library, Photoduplication Department, 1979?]). At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Fiche 6332544. Microfiche of hand and typewritten cards.
  • New York State Library (Albany, New York), Surname Card Index ([Albany, New York: New York State Library, Photoduplication Unit, 1979?]). FHL Fiche 6331486. Surname catalog of the American History and Genealogy section of the New York State Library.
  • The New York State Library also has over two dozen genealogy research topic guides online.

Holland Society of New York
Library, 5th floor
20 West 44th Street #509
New York, NY 10036
Telephohe: 212-758-1675
Fax: 212- 758-2232

Emphasis is on the early Dutch, but their collection actually also includes all ethnic groups of the Atlantic coast and colonial America.[1] For New Netherland studies, especially genealogy and family history, 3,000 regional histories (present day New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Ohio), 3,000 family histories and genealogies, and 1,000 books on genealogical research, early American history, the Netherlands, Dutch language, art, and architecture, and religion, including Dutch Reformed Church parish records.[6]

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Tel: 212-873-3400
Fax: 212-875-1591
E-mail: Library Reference Form

The historical society has extensive collections of manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, histories, city directories, maps, and photographs.[1] Major topics: New York City and State history, colonial history, American military history, religions, slave trading, biography and genealogy, and New York City photographs, and records of several major charities such as the Children's Aid Society, and the New York Foundling Hospital (which were both involved in the orphan train movement sending orphans away from big cities into rural foster care).[7] A helpful guide is


Albany Institute of History and Art
125 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12210
Telephone: 518-463-4478
Fax: 518-462-1522

One of the best U.S. collections on the economic and social life and culture of Albany and the upper Hudson Valley region, including the best indexes to original records, documents, 1000 linear feet of manuscripts, 85,000 photographs, Bibles, and rare books of families from the 1600s through the colonial period to the present.[3] [8]

Bronx County Historical Society
Research Library
3309 Bainbridge Avenue
The Bronx, NY 10467
Telephone: 718-881-8900
Fax: 718-881-4827

Very large collection of manuscripts, biographical files, family folders, obituaries, cemetery transcripts, city directories, maps, photos, marriage records, and books with a cross-indexed card file covering the history of the Bronx, New York City, and Westchester County.[1] [9]

Brooklyn Historical Society
Othmer Library
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Telephone: 718-222-4111
Fax: 718-222-3794
E-mail: Ask a Question

General history, especially the natural, civil, literary, and ecclesiastical history of the United States, the State of New York, and villages of Long Island, personal and family papers, municipal records from the towns and villages that consolidated into Brooklyn, Dutch and English settlement on Long Island, and New England immigrants to Suffolk County. Great indexes to family names.[1] [10] See
  • Karin N. Mango, comp., The Long Island Historical Society Calendar of Manuscripts: 1763–1783 (New York: Publishing Center for Cultural Resources, 1980). FHL Book 974.721 A3L.

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo , NY 14203
Telephone: 716-858-8900
E-mail: Email Us

Good genealogy collection with good indexes, many biographies, family folders, county and local histories for the entire state.[3] 25,000 local histories, 5,500 genealogies, city directories, New York State Vital Records Index, local vital records, 110-drawer card index of the Local History File about people, places, and things in Western NY, church and cemetery records, genealogical and local history periodicals, newspapers, maps, military histories, ethnic research resources, indices to passenger lists, immigrant ships, and English parish records.[11]

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Children's Aid Society
105 East 22nd Street
New York, NY 10010
Telephone: 212-949-4800

This organization was a major contributor to the orphan train movement. Part of their archives are at the New-York Historical Society.

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Cornell University Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-5301
Telephone: 607-255-3393
Fax: 607-255-6788
Email: Ask a Librarian

  • Cornell University has a large collection of Protestant church records for western New York, as well as histories, maps, newspapers, and New York censuses. Rare books and manuscripts are outstanding, and they publish the best research guides to New York counties.[3] They also have Africana, American Indian, and Latino collections.[12]

Historic Hudson Valley Library
639 Bedford Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Telephone: 914-366-6901

By appointment only. This library has unique sources for early Hudson River migration, steamboats, industries, and culture.[3] 4,000 rare books, 3,000 manuscripts, as well as maps, pamphlets, and microfilm to explain the cultural and historical significance of the Hudson River Valley[13]

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Montgomery County Department of History and Archives
Old Court House, P. O. Box 1500
9 Park Street
Fonda, NY 12068-1500
Tel: 518-853-8186 or 518-853-8187
Fax: 518-853-8392
Internet: Welcome to Montgomery County History & Archives

This county archives has the largest collection of family genealogies, church record transcripts, local histories, and town records for the Mohawk Valley, and for upstate New York.[3] A guide is

New York City Department of Records
Municipal Archives
31 Chambers Street, Room 103
New York, NY 10007
Tel: 212-788-8580

From Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island births prior to 1910; deaths reported prior to 1949; and marriages reported prior to 1930. Also, the 1890 police census, state censuses, city directories, voter registrations, cemetery records, almshouse records, coroner records, court records, photos, and municipal government records.[14]

New York City Municipal Reference and Research Center
31 Chambers Street, Room 112
New York NY 10007
Telephone: 212-788-8590
Fax: 212-788-8589
E-mail: Contact Us

Come here for street name origins, and city council papers.[1] See also A Guide to Former Street Names in Manhattan.

