Resources: NYC Municipal Archives

City: New York | State: New York | Country: USA

Map of New Amsterdam, 1665

Map of New Amsterdam, 1665

The Municipal Archives, a division of the New York City Department of Records and Information Services, preserves and makes available the historical records of NYC municipal government. Dating from the early seventeenth century to the present, the Municipal Archives holdings total approximately 225,000 cubic feet. Accessioned from more than one hundred city agencies, the collections comprise office records, manuscript material, still and moving images, ledger volumes, vital records, maps, blueprints, and sound recordings.


Municipal Records of New Amsterdam

The NYC Municipal Archives is digitizing its collection of 17th-century New Amsterdam records. 

Municipal Library

Images from I.N. Phelps Stokes’ The Iconography of Manhattan Island, and Valentine’s Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York in the Municipal Library Collection. 


The Dutch New Amsterdam records required a variety of conservation treatments when they were acquired by the Municipal Archives.

The grit of New York’s earliest days is still to be found, on paper, at the Municipal Archives. Thanks to an inspired digitization project, the movers and shakers of New Amsterdam are all there: Peter Stuyvesant, Adriaen van der Donck, Anthony “The Turk” van Salee and his wife, the former town prostitute Griet Reyniers. These are the people who founded a teeming little city at the southern end of the island they called the Manhattes. It was a rough place, but one that was uniquely infused by two things that were part of the Dutch mentality in the 17th century: tolerance and a free-trading sensibility. Roam through these documents—in the 17th century originals or in the 19th century English translations—and a realization dawns on you: New York was New York right from the start.