Administrative subject files

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

These files document the duties and functions of the State Engineer and Surveyor. Topics covered include: personnel matters; supply inventories, equipment purchases; Barge Canal construction and maintenance projects; joint topographical survey of the State with the U.S. Geological Survey; state and local boundary line surveys; land appropriations; easements; "blue line" surveys; abandonment and sale of canal lands; operation and navigation of the Barge Canal, canal alternations; damage claims filed against the state.
8.75 cu. ft.(including ca. 50 maps);annotated, blueprint, folded:22 x 38 cm or larger.
Inclusive Dates:
1922, 1925-1926
Series Number:


B0247-83:Arranged by subject and therein numerically by file code number.

B0247-06:Alphabetical by name of correspondent.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of administrative subject files accumulated and generated by the office of the State Engineer and Surveyor during the years 1922 (State Engineer Frank M. Williams) and 1925 (State Engineer Roy G. Finch). The duties of the State Engineer and Surveyor included conducting general engineering investigations, including work on surveys, designs, and plans in connection with state public works projects and infrastructure maintenance and development, and fulfilling requests for data and reports made by the legislature and other state departments. The series reflects the various duties and projects for which the State Engineer and Surveyor was responsible during this time. Records for 1923 and 1924 are not extant.

The series includes: correspondence, memoranda, reports, and printed material; financial statements, payroll abstracts, appointment sheets, expense accounts, and vouchers; supply requisitions, bills, remittances, and supply inventories; organization charts, employment applications, and accident reports; plans, surveys, maps, profiles, blueprints, contract estimates, instructions, and orders; copies of deeds, survey descriptions, claims, complaints, and permits; and stream/river discharge measurements, and precipitation measurements.

The files reflect the varied duties, projects, and responsibilities of the State Engineer and Surveyor, including: personnel matters (salary increases, payrolls, retirement fund, applications for employment, appointments, terminations, accidents, and expense accounts); routine office administration (supply inventories, office leases, equipment purchases, and requisitions); Barge Canal construction and maintenance projects; joint topographical surveys with the U.S. Geological Survey; requests for maps and other records; boundary line surveys (both state and local); land appropriations, releases and easements; blue line surveys (to determine the boundaries of state owned land); abandonment and sale of canal lands; grants for lands under water; operation and navigation of the Barge Canal; canal alterations and damage claims filed against the state; floods; bridge and railroad crossings; drainage and stream elevations; various canal structures (dams, locks, culverts, spillways, gates and locks); routine maintenance and repairs; stream gauging; and river improvement and the regulation and approval of proposed dam construction projects.

There are maps, plans, profiles, and sketches scattered within the files. These relate largely to canal surveys, construction, and claims as well as to canal lands appropriated or abandoned by the state. The majority of the maps are blueprint (occasionally whiteprint) copies or tracings. They are often annotated in crayon or with colored shading. Most show a scale, which varies with each map, as does the presence of information such as legends, explanatory notes, date, and delineator. Some are stamped with the date they were received in the office of the State Engineer and Surveyor. Sizes range widely from 22 x 38 cm to 84 x 113 cm or larger. Average blueprint size is approximately 56 x 84 cm. There are also a very few copies of printed photographs showing scenes of canal terminals and structures at construction sites. Other non-print items include blueprint copies of estimates of materials (apparently for additions and alterations) and organization charts for the office of State Engineer and Surveyor, listing employees and titles.

The files are arranged by subject and filed numerically according to a system devised by the State Engineer and Surveyor's office. Major subject divisions include: organization (administrative, employees, financial matters); preliminary plans, surveys, appropriation of lands, boundary lines, land matters, and canal terminal development; drainage and stream regulation; and docks and dams.

B0247-06: This accretion consists of correspondence to and carbon copy of replies from State Engineer Roy Finch for the year 1926.

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