Negative photographs of State institutions, Barge Canal locations and structures, and highways

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 negative photographs were taken for use in settling Court of Claims litigation such as State contracts for the construction of highways, buildings, and other structures; appropriation of land and water; employee negligence; damages due to defects in the State's highway system. The negatives are filed in jackets with the Court of Claims number, negative number, name of facility, institution or location, direction of view, by whom taken, date, and pertinent remarks written on each jacket.
2 cu. ft.(ca. 1500 items)
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:


Numerical by jacket number.

Administrative History

The Division of Engineering assumed all the duties of the State Engineer and Surveyor's office abolished by the constitutional reorganization of 1925. The division played a prominent role in the examination and inspection of state facilities. In addition, it had the duty of investigating all claims filed in the Court of Claims in which the Department of Public Works was involved.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of negative photographs taken by the Department of Public Works' Division of Engineering. The photographs depict a variety of state institutions, Barge Canal locations, and structures and highways. Many of the negatives appear to have been taken for use in the settlement of litigation in the Court of Claims, since a Claims case number appears on many of the jackets. The claims represent a variety of subjects, including claims arising out of contracts entered into by the state for the construction of highways, buildings and miscellaneous structures; claims for appropriation of land and water power; claims arising out of negligence of employees; claims for damages due to defects in the state's system of highways; and claims authorized by special legislation.

The negatives are filed in jackets, usually ten or more to a jacket. On the outside of the jacket are given the name of the institution, claim case number, photo number, direction of view, by whom the image was taken, date, and remarks. Each jacket contains a number, and the negatives are arranged numerically by this number. The negatives measure 10" x 7- 7/8". This series begins with jacket number 2596. The location of numbers 1-2595 is unknown.

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