2018-12-05 / Features

Historic Documents On Queens Can Be Found At NYC Municipal Archives

Flushing In 1873. (J. Antos Collection)Flushing In 1873. (J. Antos Collection)The Municipal Archives (located at 31 Chambers Street) contains approximately 221,000 cubic feet of historic material. Accessioned from more than 100 city agencies, the collections comprise office records, manuscript material, still and moving images, ledger volumes, vital records, maps, blueprints and sound recordings.A recent discovery in the vast holdings of the archives turned up a major historical item pertaining to the first settlers of Queens. A ledger entitled, “A Booke of Enterys for Queens County on Long Island NY,” is a document 475 pages long, showing the earliest records of Queens county from its foundation and organization in 1683, through the first two decades of its existence with entries ranging from February 1, 1683 through May 23, 1713. This ledger is the oldest document of its kind in the annals of Queens county history. And the best part is you won’t have to travel to downtown Manhattan to see it. The dedicated team at the municipal archives has scanned the entire ledger onto their website where it can be scrutinized and studied.

Copy the link to read the ledger:


Additional records at the archive pertaining to the administration of criminal justice, dating from 1684 to 1966, constitute the largest and most comprehensive collection of such material in the English-speaking world. There are more than one million photographic images in 50 collections, including pictures of every house and building in the city, ca. 1940. Legislative branch records date back to the first Dutch colonial government in New Amsterdam.

–Jason D. Antos

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