New York State Governor Public Information Photographs

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Overview of the Records


New York State Archives
New York State Education Department
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230

These photographic images were used as public relations vehicles for New York's governors. The photographs helped to publicize their official, and occasionally unofficial, activities. Most of the images reveal the routine activities that the governors' photographers were assigned to photograph. Records tend to be arranged by gubernatorial administration for the following governors: Thomas E. Dewey, W. Averell Harriman, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Malcolm Wilson, Hugh L. Carey, Mario M. Cuomo, and Eliot Spitzer.
Governor public information photographs

35 cubic feet

Inclusive Dates:
1910-1992, 2006-2008
Bulk Dates:
Series Number:


Numerical by assignment number or "governor's number" assigned to events photographed; corresponds to chronological order.

13703-08: Chronological.

13703-08A: Unarranged.

Scope and Content Note

These photographic images were used as public relations vehicles for New York's governors. The photographs helped to publicize their official, and occasionally unofficial, activities, and complimentary enlargements were often sent to individuals photographed with the governor. The bulk of the series contains images of Governors Thomas E. Dewey (1943-1954), W. Averell Harriman (1955-1958), Nelson A. Rockefeller (1959-1973), Malcolm Wilson (1973-1974), and Hugh L. Carey (1975-1982). There are also a few images of Gov. Dewey's Lieutenant Governor Joseph Hanley and Gov. Carey's Lieutenant Governor Mary Ann Krupsak.

The series includes negatives of various sizes, contact prints, and enlargements; most are black-and-white, but a few are in color. There are also color slides. The original envelopes housing many of the prints and negatives generally provide: assignment number (consecutive job number); "governor's number" (consecutive number); date; event pictured, occasionally naming all or some of the individuals pictured; and name or initials of photographer.

Most of the images reveal the routine activities that the governors' photographers were assigned to photograph. These include both posed and unposed images of: inaugurations, annual state-of-the-state addresses, and openings of the state legislature; press conferences; meetings with staff, state officials, and legislators; meetings with political, military, veterans, labor, religious, civic, academic, student, scouting, and other groups; award presentations; signing legislation and proclamations; and visits to state institutions, colleges, universities, and other sites.

In addition to these routine images and formal portraits, the series contains images of other activities and events, including the following.

Harriman: Photographs of the 1954 election campaign and photographs of Harriman with his family are located in accretion 13703-82. Photographs of Harriman's campaign for President (1956); campaign for Governor (1958); photographs of personal life; photographs with wife Marie; as well as plaques, medals, and awards obtained by Harriman during his tenure as Governor are all located in accretion 13703-08.

Dewey: as a boy, ca. 1910; opening veterans' housing projects and signing citations for veterans, 1946; dedication of Alfred E. Smith State Office Building, May 16, 1946; at baseball game at Cooperstown, June 13, 1946; at Thruway construction ceremonies, July 11, 1946, and Thruway opening, June 1954; with Gloria Swanson, June 27, 1950; campaigning with presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower, October 1952; and with Richard M. Nixon, 1954.

Rockefeller: with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and Richard M. Nixon at opening ceremony for St. Lawrence Seaway, June 1959; Northway opening, October 27, 1959; with king and queen of Denmark, 1960; with Board of Regents; inspecting fallout shelter in Capitol, June 20, 1961; with NAACP group, February 28, 1961; unveiling plans for State University of New York at Albany campus, June 12, 1962; unveiling Empire State Plaza (South Mall) model in Capitol, April 23, 1963; Saratoga Performing Arts Center groundbreaking, June 30, 1964; Empire State Plaza cornerstone ceremonies, June 21, 1965, construction site, November 28, 1966, and dedication and unveiling, November 21, 1973; campaigning with presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon on Capitol steps, October 28, 1968; swearing first woman into National Guard, January 1, 1973; press conference announcing resignation, December 11, 1973; and with wife and son.

Wilson: with wife.