New York State Historical Association
Research Library
5798 State Route 80
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Telephone: 607-547-1470
Fax: 607-547-1405

Very large collection, but has more sources for upstate New York, including manuscripts, periodicals, family folders, books, maps, biographies, county histories, genealogies of New York State families, church and cemetery records, newspaper indexes, census records (1790-1930), and city directories.[3] [15]

Onondaga Historical Association
321 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY. 13202
Fax: 315-471-2133
E-mail: Contact Us]

Very large collection of 10,000 family folders for northeastern families, histories of Syracuse and Onondaga counties, photographs, diaries, correspondence, business records, maps, newspapers, and African American sources.[3] [16]

Queens Historical Society
143-35 37th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354
Telephone: 718-939-0647
Fax: 718-539-988
E-mail: Contact the Queens Historical Society

Large facility with many indexes to biographies, local and American histories, maps, atlases, manuscripts, photographs, family papers, rare books, and genealogies[1] [17]

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Daniel A. Reed Library at SUNY Fredonia
State University of New York
Fredonia, New York 14063
Telephone: 716-673-3184

Most of the Holland Land Company (1789-1869) land grant patents for western New York, and northwestern Pennsylvania are found here.[3] Collections also have American Indians including primarily the Seneca, with some for the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Tuscarora tribes, local histories for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, and the bordering counties in New York and Pennsylvania, manuscripts including church papers, and databases.[18]

Staten Island Historical Society
441 Clarke Avenue
Staten Island 10306-1198
Telephone: 718-351-1611 (Society)
718-351-1617 (Museum)
Fax: 718-351-6057

Staten Island was a gateway to immigrants who moved farther west. The Society's collection emphasizes colonial records, but includes the WPA index cards of deeds, Vosburgh Church Indexes of tombstone inscriptions and dozen churches (not Catholic), genealogical correspondence, city directories back to 1883/1884, real estate and insurance maps, and photos organized by town, then street.[1] [19]

Steele Memorial Library
101 E Church Street
Elmira, NY 14901
Telephone: 607-733-9173
E-mail: Contact Us

Good indexes for biographies, genealogies, family folders, periodicals and manuscripts, obituary index, vital records index, NY county histories, newspapers, censuses, Chemung County Catholic Church records 1848-1910, and genealogical periodicals.[3] [20]

Outside New York

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New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116-3007
Telephone:  617-536-5740; Library 617-226-1231
Fax:  617-536-7307

Has an excellent New York collection, especially county and local histories, newspapers, and some probate records.

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Stadsarchief Amsterdam (Amsterdam Municipal Archives)
Amsteldijk 67
1074 HZ Amsterdam
Tel: (020) 664 6916
Fax: (020) 675 0596

These archives contain early Dutch notarial records about what is now New York State, the Holland Land Company (1789-1869) land grant papers for western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania (also available from the Family History Library), and records of some early New York settlers living in Amsterdam before moving to America.

Family History Centers. Some of the collections described above are at least partially available on microfilms at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and through thousands of its branch Family History Centers. For further information see Introduction to LDS Family History Centers. To locate a center near you, see Find a Family History Center.

Online Records

link= York_Online_Genealogy_Records New York
Online Records
Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.


  • Estelle M. Guzik, ed., Genealogical Resources in New York (New York: Jewish Genealogical Society, 2003). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 974.7 D27gg. Information on more than 100 archives, including 52 government agencies and courts, 32 libraries, and 20 other archives in the New York metropolitan area.
  • Barbara Kronman, The Guide to New York City Public Records, 4th ed. (New York: Public Interest Clearinghouse, 1992). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 974.71 A3k. Includes chapters on city government, courts, libraries, and personal information. Shows how to obtain vital records, name change records, and naturalizations.
  • Alice Eichholtz, ed., Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Rev. ed. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1992). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992). Includes addresses of county courthouses, surrogate courts, and county records centers.
  • Elizabeth Petty Bentley, comp., County Courthouse Book (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1995). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 973 D24bena). Addresses of county courthouses and some town clerk's offices and surrogate's court offices along with brief descriptions of holdings and services.
  • Cornell University has published a series of guides to the records in each of New York's counties (except Nassau and Suffolk). The series is titled Guide to historical resources in _______ County, New York, repositories. These guides inventory records, including family history and genealogy, at 1,700 historical societies and libraries, but they do not include public records at courthouses. They are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Author Search  under Cornell University. New York Historical Resources Center. New York County has 7 volumes; Kings County has 3 volumes; and Chautauqua County has an added update.
  • Similar unpublished material for most other counties is at the New York State Archives at


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 81. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
  2. Library in Huguenot Society of America (accessed 19 November 2013).
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Dollarhide and Bremer, 83. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DB83" defined multiple times with different content
  4. Research in New York State Archives (accessed 19 November 2013).
  5. Genealogy at New York State Library (accessed 19 November 2013).
  6. Publications and Library in The Holland Society of New York (accessed 19 November 2013).
  7. Patricia D. Klingenstein Library in New-York Historical Society Museum and Library (accessed 19 November 2013).
  8. A Brief History in Albany Institute of History and Art (19 November 2013).
  9. Research Library and Archives in Bronx County Historical Society (accessed 21 November 2013).
  10. The Othmer Library in Brooklyn Historical Society (accessed 21 November 2013).
  11. Genealogy Collection in Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (accessed 21 November 2013).
  12. History: A Guide to United States Historical Research at Cornell in Cornell University Library (accessed 23 November 2013).
  13. Library in Historic Hudson Valley (accessed 22 November 2013).
  14. Collections in NYC Department of Records (accessed 22 November 2013).
  15. Collections in NYSHA (accessed 22 November 2013).
  16. Public Research Center in Onondaga Historical Association (accessed 22 November 2013).
  17. Library and Collections in Queens Historical Society (accessed 22 November 2013).
  18. Archives and Special Collections in SUNY Fredonia (accessed 19 November 2013).
  19. Staten Island Historical Society in RootsWeb (accessed 22 November 2013).
  20. Genealogy Collection in Chemung County Library District (accessed 22 November 2013).