Last week, a team from the New York State Archives began transporting 1,100 boxes of records, close to 900 volumes that are not in boxes and about 500 rolls of microfilm, from their current home in the Surrogate’s Courthouse in Manhattan to the State Archives in Albany. Many others are expected to head to the city’s Department of Records. The move will preserve the records—some of which are currently covered in hundred-year-old dust—and make them more easily accessible to researchers.
The records include criminal proceedings, civil suits, slavery and abolition hearings, immigration and naturalization documents and property documents. Geof Huth, the chief records officer for the New York State Unified Court System, told the New York Times the collections reveal “how the court system changed, how record-keeping practices changed, how people litigated changed — all sorts of things about social change.”