Carey: with government officials and politicians (Lyndon B. Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller, Albany Mayor Erastus Corning); Bicentennial ceremonies at Fort Ticonderoga, May 10, 1975; Danny Kaye at Albany Airport for UNICEF benefit, with Carey's children and other children, 1975; presenting bravery citations to police officers, 1975; opening Convention Center ("Egg") at Empire State Plaza with Kitty Carlisle Hart, Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard, etc.; with Danny Kaye, Kitty Carlisle Hart, and Albany Mayor Erastus Corning at "I Love New York Fall Festival" at Empire State Plaza, October 8, 1977; addressing seminar on "The Future of New York State," October 1977; 1978 election campaign with Coretta Scott King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., and Geraldine Ferraro; State University Plaza dedication ceremony, June 5, 1978; rededication of Empire State Plaza as Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, October 6, 1978; at 1979 inauguration with state and federal officials (Daniel P. Moynihan, Edward Regan, Mario Cuomo); Eastern Regional International Trade Seminar, 1979; Martin Luther King Day Parade, 1979; at 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid, New York - opening ceremonies, sportscaster Jim McKay, Austrian ski champion Franz Klammer, with Vice President Walter Mondale and Senator Daniel P. Moynihan; Syracuse State Fair, 1980; greeting ex-Iran hostages on January 27, 1981; groundbreaking in East Harlem and touring Bronx, 1981; with New York City Mayors Abraham Beame and Ed Koch; with celebrities at various events (Bob Hope, Beverly Sills, Frank Sinatra, etc.); with family; and wedding to Evangeline Gouletas, and with Gouletas.

Cuomo: speaking at numerous events, many of which focused on economic development initiatives such as "A New New York," "Global New York," and "Building a Gateway to the New Western New York"; with children, senior citizens, and disabled individuals; with New York State Senate and Assembly members and local politicians; at the State of the State (undated); with Governor Bill Clinton (April 4, 1992); with construction, industrial, and auto workers; with the GM Task Force; at the opening of Binghamton Stadium (April 16, 1992); and with the Buffalo Bills football team. Also included are a couple of personal photographs that depict a younger Cuomo, his family, and his family's grocery store in New York City.

Spitzer: bill signing ceremonies; State of the State addresses and other speeches; and meetings with officials. Individuals in the photographs are not always identified, and dates are frequently uncertain.

The series also includes photographs of state office buildings and sites, including: models and artist's conceptions of the Empire State Plaza; state Capitol and the Governor's Mansion (interior and exterior); State University of New York at Albany campus, 1976; United Nations headquarters in New York City; historic sites, bridges, and highways; and Niagara Falls.

Also included in the series are a few files of documents relating to events occurring during the Rockefeller administration, including: audit reports, press releases, and memorandums regarding Empire State Plaza construction costs; Attica Prison riot; New York State Campaign to Re-Elect the President; and Martin Luther King Jr. assassination. It is unclear how or when these documents came to be filed with this series.

13703-09: This accretion consists of two volumes of published photographs documenting the career of Gov. Hugh L. Carey. The volumes, entitled "The Carey Years," were presented to the former Governor on the occasion of his 90th birthday. A smaller, one-volume version which was distributed to about 200 guests at the birthday celebration is also included in the accretion.

Alternate Formats Available

Items Online

Selected images from this series have been digitized and are avialable in State Archives Digital Collections.

New York State Archives Digital Collections

Governor public information photographs, 1910-1992, 2006-2008

Other Finding Aids

Available at Repository

An incomplete alphabetical card index provides names of persons included in and/or sent enlargements of Dewey photographs.

A card index to the Rockefeller and Wilson 4 x 5 negatives and contact prints, arranged in assignment order (broadly corresponding to chronological order), provides summary information on and initial access to these images. There is no index in name order.

Container lists.

13703-08A: Folder list.

Acquisition Information

13703-08: This accretion was a gift to Syracuse University from Governor Harriman in 1959. It was later transferred to the New York State Archives in 2006, and accessioned in 2008.

13703-09: The volumes were presented to the New York State Archives by William Snyder, former Director of Communications to Governor Carey, in April 2009.

Access Restrictions

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

Access Terms

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