Legal and Correction Records
The legislative and judicial processes produce numerous records that are valuable for legal and historical researchers. The corrections system produces records that document institutional programs and individual inmates.
Legal and Corrections Records in the State Archives
The State Archives holds background files on state laws starting in the 1920s; records of higher state trial courts before 1847 and of the State's court of last resort, the Court of Appeals, since 1847; and voluminous, though incomplete, records of state correctional facilities back to the nineteenth century.
Includes digitized bill and veto jackets from 1995 - 2011. Jackets digitized prior to 2004 may not include full text of the bill. Researchers may download the files from the Archives website at no charge. More information about Legislative Bill and Veto Jackets
The following finding aids describe a variety of legal records in the State Archives:
- New York State Archives records relating to criminal trials, appeals and pardons
- Duely and Constantly Kept: A History of the New York Supreme Court, 1691-1847 and An Inventory of Its Records (Albany, Utica, and Geneva Offices), 1797-1847.This joint publication of the New York State Court of Appeals and the New York State Archives tells the history of the New York Supreme Court and its predecessors, from colonial times until 1847. It is an essential guide to pre-l847 common-law court records in New York State. The State Archives holds all surviving records kept or filed by the clerks of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Albany (1797-1847), Utica (1807-1847), and Geneva (1829-1847).
- New York State Archives records relating to Probate
- The Greatest Reform School in the World: A Guide to the Records of the New York House of Refuge
- Guide to Records of the Department of Corrections
- The Lusk Committee: A Guide to the Records of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities
- Tobacco Industry Records Held by the New York State Archives Provides an overview of the records of the Center for Tobacco Research and the Tobacco Institute, two trade groups whose records were turned over to the New York State Office of the Attorney General as part of a legal settlement.
- Guide to the Records of the Governor's Office. This guide describes the historical records of the Governor's Office that are preserved in the State Archives.
- Guide to the Records of the New York State Legislature - Overview of the records of the State Assembly and State Senate, legislative committees, and individual officials.
Visit the Guides to Historical Records section of the Publications area to obtain a PDF or print copy of these publications.
You can continue your search for legal records using Excelsior, the online catalog of the New State Archives and State Library.
Also available is a collection of historical documents and background information relating to the Electoral College from six different presidential elections. The digitized documents show the process of the Electoral College from the general election in November to the meeting of electors in December.
Legal and Corrections Records available throughout the State
Trial court records are produced by the New York State Unified Court System and maintained in local government facilities. Local governments operate various corrections and holding facilities - jails, penitentiaries, and lockups. Local governments also produce documentation on local laws and ordinances.