@ReclaimTheRecs so I finally found the probable burial place where my genaological research for a lady in a psych facility from 1917-1977 led me to and there's a huge fence with a sign "no trespassing property of state of New York" 💔 #reclaimtherecords
MuckRock has dutifully sent them reminders almost every two weeks. DA replies that they still have 0 records available and I should keep waiting. The strategy @chesaboudin uses here is familiar: ensure whatever is damaging is hidden for as long as possible.
[email protected] will leave office with an Ethics Commission complaint I filed today for willful violation of Sunsnine Ordinance. June 2021 I requested his comms with judges. After lying that they would produce them 3-4 months after Sept 2021, he has not produced a single record.
The Archive of Sexuality and Gender allows researchers to peruse rare materials from 51 archival collections including correspondence, zines and newsletters, photographs, subject files, government documents, and records from community organizations. https://on.nypl.org/3A9tgNw
HUGE news for people with any known or suspected New York City ancestors or relatives! Like, HUGE.Okay, hold onto your chair because we’re about to say something nice about the New York City Municipal Archives: they’ve done something really good.Tomorrow morning, March 16th, the Archives is launching a brand new website with online scans of ALL of their historical New York City vital records. That means all historical birth certificates, marriage certificates AND the "new" marriage licenses, and death certificates, will all be put online as beautiful new color scans.And here’s the thing: the Archives is going to make them FREE. They’re not going to charge us to see them, nor to download them. They’re not going to try to scam us for money just to see non-copyrighted taxpayer-created historical records about our own families. They’re not going to sell them to Ancestry. They’re finally, finally going to follow the law and make these public records free to the public.This is a HUGE and very welcome departure from the usual behavior of the Archives over the past few decades. As just one example, this is the same agency that in the recent past had purposely forced FamilySearch to pull public access to their own scans of their own forty-year-old microfilms of these exact same vital records from all FamilySearch affiliate libraries (that is, public libraries around the world), leaving the only public access at actual Family History Centers, which are much fewer in number.This is the same agency that still has a horrendous "publish and use" contract in place, which they somehow want to make much worse (!), that requires researchers to ask the agency’s permission to reprint or reuse copies of historical non-copyrighted (and usually non-copyrightable!) public domain materials, in books or journal articles or other media. In fact, the contract is so stupendously illegal that it actually mandates that you turn over copies of your own negatives of the photos you take of "their" materials to the City of New York. Like some sort of bananas "Mother May I" permission slip, with a huge fee attached.This is the same agency that we have had to fight in court for SEVEN YEARS now, winning three separate Freedom of Information Law suits against them and with another very big FOIL suit still in progress against them, which we just filed in court last month.Even the multiple smaller FOIL requests we’ve made against them over the years, ones that somehow didn’t require a lawsuit, still took months and months of follow-ups and constant nagging, just to get some copies made of some old microfilms they hold. Dealing with this agency and trying to get them to JUST FOLLOW THE LAW, PLEASE has been an experience.And yet here we are four lawsuits later and…a cool new website is launching tomorrow? With free records?! OMG!(Gosh, we wonder what prompted their sudden change in attitude? 🤔)Anyway, their new site is not complete yet. Only about 70% of the vital records have been scanned and put online so far. There are still some big gaps, such as missing Manhattan death certificates after 1930. The search interface has some bugs, and isn’t great with soundalike names. The primary person’s name in a record is indexed, but the parents’ names generally are not. The index itself has typos, as you might expect when working off old handwritten sources.But. It’s online, it’s here, and it’s FREE for the first time. Credit where credit is due, even to an often-opponent, right?We don’t have the final website URL for you right now, but by the time you read this tomorrow, the Archives should likely have the link posted on their social media pages. And if you see it, please stick it in the comments as soon as it’s been made public. The site’s stability may go up and down with heavy traffic, so it might take a while before you can really use it. But it’s certainly worth checking out — and celebrating. … See MoreSee Less
