Courtesy of New York City Municipal Archives
The New York City Municipal Archives has launched a digital research platform as part of a mass digitization project that will eventually provide online access to 13.3 million historical records of birth, death and marriage. 70% complete, the NYC Historical Vital Records Project currently has 9.3 million genealogical records accessible digitally, free of charge.
“The Historical Vital Records Project is a complete game-changer for those researching New Yorkers,” D. Joshua Taylor, president of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, said in a statement. “This unprecedented free access to birth, marriage and death records will help millions of people discover their New York heritage.”
You can search the archives by certificate number if you have it – it’s the fastest method. You can also search for certificate numbers using several available databases. You can search by name (beta mode) and future phases of the app may include crowd-sourcing opportunities to improve index accuracy.
Future releases will also return the certificate number (if found) and instructions on how to view and order a copy of the certificate awaiting scanning. Be sure to check out the search tips for better luck in your search.
Historical Vital Records of NYC is an initiative of the Department of Records and Information Services. The New York City Archives’ collection of vital records is one of the largest in the country. Launched in 2013, the mass digitization project is currently in its second phase, which involves digitizing the series of marriage licenses from 1908 to 1949. The next phase will create high-quality images of Manhattan death records dating back to 1867 to 1948, currently only accessible via microfilm. .
Regarding the project’s latest launch, Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement, “These historical records will not only serve as an essential resource for family historians across the country and around the world, but will allow ordinary New Yorkers to “Learn more about their personal history and explore their roots. My administration is committed to expanding access to city resources and providing New Yorkers with the information they need.”
The mission of the Municipal Archives is to provide full access to the collections through enhanced descriptions, digitization, preservation and curation. You can check out the collection guides, browse the digital gallery, and read the blog to learn more.
Department of Records, New York City Historical Vital Statistics Project, Municipal Archives of the City of New York