JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen For users of the NY Municipal Archives #general
A. E. Jordan
If you have not been to the NY Municipal Archives recently you are in for a
thrilling surprise on your next visit. Remember those antiquated microfilm
readers? Well they are being phased out.
The Archives has introduced modern computers that permit you to go directly
to the images of most (not all) of the vital records they hold (birth,
marriage, death). The images are much clearer than the old microfilm too.
It does not totally replace the microfilm or indexes but you can actually
search the documents by type (marriage, death, birth) and as much info as
you know and it presents a list of the records found. So in theory you
might be able to skip the index all together. Some records are missing
from the computer and it does not include the City Clerk marriage licenses.The computers also have internet access so link into databases like
FamilySearch (you need your own subscription passwords to any accounts the
Archives does not have accounts for you to use.) I ran into a problem
this week when I was there so I popped on to the marriage license index
images and figured out the problem immediately all >from the same computer.
Eventually you will even be able to print >from these computers although
it will go into a master account so you pay for them before you can get them.
It's amazing ... it's a major advancement for working with the records.