New York State Archives Collections: A Guide for Family Historians and Other Researchers

New York State Archives Collections
A Guide for Family Historians and Other Researchers

The newest publication in the NYG&B’s award-winning Research Guide Series.

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Pre-order now to secure the best pricing. Orders are anticipated to ship in April 2022.

A Comprehensive Overview of the Holdings of the New York State Archives

The vast number of unique collections available at the New York State Archives offer untold discoveries for anyone searching for New York ancestors.

With no official handbook or guide to these collections geared towards genealogists and local historians, millions of researchers with New York roots have not yet tapped into this incredible resource. 

Even those collections digitized by Ancestry.com and others represented only a fraction of the incredible resources available at one of New York’s most valuable and treasured repositories.  

The publication will provide a comprehensive overview of the holdings of the New York State Archives for those tracing families across the state of New York. 

Each chapter will communicate the contents—and accessibility—of these important records of interest to family and local historians.  

An Indispensable Addition to Your Research Library 

New York State Archives Collections: A Guide for Family Historians and Other Researchers will identify key collections, strategies, and methodologies to accessing these important materials.

This publication will become an essential tool for anyone researching New York’s heritage—including its numerous towns and villages—for many years to come.

Experienced researchers will delight in the book’s guide to rarely explored collections, while those new to researching New York families will be pleased to learn of the vast amounts of materials accessible to them online and onsite.

Those who assist family and local historians—including librarians, archivists, and other officials—will find the resource to be an indispensable addition to their research library. 

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Inside the Guide

After an introduction to the publication, the first chapter will include a detailed history and overview of the New York State Archives. A subsequent chapter will detail how to access the materials of the New York State Archives, specifically including using the online catalog, digitized records on Ancestry.com, understanding restricted records, how to submit FOIA requests, general procedures, and other important details.  

These essential sections will be followed by a series of chapters relating to specific subjects. Each chapter will include:

  • An overview of the subject; including the types of records available, their reasons for creation, and the department/agency responsible for creating the records as applicable. 
  • Details on specific records; a table or listing of records which exist in the New York State Archives as applicable for the subject including dates, geographical coverage, and access notes (including materials that are available online or restricted from access). 
  • Specific record examples; one or two examples from the records discussed in the section that highlight the unique materials that can be found. 
  • Suggested citation format. 

Two appendices will provide additional resources for readers. The first will outline specific losses from the 1911 fire and identify appropriate substitutes and the second will provide a chart of agencies as applicable to the material in the publication. 

Meet the Author and Editorial Team


Author Jane E. Wilcox

Author Jane E. Wilcox is a contributing editor of The New York Genealogical & Biographical Record and serves on the New York State Archives Advisory Committee.

She speaks at national genealogy conferences and institutes. With her company, Forget-Me-Not Ancestry, in Kingston, NY, Jane is a full-time professional genealogist, specializing in colonial and early national New York and area research. She also serves on the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society’s New York Family History Advisory Committee.  

Ms. Wilcox’s work is supported by an editorial team of editors and reviewers, including staff from the New York States Archives and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, members of the NYG&B’s Family History Advisory Committee, and other New York experts.

Preview Select Chapters

Readers can expect to find chapters including, but not limited to, the following subjects:

  • Introduction 
  • History and Overview of the New York State Archives 
  • Accessing and Using the NYSA 
  • American Indian
  • Appointments and Elected Officials 
  • British Colonial 
  • Canals 
  • Court 
  • Dutch Colonial 
  • Education and Institutional Records 
  • Financial 
  • Land Ownership 
  • Local Records 
  • Loyalists 
  • Military 
  • Naturalization and Citizenship 
  • Occupational/Employment
  • Poorhouses and Overseers of the Poor 
  • Penal (pardons, extraditions, etc.) [with notation of restricted records]
  • Probate 
  • Police, Pardons, Prisons (noting restricted records) 
  • Probate
  • Statutes, Governance, and Constitution 
  • Vital Records 
  • Surveys and Projects (WPA, Federal Writers’, etc.) 

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