Guide to Records Relating to Native Americans
Among the innovations introduced to Native Americans by Europeans coming to New York were horses, iron, firearms,--and governmental recordation. The interaction of Native American culture with colonial and state government has been documented from the arrival of Europeans to the present time. The nature, quality, and extent of that recordation varies considerably, but the colonial and State government records of New York provide important information on Native American populations.
This finding aid describes selected State Archives records which are most likely to contain information useful for the study of Native American issues and history. Some of the records were created as a result of State government programs relating exclusively to Native Americans. Most notable among these are records of the Thomas Indian School, 1855-1961; Indian Census and Annuity Rolls, 1881-1950; and an 1845 Population Census of Indian Reservations. Most of the records described, however, are more general in subject scope, containing only sections or files on Native Americans or on programs important to Native Americans. See Research Assistance for information about our research room location, hours and policies.
The finding aid is organized into five sections as follows:
- Colonial and Early Statehood Records
- Thomas Indian School Records
- Population Census Records
- State Laws
- Recent Public Policy Records
Each section has a brief introduction explaining the general scope of the records and their relevance to Native American history. Records are then described at the record "series" level. A "series" is an archival term that refers to records filed together by a creating agency to control information about a particular function or activity. Each series entry provides the identification number, title, inclusive dates, quantity in terms of cubic feet, arrangement, availability of indexes, and a summary description of the information contained in the records. Some records have been microfilmed; researchers are required to use microfilm unless special permission is given by the Archives to use fragile original records. Some of the records contain personally identifying information that is confidential by statute; research access is restricted to protect personal privacy rights. Information on conditions for use of these confidential records is available from the State Archives.