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Visit the Archives

We are open!

The research room is located in Albany, New York, on the 11th floor of the Cultural Education Center at the south end of the Empire State Plaza, across Madison Avenue (Route 20) from the Plaza and joined to it by a bridge over Madison Avenue. The New York State Museum and the New York State Library are also in the Cultural Education Center.

Location
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230

Hours
Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Closed on New York State holidays.

Before You Arrive

  • Visits are by appointment only. E-mail archref@nysed.gov or phone (518) 474-8955 to make an appointment and reserve a table. Researchers must wait for an e-mail or phone call to confirm their appointment.
  • Identify records that you would like to use during your visit:
    • Check our Frequently Asked Questions for information about records that contain genealogical data or information about individuals.
    • Search for records using one of our online research tools which include finding aids, online catalog, digital collections, and indexes.
  • Contact an archivist to make sure the records are available.  You can contact us at:
phone: (518) 474-8955
 
  • Please call several business days in advance of visiting to allow us to reserve a table and the materials you wish to use. A week’s notice is required to retrieve materials from offsite storage.
  • You can order records in advance by completing a Records Request form and email it to archref@nysed.gov
  • Read the Research Room Rules for specific information on researcher registration, items permitted in the Research Room, entering and exiting the Research Room and requesting materials for use in the Research Room.
  • Complete a Research Room Registration Form before you arrive.    The registration form confirms that you understand and will follow the Research Room Rules.
  • Records are retrieved twice per day starting at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. You can request a retrieval in advance of your visit.
  • Note that many researchers find the Research Room to be cold and you may wish to bring a sweater.

While You are Here

  • A mask or face covering is required inside the building at all times for all visitors. The mask or face covering must cover both nose and mouth.
  • Researchers who visit the Archives must sign in, complete a registration form, show photo ID, place personal items in a locker, and agree to abide by rules of the research room.
  • Use of handheld digital cameras, using available light (no tripods or lights) is permitted in the reading room, and is strongly encouraged. Self-service copies from microfilm can be made to paper or PDF at no charge.
  • You can place copy order and purchase copies of many of our records.  

More information about our services

  • Check our Researcher Services webpage for more information and tools to help you research from home.

Amenities

  • Paid parking is available in the Madison Avenue Lot adjacent on the west side of the building, accessed from Madison Avenue. For more detailed information on visitor parking go to the Office of General Services (OGS) Parking Management page, which includes a visitor parking lot map and specific information on hours and fees. 
  • Restroom occupancy will be limited to 50% to promote social distancing.
  • To promote reduced contact, drinking fountains are temporarily unavailable.
  • The Museum Café is open and additional amenities can be obtained on the Concourse Level of the Empire State Plaza.

Virtual tour of the New York State Archives

New York State Archivist Tom Ruller offers a tour of the New York State Archives and tells you what to expect during a research visit.

Exterior view of the Cultural Education Center