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These publications support efforts to manage, preserve and ensure access to New York's records. They are organized by two broad categories: Records Management or Research publications. If you don't see what you are looking for, email us at

Use the Publication Category option to filter the list. Click on the arrow next to each title for a full description and link to the related PDF or web page.

Title Description Files Published Revised Related Topics
A Guide to Documenting Environmental Affairs in New York State

Explains how to document environmental affairs. Suggests documentation priorities and provides examples of projects.
41 pages

A Manual for Documentation Planning in New York State

Presents a method for planning the documentation of important topics in New York history on a statewide or regional basis.
34 pages

2002 2010
Acetate Microfilm

Provides a concise fact sheet regarding acetate-based film.
3 pages

Administration of Inactive Records

Outlines and describes the steps necessary to ensure efficient and effective operation of inactive records storage.

23 pages

Appraisal of Local Government Records for Historical Value

Gives local officials a general understanding of how to identify, evaluate, and select records that have ongoing historical value.
39 pages

Archival Needs Assessment Guidelines and Template

Provides a framework for the assessment of and planning for an archival program.
18 pages

Archives Month Action Guide

Suggests ideas for Archives Month activities and provides helpful guidance about how to increase media coverage of Archives Month events.
23 pages

2000 2011
Conducting Needs Assessments for New Recordkeeping Systems

Provides general advice on when and how to conduct a needs assessment for implementing a new recordkeeping system. A recordkeeping system can be any paper, electronic, micrographic, or hybrid system designed to create, store, and manage records.
34 pages

Criteria for Selecting Records for Conservation Treatment

Outlines a series of questions to ask to determine whether or not conservation is an appropriate preservation option.
5 pages

Developing a Policy for Managing Email

These guidelines are intended as a starting point for state agencies and local governments to use for writing policies and procedures that will guide a program for managing email. Agencies and governments should adapt the guidelines to meet their own needs and capabilities, and continue to update their policies on an as-needed basis.
66 pages

Digital Imaging Guidelines

These guidelines list the minimal standards for producing and inspecting digital images of records.
41 pages

2022 2022
Disaster Recovery Project Application Guidelines 2022
Documentary Heritage Program Grant Guidelines

Provides instruction to not-for-profits on how to apply for a Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) grant. 

Documentation Basics: A Guide to Planning and Managing Documentation Projects

Documentation is the process of locating, identifying, and acquiring unique, historical records that are not yet in a historical records repository.
81 pages

Duely and Constantly Kept: A History of the New York Supreme Court, and An Inventory of Its Records

The New York State Archives holds all the surviving documents kept or filed by the clerks of the Supreme Court of Judicature at New York City, Albany, Utica and Geneva 1691-1847. A joint publication of the Archives Partnership Trust and the Historical Society of the New York State Courts, Duely & Constantly Kept provides a history of the New York Supreme Court and inventory of records housed in the State Archives. Special thanks to The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation.

231 pages

Electronic Records Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

Information on disaster preparedness and recovery for government electronic records.

Fire Suppression for Records and Archives

Learn about fire suppression tools and techniques.

Fundamentals of Managing Local Government Archival Records

Provides an overview of archival principles and suggests core archival activities that local governments may undertake.
21 pages

Funding for Non-Profit / Non-Government Organizations with Damaged Collections 2012
General Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York State Government Records, Effective September 2016

This publication provides authorizations for state agencies to dispose of common administrative records following a minimum retention period.
108 pages

Guidelines for Choosing Records Management Software

Explains how different software products can help manage records more effectively, including software that maintains records inventories, tracks inactive records, and improves access to active records.
11 pages

Guidelines for Storage of Inactive Government Records

This publication focuses on the administration and storage of inactive records in an inactive storage area or facility, outside of active office space. 

Guidelines for the Management of State Agency Executive Office Records

Outlines the responsibilities that state agencies have for managing their most important administrative records and indicates who state agency staff should call for records management advice and services.
4 pages

Historical Records and the Local Government Historian

Suggests ways that local government historians can use their specialized knowledge and interests to encourage and support records management and historical records programs that are adequate to the needs of local governments and their constituents.
10 pages

Insurance Coverage for Records and Data

Learn about insurance coverage for records and data.

Intrinsic Value of Local Government Archival Records

Explains the characteristics that give records intrinsic value.
Published 2002
3 pages

Inventory and Planning: The First Steps in Records Management

Explains the value and uses of a records inventory, provides a step-by-step explanation of how to conduct an inventory, and shows how to develop a simple plan to guide the development of a records management program.
36 pages

Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund Disaster Recovery Guidelines

Contact your Records Advisory Officer to obtain information on how to apply for a Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF) Disaster Recovery Grant.

Local Government Records Useful in Family History Research

Describes local government record series that are valuable for genealogical research.
25 pages

Managing Imaging Projects

Details the steps to follow to ensure a successful imaging project. Includes an imaging form to collect project data and samples to develop technical specifications and a contract.

50 pages


Naturalization & Related Records

The information leaflet describes naturalization records held by the State Archives and other repositories. It also describes how to access those records.

