Files in the new municipal archives facility in Industry City, Brooklyn. Image Credit: NYC Dept. of Records & Information Services

The new facility includes cold rooms for films, photos and video footage. On October 25, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the opening of the new municipal archives facility for the Department of Archives and Information Services. The new facility will be located in Industry City, Brooklyn.

The Municipal Archives are one of the largest collections of government documents in the country. The collections include historical documents from all branches of municipal government and span over four hundred years. The new facility has over 90,000 linear feet of warehouse space, the equivalent of approximately 21 football fields. The facility contains a digital lab, curatorial and sorting work, document transfers, appraisals, collections preservation treatment, cold rooms for photo negatives, sound, video and film recordings, and shelving for office files, maps, architectural plans and registers. The new installation cost around $ 27 million.

The headquarters of the Municipal Archives, located at 31 Chambers Street, Manhattan, will continue to operate and accept clients, and will serve as an event space for public programs and exhibitions. Customers can also search Industry City facilities.

Mayor de Blasio said: “This state-of-the-art storage and research facility will ensure the preservation of the city’s heritage for generations to come. The $ 27 million facility is the city’s largest investment in its archives since the Department of Archives and Information Services was established in 1977.

Department of Archives and Information Services Commissioner Pauline Toole said: “We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio and his administration for making our new facility a reality. Planning the installation and moving the materials was a multi-year project. We have accomplished extraordinary initiatives which have improved the physical and intellectual control of the collections. This work included repackaging over 60,000 cubic feet of records and bar coding 300,000 unique items. We look forward to welcoming researchers to the new facility.

New York State Archivist Thomas J. Ruller said: “Providing secure, environmentally controlled storage space is a fundamental requirement for the preservation of archival material. We are delighted to know that the city government has taken this important step to ensure that its archives are in a good home, so that they can continue to be available for research and use today and for the countless generations of future New Yorkers.

Through: Veronique Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw Scholar and New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2018.)

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