Some of New York’s Oldest Records to be Moved for Future Preservation

Some of New York’s most valuable genealogical and historical treasures, located on the 7th and 8th floor of the Surrogate’s Courthouse in Manhattan, will soon be moved to new homes.

The move is great news for researchers everywhere – in their new homes, the documents will be further preserved for future generations, and in many cases, access will increase. Many of the documents, which date back to 1674, have been stored at 31 Chambers Street for centuries, and are at great risk of significant degradation.

The documents contain a wide variety of records, including land records, immigration records and court proceedings that hold the intimate details of the earliest New Yorkers.

Some records will move to the State Archives in Albany; others will move to New York City’s Department of Records.

The New York Times has a must-read article that dives into the details and contains some amazing photographs of the documents.

Main photo credit: The New York Times 


2 thoughts on “Some of New York’s Oldest Records to be Moved for Future Preservation

  1. Jan

    I am a member of the NYG&B and an amateur genealogist who has been researching my ancestry for nearly 30 years. My Dutch ancestors immigrated from Holland in 1662 and settled in New York. My earliest research depended heavily on your records and those of the Surrogate Court. I have to say that in looking at these photographs I am appalled that better care hasn’t been taken in the storage and preservation of these documents and that the people handling them aren’t wearing appropriate gloves. They also don’t appear to care about their fragility as well. Are these not professional people properly trained in the preservation and care of historic documents? If not, they shouldn’t even be allowed near these documents. As your article says, this is NewYork’s earliest history!


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