This guide describes record series in the New York State Archives that include a significant number of photographic images. About 70 series described here contain over 500,000 images relating to New York State's people, government, history, health, education, natural history, and a variety of other subject areas. Included is a special collection of educational lantern slides used as instructional aids in public schools for over 50 years. This collection contains thousands of images relating to New York State as well as European and world history, science, and the arts. This guide describes still photographic images but does not include audio- visual materials such as motion picture film and videotape.
This guide is arranged according to general subject areas documented by the photographic images. Within the section for each subject area, series are arranged by State agency or program unit responsible for creating the record series. For each series listed, the guide provides the series identification number; series title; dates covered by the records; total quantity of the records; and a description of the photographic images contained in the series, including number of images, format (slides, prints, etc.), subject(s) of the images (e.g. events, individuals, buildings, landscapes, etc.), arrangement, the existence of any indexes, and microfilm availability. Most of the photographs described here are black and white; the existence of color photographs is noted in the appropriate descriptions. The State Archives has more extensive descriptions for many of these record series explaining in detail the contents of each series and the function of the agencies in creating these images.
While some record series do have item indexing, most do not. Therefore, access to individual images may be difficult. Access to some records may be further limited or restricted due to fragile physical condition or personal privacy considerations. Because of limitations of staff time, the Archives cannot carry out intensive searches for particular images. However, researchers are welcome to review photographs in the Archives research room. The Archives may be able to provide photoduplication services (including electrostatic copies and photographic copies from prints or negatives) for many of these records.