New York State Historical Records Survey Inventory of County Records

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

This series consists primarily of inventory forms completed by Historical Records Survey workers for maps, photographs, and records surveyed in upstate county offices. Records include progress sheet for each county office; survey forms prepared by field workers; and historical sketches of county offices. Unbound record forms list: creating agency and subdivision; title; dates, quantity; gaps; content descriptions; indexing, arrangement, format; physical condition; and location. Building forms show floor plans. Maps and photograph forms also note authorship and publication status.
35 cu. ft. (35 boxes)
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:


Alphabetic by county, then arranged by county office.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists primarily of inventory forms completed by Historical Records Survey workers for each series of records surveyed in upstate county offices.

The initial survey of county records was undertaken in 1936-1937 and forms were prepared for each series at that time. In preparation for publishing county inventories the forms were reviewed, information rechecked in the field, and new forms prepared in 1938-1941. The review process included "condensing" the information on survey forms into entries for the published inventories. Those entries are often attached to survey forms.

The files for each county contain all or some of the following: progress sheet listing survey, review, and editorial stages completed for each county office; correspondence relating to the transmittal of survey forms; handwritten survey forms prepared by field workers; typewritten copies of above forms, often with attached sheets listing questions or problems that arose during review of the forms (often in multiple copies); and historical sketches of county offices.

Five different forms were used to record information on series: 1) Volumes Form (12 HR); 2) Unbound Records Form (13 HR); 3) Volumes and Unbound Records Form (12-13 HR); 4) Maps and Photographs Form (15 HR); and 5) Buildings Forms (10 HR) (occasionally present).

Separate forms for volumes and unbound records were used during the initial survey in 1936-1937; in 1938 these forms were combined. These forms provide the following information about a single series of records: creating agency and subdivision; title; dates and quantity; dates of gaps; sizes of storage containers, bundles, or volumes; description of contents; indexing and arrangement; physical condition; and location (buildings and rooms).

The maps and photographs form provides similar information, although it contains additional information on authorship, publication, and format of the records.

The buildings form provides information on the size, construction, and storage conditions of rooms or vaults used for records storage. Some include floor plans or diagrams.

The survey of county records reached different stages of completion in different counties. Inventories for six counties were published: Albany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, and Ulster. The following county offices were included in the survey: board of supervisors; courts (civil and criminal); county clerk; surrogate; children's court; commissioner of jurors; sheriff; district attorney; county attorney; probation officer; county treasurer; comptroller; auditor; purchasing agent; commissioner of public welfare; tuberculosis hospital; county nurse; county laboratory; county veterinarian; highway department; board of elections; sealer of weights and measures; alcoholic beverage control board; farm bureau; home bureau; and 4-H club.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Container list.

Custodial History

These records were deposited by the Historical Records Survey in the State Library in 1942. Subsequently, they were transferred to the State Archives as boxes 1-30, 43, 46 of old collection #550E, accession number -372.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):

Detailed Description

Contents Box

Accretion: A0550-78
Albany, Alleghany 1
Alleghany, Broome, Cattaraugus 2
Cayuga, Chautauqua 3
Chemung, Chenango 4
Clinton, Columbia 5
Columbia, Cortland 6
Cortland, Delaware 7
Dutchess 8
Erie, Essex 9
Essex, Franklin, Fulton 10
Fulton, Genesee 11
Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer 12
Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis 13
Lewis, Livingston, Madison 14
Monroe, Montgomery 15
Montgomery, Nassau 16
Niagara 17
Oneida, Onondaga 18
Ontario, Orange, Orleans 19
Orleans, Oswego, Otsego 20
Putnam, Rensselaer 21
Rensselaer 22
Rockland, St. Lawrence 23
St. Lawrence, Saratoga 24
Schenectady 25
Schenectady 26
Schoharie, Schuyler 27
Schuyler, Seneca, Stueben 28
Steuben, Suffolk 29
Suffolk, Sullivan 30
Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster 31
Ulster 32
Warren, Washington, Wayne 33
Wayne, Westchester 34
Wyoming, Yates 35