A core part of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society's mission is to preserve historical material and make it accessible for New York State genealogy and history research.
Our society has always used contemporary technology to make this material accessible to a wide audience—in our early decades, we disseminated transcriptions of crucial records and other genealogical research in a periodical, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, which is still in publication today.
In the twentieth century, NYG&B scholars and archivists traveled all over New York State transcribing records, which were bound into books and disseminated to universities, libraries, and individual researchers.
In the twenty-first century, our society digitizes images of historical records and creates searchable databases to allow researchers to search and view these documents online.
A New Home for Our Digital Collections
The NYG&B Online Records Platform is a brand-new home for all digital material of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.
Preserving Countless Single Facts Since 1869
“It is difficult, indeed, for parties not conversant with genealogical and historical studies to appreciate how important a single fact may be in tracing their early ancestry.
A fact of residence or removal, a date of birth, marriage or death, may furnish or corroborate some item necessary to connect the parted links of the ancestral chain, or to elucidate some important historical truth.”
- Dr. Samuel Purple, NYG&B Vice President, 1894
This platform is made possible by NYG&B membership dues and donations of all sizes.
If you would like to help us preserve New York records and make them accessible to researchers all over the world, please consider donating to the NYG&B.
Researchers will find a variety of useful collections, including:
- The full archive of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record
- Religious record transcriptions
- Cemetery abstracts
- State vital record indexes
- Dozens of other useful collections
We encourage you to explore our Collections Catalog for an overview of everything that's available - each collection has a page with in-depth descriptions of all records in that collection.
Because we have preserved a wide variety of digital records, there are a number of different formats available on our website. Read below to familiarize yourself with each type:
These collections are structured a searchable name index - search queries will return results that include a first name, last name, and additional fields depending on the collection. Additional fields will supply more context and provide information such as event type, event date, alternate names, and more. Search results will also provide a link to view the original image where the indexed name appears - additional information is usually available on the original image.
These collections are searchable but are not yet structured by an index - text from these records has been extracted via Optical Character Recognition software. Researchers can search by names, keywords, and phrases - results will return the section of text that matched the query, and some contextual information about the collection and record the name is found in. Search results will also provide a link to view the image of the record where the query appears.
Some collections have images that are not indexed and cannot have their text extracted by Optical Character Recognition software. These collections cannot be searched by text, but images can still be viewed. Each collection description contains a large list of waypoint links that users can use to more easily browse these collections. We're working hard to index all of these collections - learn more about volunteering at the NYG&B if you would like to assist.
Text & Images
Some collections have a combination of volumes that can be searched by text and volumes that are image browse only. The collection page will contain a description of all materials in a collection - if there is a mixture of text and image browse content, the collection page will have a detailed list of what can and cannot be searched.
New Online Collections
We're constantly preserving, digitizing, indexing, and adding historical content to this platform. Visit our What's New page to see what we have added most recently. If you have any ideas or know of any historical records in need of preservation, please let us know.