Ruth Ann asked me to pass this info on. She won't be in town for the
reunion and is just getting back online.
Date: Saturday, June 26, 1999 5:49 PM
Subject: Guides to NYS Library and Archives
A new guide has been published and available for the NYS Education
Department's many services. The guide has the phone number, email
address and the person's name to contact for such things as:
*Local Government Records Grants
*Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials/
Discretionary Grant Program
*Documentary Heritage Program
*Office of the State Historian
*The New York State Committee on Georgraphic Names
*Historic Marker Program
*Documentary Heritage Services
*Teaching with Historical Records
and many more services and departments.
Another paper is "Where Is It Located" which lists all of the resources
that are available at the NYS Library and Archives so you will know which
has the information you seek, such as: (just a sample)
Atlases (except canals) Manuscripts
Business Records (Private) Manuscripts
Canal Records Archives
Census - State and Federal 7th Floor - Microform area
Education Department Records Archives
Military Recors (Muster Rolls,
Payroll Cards, etc.) Archives
Personal Papers (maybe your ancestors") Manuscripts
Vital Statistics Index Archives
and so much more.
Anyone wishing both of these, send me a stamped, self addressed #10
with a note "send guides" to Ruth Ann Messick, PO Box 1389, Saratoga
Springs, NY 12866-0884
If you have questions about the collections or wonder what you might
find, check them out at the following addresses. They will not do your
genealogy for you but can answer your questions and advise you about
Remember, NYS Library and Archives is one of the largest in the USA. You
cannot, in your wildest imagination, begin to know just how much is
available. New York is one of the very few states that has their WWI
records. They obtained them before the fire that destroyed them. When
NYS use to censure all movies before they could be seen by the public,
they were given an original script and a movie for the committee to
review. We have over 70,000 scripts with movies and Hollywood does not
have some of them any longer. They have to come here.
The Genealogy Library is on the 7th floor and the Archives is on the 11th
Floor but that is not all of their collection. Other materials are
stored on other floors and must be retrieved by the staff. Retrieval of
material in the Archives is at 10am and 2pm only.
You may contact them ahead and request them available at 9am on a
specific date and they will be waiting for you.
NYS Library - www.nysl.nysed.gov
Go to this site, use Excelsior Online
Catalog to check out their holdings. Remember that some material can be
sent to your local library via interlibrary loan. Just be sure that your
local library has a good reader/
printer or you will not be able to copy what you want.
On the NYS Library home page, click on NYS Newspaper Project. Click on
the top line for On-line Newspaper. Click on the top line again which is
those AVAILABLE AT NYS Library. Then select the county where your
ancestor lived. See what newspaper exist in what towns that their
marriages and deaths might be in. Births are not frequently found.
Click BACK, and BACK again. Now select the Newspapers AROUND NYS.
Again, select the county where your ancestor lived. You may see many of
the same newspapers as you did at NYS Library but in most cases, there
were be more of a list of newspapers in counties and then see what dates
are available in what town. these may also be interlibrary loaned from
those libraries in other areas.
There are also other repositories such as Cornell University, SUNY
Binghamton, New York City Public Library that also have copies of
newspapers from many towns that are from somewhere else. They may also
have interlibrary loan.
If you know that your ancestor was killed by run away horses, a shooting
or some other more eventful death, chances are there will also be a
story. Recently pulled one for a client whose ancestor drank poison.
Was 3 columns on front plus another page. The next day, another ancestor
was pulled into the belt on the pulley of the sawmill he was operating
and that was several columns too. Along with the stories was lots of
family mentioned. Some of these newspapers reported almost every hiccup
and burp in town and other towns. Lots of fun to read, especially the
old expressions. Love it when they talk about someone they found dead.
He was extinct of life. They get pretty lengthy on some of their
reporting and it may just be you ancestor's drunkeness they are reporting
too. So be prepared for the trip, it can be interesting.
NYS Archives - www.sara.nysed.gov
The group at the archives are most
amazing. Yes, that is their job but they do it so effortlessly and
present the original maps, papers, photos and etc. to your table and help
you get started. If you even vaguely suspect that your ancestor worked
in or around the Erie Canal, you must dig into those records here.
UNBELIEVEABLE!!! They have maps, deeds, legal papers, passenger records,
work records, canal builder's records, and records you cannot imagine
that are affiliated in some way to the canal. They have original church
records, town records, diaries, correspondence, military records and
records you cannot even imagine. You think the government keeps records
on you now, things haven't changed much from the past in some ways.
NYS Museum - www.nysm.nysed.gov
. (Visit the Colonial Albany Social
History Project and you will see some of the people and information
obtained. In 20 years of collecting information, they have documented
every person possible who resided in the City of Albany (not county) up
to 1800. I have seen Stephan Bielinski's slide/music presentation twice
and no one speaks for a bit when the lights come on. Awesome!!
If every town, city and county could put their history together even
1/10th as much as they have Albany, you will have done a great service to
recording the history of the past. They have correspondence between
residents, drawings & photos of some neighbors with the names and history
of all of the past residents of those buildings
and loads of interesting details that you cannot imagine could be found).
So do your homework before coming to NYS Library and Archives. I am
pretty much there every weekday now and can give you a quick tour of how
to get started in the library and am nearby to answer questions or give
direction. It is so immense you should plan on a few days there minimum.
There are also other books on other states especially New England and
New Jersey. They have periodicals, most genealogical publications such
as NYG&B, NEHGS, American Biography, all of the major genealogical
publications AND many of the same type of books published in other
countries such as Germany, Sweden, etc.
Did your ancestor have a patent on an invention? You should be able to
locate it and make a copy of the invention and the information about it.
They have them on microfilm. The NYS Library is a federal repository.
Note. Check out motels in places outside of Albany as they are very
expensive, especially this time of the year. The tourist season is in
full swing in the Capital region and horse racing starts in late July so
rates are upwards of $150 -$200 during that time period if you are in
these areas. There are motels around for $45-60 which are clean and
comfortable. Parking in downtown Albany can be a nightmare. You need to
arrive before 8am to find anything.
Also remember that National Archives Branch is in Pittsfield, MA which is
about 32 miles east of Albany. You may want to do both.
Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj