The National Archives at New York City

Guide to Archival Holdings of the National Archives at New York City


Record Group 52

Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

Administrative History
The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery was created by an act of Congress of August 31, 1842, which abolished the Board of Naval Commissioners and established the bureau system in the Department of the Navy. Until it was abolished October 1, 1982, by realignment directive of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, the functions of the Bureau included the care of the sick and injured of the Navy; the administration of naval dispensaries and hospitals; the medical examination of prospective officers and enlisted men and of naval personnel seeking examinations or ordered to undergo them for various administrative purposes; and the practice of preventive naval medicine, including inspections of ships and stations to determine the degree of adequacy of food, water supply, arrangements for heat and air, cleanliness, and related factors of health.

Records Description
Dates: 1831-1922
Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of the U.S. Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. The records relate to deaths and burial plots and the remains of armed forces personnel returned from Europe. The records are registers.

Finding Aid
Draft inventory.

Record Group 56

General Records of the Department of the Treasury

Administrative History
The Department of the Treasury was established by an act of Congress, approved September 2, 1789, to superintend and manage the national finances. The records in this record group are from the Office of the Secretary and from subdivisions performing service functions for the entire Department. Units of the Department for which separate record groups exist are: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Bureau of the Mint; Bureau of the Public Debt; Office of the Treasurer of the United States; Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Office of Thrift Supervision; Internal Revenue Service; Customs Service; Financial Management Service; Secret Service.

Records Description
Dates: 1944-1957
Volume: 6 cubic feet

Records of the Savings Bond Division, New York City. The records document war bond drives and post-war savings bond campaigns in New York State, including participation by motion picture and sports celebrities and business and political leaders. They consist of correspondence and reports. Nontextual records include photographs.

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Record Group 57
Records of the U.S. Geological Survey

Administrative History
The Geological Survey was established in the Department of the Interior by an act of March 3, 1879, providing for the "classification of the public lands and the examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the public domain." An act of September 5, 1962, expanded this authorization to examinations outside the public domain, while topographical mapping and chemical and physical research were authorized by an act of October 2, 1888. The Survey's chief functions are to survey, investigate, and conduct research on the Nation's topography, geology, and mineral and water resources; classify land according to mineral composition and water power resources; furnish engineering supervision for power permits and Federal Power Commission licenses; supervise naval petroleum reserves and mineral leasing operations on public and Indian lands; and disseminate data relating to these activities.

Records Description
Dates: 1933-1954
Volume: 3 cubic feet

Records of the Ground Water Branch, New York-New England district. The records document responses to inquiries from commercial and private water consumers on the characteristics, location, and quantity of ground, spring, and well water, and consist primarily of correspondence.

Finding Aid
Folder title list.

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Record Group 58
Records of the Internal Revenue Service

Administrative History
The Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of July 1, 1862, to help finance the Civil War. Within the Office the agency that collected funds was known as the Bureau of Internal Revenue until 1953 when it was designated the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The taxes levied during the Civil War were gradually abolished until only taxes on liquor and tobacco remained in 1883. In addition to the taxes on these commodities, the Bureau began collecting a corporation income tax after 1909. With the adoption of the 16th amendment in 1913, the collection of income taxes became one of the Bureau's principal functions. It is now responsible for the administration, assessment, and collection of all internal revenue taxes.

Records Description
Dates: 1862-1919
Volume: 277 cubic feet

Records of IRS collectors in New Jersey and New York. The records contain for each taxpayer, the name (individual and corporate), city of residence, articles or occupations taxed, and amounts assessed and collected. They are assessment lists.

Records of the Brooklyn and Buffalo offices. The records list for each employee name, title, address, compensation, appointment date, reason for termination of service, place and year of birth, prior civilian or military service, and names of relatives employed by the Federal government. The records are registers.

Finding Aid
Entry 249 in Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Internal Revenue Service, NC 151 (1967).

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Record Group 71
Records of the Bureau of Yards and Docks

Administrative History
The Bureau of Yards and Docks in 1862 replaced the Bureau of Naval Yards and Docks, established in the Department of the Navy by an act of August 31, 1842. Bureau functions included the design, construction, and maintenance of all naval public works and utilities, such as dry docks, marine railways, shipbuilding ways, harbor structures, storage facilities, power plants, heating and lighting systems, and buildings at shore establishments. The Bureau also operated power plants, maintained public works and utilities at shore establishments, and obtained real estate for Navy use. At advanced bases and in combat areas Bureau work was performed by construction battalions (Seabees). A Department of Defense reorganization order of March 9, 1966, abolished the Bureau, and the Secretary of the Navy transferred most of its functions to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

Records Description
Dates: 1834-1919
Volume: 3 cubic feet

Records of the New York Navy Yard, New York City, and the Cape May Air Station, New Jersey. The records document daily events, number of personnel, weather conditions, and work accomplished. They are journals.

Finding Aid
Camilla P. Luecke and Richard G. Wood, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, PI 10 (1948).

Record Group 75

Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Administrative History
An Office of Indian Affairs was established in 1824 within the War Department, which had exercised jurisdiction over relations with Indian tribes since the formation of the Federal Government. The Office operated informally within the War Department until Congress authorized the appointment of a Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1832. The Office was transferred to the Department of the Interior in 1849. Although commonly called the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), it was not officially designated that until 1947.

The Bureau is responsible for most of the Federal Government's relations with the tribes of Indians that it recognizes. Some groups of Indians, particularly in the Eastern States, have never received official recognition, and other groups ceased to function as cohesive tribes before the establishment of the Federal Government in 1789. The Bureau has only exercised responsibility for Indians living on a recognized reservation or who maintained an affiliation with a recognized tribe. Many persons of Indian descent are not mentioned in any of the Bureau's records because they severed all connection with any tribe.

The Bureau's programs have had an impact on virtually every phase of tribal development and individual Indian life including education, health, land ownership, financial affairs, employment, and legal rights. In 1931, the Bureau assumed jurisdiction over the Indians and Eskimos of Alaska from the Alaska Division of the Office of Education, which had been established in 1885 to administer education and health programs for the natives of Alaska. In 1955, most of the Bureau's health activities, including the operation of Indian Hospitals, were transferred to the Public Health Service.

When it was created in 1824, the Bureau inherited a well-established system of agencies, each of which was responsible for all relations with one or more tribes. Many of these agencies were subordinate to a superintendency which had general responsibility for Indian affairs in a territory or other geographical area.

Although there were numerous changes in agency designations and jurisdictions, this basic organizational structure remained unchanged until superintendencies were abolished in the 1870's and all agents began reporting directly to the Bureau headquarters in Washington, DC. In 1947, area offices were established to exercise supervisory control over agencies and other administrative units (such as schools or irrigation districts) within specific geographic regions.

In addition to the agents who were responsible for the day-to-day implementation of Indian policy, the Bureau often sent officials into the field for special purposes. These included treaty commissioners, inspectors, purchasing and disbursing agents, enrolling and allotting agents, and education specialists. Many of the schools that operated on Indian reservations were under the control of a superintendent who was often independent of the agent and sometimes exercised the functions of an agent. There were also a number of non-reservation schools, such as the Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma, which accepted students from all over the country and were not under the control of any local agent.

Records Description
Dates: 1938-1949
Volume: 3 cubic feet

Records of the New York Agency (formerly the Six Nation Agency). The records document the Allegheny and Cattaraugus Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Tonawanda Seneca, Saint Regis, and Tuscarora tribes living in New York. They relate to land matters, tribal government, and tribal relations. Among the records are correspondence, reports, and tribal acts and resolutions. Nontextual records include maps.

Finding Aid
Entry 1167 in Edward E. Hill, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Volume 2. PI 163 (1965).

Record Group 77

Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers

Administrative History
The Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, with headquarters at Washington, DC, was a result of orders of April 3, 1818. The military responsibilities of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (OCE) have included producing and distributing Army maps, building roads, planning camps, and constructing and repairing fortifications and other installations. Its civil duties have included maintaining and improving inland waterways and harbors, formulating and executing plans for flood control, operating dams and locks, and approving plans for the construction of bridges, wharves, piers, and other works over navigable waters. Expansion of the OCE's river and harbor improvement work after the Civil War necessitated the establishment of district offices throughout the United States. The engineer officer in charge of each district reported directly to the Chief of Engineers until 1888 when engineer divisions were created with administrative jurisdiction over the district offices.

Records Description
Dates: 1831-1953
Volume: 768 cubic feet

Records of the following divisions, districts, and subordinate offices:

  • Buffalo, New York, District, 1871-1930;
  • Eastern Division, New York City, 1901-1913;
  • New York, New York, District, 1843-1870;
  • North Atlantic Division, New York City, 1949-1953;
  • Northeast Division, New York City, 1888-1912;
  • Oswego, New York, District, 1831-1920;
  • Puerto Rico Engineer Office, 1896-1913;
  • Saint Lawrence River District, Massena, New York, 1912-1943;
  • Syracuse, New York, District, 1940-1943.

