Documenting New York

New York is in danger of losing a priceless treasure. Scattered about the state in file drawers and boxes, on computers, floppy disks, and CDs, in offices and attics, is a vast wealth of information about our historical and recent past, the seeds of history and understanding for an educated and informed citizenry. Much of this vital resource is being lost or destroyed. Whole industries, cultures, and areas of New York life, and many of its important events, people, and organizations are undocumented. The New York State Archives is working to reverse this trend so that we can preserve and make accessible to all New Yorkers a comprehensive documentary record of their history.

The New York Heritage Documentation Project, funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through a major grant to SHRAB, enabled us to develop a framework of topics in New York’s history and refine and test an approach to documentation planning in the areas of mental health, environmental affairs, and Latino history and culture in New York.

Documentary Heritage Program – Statewide work on documenting New York continues through the Documentary Heritage Program (DHP). DHP grants support projects that foster the identification, collection, sound administration, and accessibility of New York's historical records in repositories throughout the state.

Documentation Process – The State Archives online summary of the documentation process. Thorough treatments of documentation are found in publications listed under Documentation Resources Online and in Print below.
Documentation Resources Online and in Print – Publications about documentation available online and in print from the New York State Archives. They include information about topics to document in New York’s history and guides to help you plan and carry out documentation projects.