New York Documentation Topics Framework

A comprehensive and suggestive list for organizing the range of possible topics to document in New York history and culture. The subtopics and examples suggest the scope of the topics but are not meant to be exhaustive.
6 pages

Preparing for the Worst: Managing Records Disasters

Describes the steps necessary to anticipate, prevent, plan for, and recover from a disaster affecting records in any format. It includes a sample disaster management plan, data collection forms, and specific steps for responding to a disaster.
58 pages

Probate Records in the New York State Archives

This leaflet identifies and discusses the various courts and offices that have filed, recorded, or maintained probate records in New York since 1665; briefly describes the probate records in the State Archives; and lists all known indexes and abstracts of those records.
9 pages

Quality Control and Content Verification of Digital Images

This Advisory must be used in conjunction with the New York State Archives Digital Imaging Guidelines
3 pages

2014 2020
Reclaiming Alienated Records

Defines alienated records and lists steps to take when you discover that the records of your local government or state agency may be in the custody of another person or organization.

Records Advisory Boards

Information about how these boards can guide the records management program.

Records Management Consultants for Local Governments

Provides advice and guidance to state agencies, local governments, and historical societies that are considering the employment of consultants.
24 pages

Records Retention and Disposition Schedule - Election Records

Government Records Management Information Series. Records Retention and Disposition Schedule for use by New York County Boards of Elections
24 pages

Retention and Disposition of Library and Library System Records

Provides basic information on the retention and disposition of library records.
5 pages

Retention and Disposition of Records: How Long to Keep Records and How to Destroy Them

Explains how to use State Archives retention schedules, develop specialized office retention schedules, and destroy obsolete records.
35 pages

Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York Local Government Records
The Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York Local Government Records (LGS-1) supersedes and replaces the existing schedules
  • CO-2 schedule for counties
  • ED-1 schedule for school districts, BOCES, and other educational governments
  • MU-1 schedule for municipalities, including fire districts
  • MI-1 schedule for all miscellaneous governments

Pages 411

Salvaging Moldy and Contaminated Records

Information on mold and paper records.

The Greatest Reform School in the World: A Guide to the Records of the New York House of Refuge

The substantial records of this institution are preserved in the New York State Archives and described in this guide. The records include over 350 volumes (100 cubic feet) of meeting minutes, reports, inmate case histories, and other documents.
34 pages

The Lusk Committee: A Guide to the Records of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities

The records of the Lusk Committee are part of the holdings of the New York State Archives. The committee's records consist of 16 series totaling almost 50 cubic feet. These records have been microfilmed, and the film contains detailed container or folder lists. Microfilm copies are available on inter-library loan and are available for purchase at the cost of duplication. Microfilming of these records and preparation of this guide was supported, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This finding aid provides a general history of the Lusk Committee and descriptions of each series. It also contains an index of names, organizations, and subjects found within the records.
19 pages

The Mighty Chain: A Guide to Canal Records in the New York State Archives

This guide describes 360 series of records documenting New York's canals from the earliest Erie Canal surveys to the completion and operation of the Barge Canal. These records, spanning 1794-1958 (bulk 1817-1926) and totaling over 2,560 cubic feet, are part of the holdings of the New York State Archives and Records Administration.
120 pages 

The Records Lifecycle

All records have a life span. Understanding and applying the records lifecycle concept will help you efficiently and cost effectively manage your records.

They Also Served: New Yorkers on the Home Front, A Guide to Records of the New York State War Council (World War II)

This finding aid provides general histories for War Council agencies, and summary descriptions of each series.
91 pages

Understanding the Importance of Managing Social Media Records

This publication can help you to verify that using social media sites will meet your business needs, and familiarize your organization with the risks associated with the use of these tools.
8 pages

Users' Guide to the Governor's Office of Employee Relations Grievance Tracking System, 1984-1990

The guide describes the Grievance Tracking System (GTS), 1984-1990. The Governor's Office of Employee Relations created the GTS to collect information on employee grievances and grieved disciplinary proceedings from all New York State Executive Branch agencies from 1984 to 1990. The system contains two master files, the Grievance Data File and the Discipline Data File. Each secondary file within the two master files represents a single year.

Users' Guide: Basic Educational Data System Institutional Master file

Guide to the BEDS Institutional Master File.

Using a Data Storage Vendor

Provides information to local governments and state agencies about the issues involved in handing over custody and control of data to a vendor or to another government or agency.
1 page

Using PDF/A as a Preservation Format 2013
Working Lives: A Guide to the Records of the New York State Factory Investigating Commission in the New York State Archives

This finding aid provides a general history of the Factory Investigating Commission, describing the range of issues it studied, although surviving records are primarily from the Wage Investigation. Descriptions of each record series generated by the Commission are arranged in groups by general type or subject of the records. Finally, a list is provided of those record series which have been microfilmed and are therefore available on inter-library loan or for purchase.
27 pages 

Working with Disaster Recovery Vendors

Advice on how to work with Disaster Recovery Vendors.