The records document civilian and military activities of the OCE including administration, coastal defense projects, construction of facilities on military bases, flood control, maintenance and improvement of inland waterways and harbors, and projects undertaken by the Works Progress Administration under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Acts. They provide geological, hydrological, and economic data about construction projects and their impact on the surrounding area. Included are correspondence, data and permit files, notebooks, reports, and studies. Construction project files contain correspondence, design memorandums, notes, plans, progress reports, specifications, and test results. Nontextual records include engineering drawings, maps, and photographs.

Finding Aids
Elizabeth Bethel and Maisie H. Johnson, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, NM 19 (1964).

Maisie H. Johnson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers. Part II: Records of Engineer Divisions and Districts, NM 45 (1965).

Maisie Johnson, comp., Supplement to Preliminary Inventory NM 45, Textual Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers. Part II: Records of Engineer Divisions and Districts, NM 79 (1967).

Record Group 79

Records of the National Park Service

Administrative History
The National Park Service was established in the Department of the Interior by an act of August 25, 1916. It supervises national parks, monuments, historic parks, memorials, parkways, recreation areas, and seashores and is responsible for the promotion and regulation of their use. It establishes and enforces regulations for use, protects parks from fire, regulates concession operators, investigates and recommends proposed new areas, acquires land, and constructs and maintains roads, trails, and buildings. It also engages in research and educational work such as arranging lectures and guided tours, marking nature trails, maintaining museums and libraries, and preparing publications and studies in history, archeology, natural history, and wildlife.

Records Description
Dates: 1929-65
Volume: 77 cubic feet

Records of the New York City Group (which administers all NPS sites in the city), 1929-1965; Morristown National Historical Park, New Jersey, 1934-1956; and Statue of Liberty National Monument, 1936-1964. The records are general subject files that relate to administration, finances, and personnel and consist of correspondence, directives, memorandums, and reports.

Finding Aid
Box contents list.

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Record Group 80
General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1798-1947

Administrative History
The Department of the Navy was established by an act of April 30, 1798. The Board of Navy Commissioners was created February 7, 1815, as part of an expansion of the Navy Department, but its authority was generally confined to procuring stores and materials and to constructing, arming, and equipping vessels of war. The Secretary of the Navy retained charge of naval personnel and discipline, appointments, detailing of officers, and movements of vessels. The Board of Navy Commissioners was abolished in 1842 and replaced by five bureaus.

In 1947, the Department of the Navy became part of the National Military Establishment, and in 1949, it became part of the Department of Defense. The principal tasks of the Department of the Navy are policy control, naval command, logistics administration and control, and business administration.

Records Description
Dates: 1941-1942
Volume: 11 cubic feet

Records of the Officer-in-Charge, Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey. They document the shipbuilding activities of the company while under the control of the Navy. Among the records are accounts, correspondence, cost summaries, financial statements, newspaper clippings, and tax and insurance papers. Nontextual records include photographs.

Finding Aid
Entry 157 in James H. Masterson, comp., Preliminary Checklist of the General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1809-1944, PC 31 (1945).

Record Group 85

Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service

Administrative History
The Office of Superintendent of Immigration was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of March 3, 1891, and was designated a bureau in 1895 with responsibility for administering the alien contract-labor laws. In 1903, it became part of the Department of Commerce and Labor and in 1906 was designated the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization with the addition of functions relating to naturalization. In 1913, it was transferred to the Department of Labor as two separate bureaus of Immigration and of Naturalization, which were reunited by Executive order on June 10, 1933, to form the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The INS, which became part of the Department of Justice in 1940, administers laws relating to admission, exclusion, deportation, and naturalization of aliens; patrols U.S. borders; and supervises naturalization work in designated Federal courts.

Records Description

Dates: 1792-1960
Volume: 1,261 cubic feet

Records of the following New York City courts, 1792-1906:

  • City Court, Brooklyn;
  • County Court, Kings County;
  • County Court, Queens County;
  • County Court, Richmond County;
  • Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York;
  • Marine Court of the City of New York;
  • Superior Court of the City of New York;
  • Supreme Court of New York County;
  • Surrogate's Court, Queens County;
  • U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York;
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York;
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The records document naturalizations performed in New York City courts and may include the Declaration of Intention, Petition for Naturalization, and other papers. (Naturalization records for this period rarely contain personal information such as place of origin, or names of relatives.) The records are photostatic copies of the original documents.

Records of the New York District Office, New York City, ca. 1882-1960. The records document the entry into the United States of Chinese aliens and the reentry of U.S. citizens of Chinese ancestry under the Chinese Exclusion Acts. The Act of 1882, implementing the Treaty of 1880, established the basis for Chinese exclusion by suspending immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years and prohibiting admission of Chinese to U.S. citizenship. Subsequent acts and treaties passed between 1884 and 1930 strengthened the restrictions on Chinese immigration. The acts were repealed in 1943. The records also document the "Chinese confession program," which encouraged immigrants who entered the U.S. as "paper sons" using false identities, to confess without threat of deportation. Most case files include correspondence, lists of related cases, transcripts of interrogations, and witness statements. Some files include birth certificates, coaching documents, family history forms, and marriage licenses. Nontextual records include photographs of individuals and families.

Finding Aids
For naturalization records: card index, arranged by Soundex code, listing the individual's name, court, and file location.

For Chinese case files: an electronic database allowing searches by name, town of origin, and 38 other fields.

Related Microfilm Publications
M1674, Index (Soundex) to Naturalization Petitions Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York, New York, Including New York, Kings, Queens, and Richmond Counties, 1792-1906.

Restrictions
Access to individual case files may be restricted due to personal privacy concerns, law enforcement needs, and/or national security classification.

Record Group 90

Records of the Public Health Service, 1912-1968

Administrative History
The Public Health Service, originally called the Marine Hospital Service, has its origins in an act of July 16, 1798, which authorized hospitals for the care of sick and disabled American merchant seamen. The scope of its activities was greatly expanded by subsequent legislation, and it became part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1955 after having been part of the Department of the Treasury from 1798 to 1939 and the Federal Security Agency from 1939 to 1953.

The Public Health Service operates marine hospitals, hospitals for specific diseases, medical facilities for Federal penal institutions, quarantine and health stations, and research institutions and laboratories. It conducts research in the cause, prevention, and control of disease and disseminates health information.

Records Description
Dates: 1831-1970
Volume: 113 cubic feet

Records of the Seamen's Fund and Retreat and of its successor, the Marine Hospital,Staten Island, New York. The records document patients' admissions, autopsies, deaths, and facility operations. Included are case histories, registers, and reports.

Records of the New York Quarantine Station, Staten Island, New York. The records document crew and passenger medical examinations, ship fumigation, and administration.

Finding Aid
List of folder and volume titles.

Restrictions
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted due to privacy concerns.

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Record Group 92
Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General

Administrative History
In 1818, Congress created a Quartermaster's Department under a single Quartermaster General to ensure an efficient system of supply and accountability of Army officers who were responsible for monies or supplies. At various times, the Quartermasters had authority over the procurement and distribution of supplies, pay, transportation, and construction. After a number of changes in functions and command relationships, Congress authorized a Quartermaster Corps in 1912 and designated its chief the Quartermaster General in 1914. The Corps was responsible for the operation of a number of general supply depots and subdepots throughout the United States. The Office of the Quartermaster General was abolished in 1962.

Records Description
Dates: 1864-1951
Volume: 248 cubic feet

Records of the Quartermaster Purchasing Agency, New York City, 1945-1950, and the following depots:
  • Belle Mead General Depot, Somerville, New Jersey, 1942-1950;
  • Elmira Quartermaster Depot, Horseheads, New York, 1942-1947;
  • General Depot, Schenectady, New York,  1918-1951;
  • Quartermaster Depot, New York, New York, 1864-1920;
  • Red Bank Subdepot, Red Bank, New Jersey, 1918-1919.

The records document functions and activities and include correspondence, memorandums, and orders.

Finding Aid
Maisie H. Johnson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General. Part I, NM 81 (1967).

Record Group 96

Records of the Farmers Home Administration

Administrative History
The Farmers Home Administration (FHA) was established in the Department of Agriculture by an act of August 14, 1946, to succeed the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which had been established in 1937. The FSA succeeded the Resettlement Administration, which had been established in 1935 to administer rural rehabilitation and land programs begun in 1933 under the Subsistence Homesteads Division of the Department of the Interior and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.

The FHA provides small farmers with credit to construct or repair homes, improve farming operations, or become farm owners, and gives individual guidance in farm and home management.

Records Description
Dates: 1934-1944
Volume: 4 cubic feet

Records of county offices in Burlington County, New Jersey, and Livingston, Monroe, and Oswego Counties, New York. The records document paid-in-full rural rehabilitation loans and include "Farm and Home Management Plans" submitted by the loan applicant that contain detailed information about the farm family's production, assets, income, expenses, and consumption of food. The records are case files.

Finding Aid
Stanley W. Brown and Virgil E. Baugh, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Farmers Home Administration, PI 118 (1959).

Restrictions
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted due to privacy concerns.

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