Roses are red🌹 / Violets are blue 💙 / For Valentine’s Day 💝 / We decided to sue👩⚖️Reclaim The Records is super-excited to announce that we have just sued the NYC Department of Records, the parent agency of the NYC Municipal Archives. Yes, again. But this time, we’re asking for copies of ALL their digital images, including EVERY BIRTH, MARRIAGE, and DEATH record they hold!And we’re gonna set it all free, forever. 😌We originally submitted our Freedom of Information Law (#FOIL) request to the Archives back in October 2020. At the time, we jokingly called it our "Release the Kraken!" FOIL request, because it was one of the largest record requests we’d ever lobbed at a government agency. (A few days later, the phrase "release the Kraken!" acquired an unfortunate and unintended political association in the news, which was certainly not our intent, so now we’re reclaiming the term "Kraken" along with reclaiming our records.)Anyway. The city strung us along for fifteen months without providing any yes-or-no answer at all, even though the law requires an answer within twenty days. That was certainly…a choice. But that also means we now get to hit them up for the records *and* for our attorneys fees in this suit.The longer and more detailed backstory about this request, the records we’re seeking, and PDF copies of all the related letters and appeals and court filings, are all online here on our website:www.reclaimtherecords.org/records-request/28/To be clear: we’re going after almost every already-digitized record held at the Archives, including the ones they’ve scanned but *never* put online before — like the historical NYC vital records. And we even mean the newly-scanned hi-resolution color versions of the files, not just the old black and white microfilms that FamilySearch was able to acquire circa 1981.But this lawsuit also includes many record sets such as the 1890 "Police Census" where the Archives may have allowed some groups to have copies of the images over the years, but not distribute them widely, nor for free.And we’re also going after records that the Archives scanned and did put online on their city-run "Luna Imaging" website, but which they never made available to the public as bulk downloads before. This would include record sets like the Almshouse records, the 1820’s jury census records, the 1940’s NYC "tax photos", and much more.Basically, if the New York City Municipal Archives has ever scanned or digitized a historical record, whether it was online or only on an internal hard drive or whatever, we’re now asking for a copy in this lawsuit. It’s a massive amount of data. And we want it all back, and we want to put it all online for free.Because they’re our records, and our taxes paid for them. Public records belong to the public.Here’s the direct link to the text of our "verified petition" filed in court:www.reclaimtherecords.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/reclaim_the_records_vs_new_york_city_municip…It’s short and very sweet, as a Valentine’s Day gift should be.And here’s a Twitter thread we just wrote with more information, and an even more detailed backstory about these files, and how we got to the point of even needing this lawsuit in the first place:twitter.com/ReclaimTheRecs/status/1493841144832151553Enjoy! 💝(And if you like this kind of work we do, and like seeing records go online for free public use, won’t you be our Valentine too, and consider making a tax-deductible donation to our lil’ non-profit today?)www.reclaimtherecords.org/donate/ … See MoreSee Less
HOMEGROWN IN THE GARDEN STATEIt’s the first-ever online publication of the NEW JERSEY GEOGRAPHIC BIRTH INDEX and the NEW JERSEY DELAYED BIRTH INDEX, 1901-1929!Hello again from your friends at Reclaim The Records! We’re here on this fine "Giving Tuesday" — every non-profit organization’s favorite fake holiday — to tell you that we just got a whole bunch of new genealogical records, they’re all freshly scanned and uploaded and online now for the first time ever, and they’re totally FREE, because we never charge for records access.And who doesn’t love a "Giving Tuesday" post that starts out like that, right? (And it’s not midnight yet on the west coast, so it’s still Tuesday here.)Introducing the New Jersey Geographic Birth Index, 1901-1929! It’s the first-ever online publication of a twentieth century birth index from the Garden State (well, except for that time a few years ago when we got the 1901-1903 birth index and put that up, too). But this time around, we got the GEOGRAPHIC birth index, which means that it’s a list of births that have been separated by county of birth, and sometimes by a major city within the county, and it’s not just a purely alphabetical list.Based on published New Jersey vital statistics, we think this collection covers 1,762,288 births in New Jersey (give or take a few) from 1901-1929, which were typed into books, which were then photographed onto 92 microfilm reels. Each of the reels has a few hundred images. It’s 493 GB in total. 😳We were originally tipped off about the existence of the geographic birth index microfilms by New Jersey genealogist Melissa Johnson. We were then able to get brand new copies made of the microfilms from the very nice archivists at the New Jersey State Archives, in Trenton. It was super-chill and unlike some of our adventures in other states, we didn’t even have to threaten any open records lawsuits at all! Imagine a world where all archivists are that great about data sharing…And then our awesome friends at FamilySearch once again stepped up and donated the labor to scan all the films for us (thank yoooooou!). That means that the index images will likely show up on their website sometime in the very near future, and then undoubtedly at all the other genealogy websites we all like to use, as well. And presumably some or all of those organizations and companies will set up a proper indexing project for the images, too, to create a real text-searchable database.Want to learn how to TEXT-SEARCH the data in these images, even though there isn’t really a transcription project or a database version yet? Want to learn about the DELAYED BIRTH INDEX with mothers’ maiden names, which we also got? Want to learn how to ORDER A BIRTH CERTIFICATE of someone you find in these records?Well, you can read more about ALL these things here:www.reclaimtherecords.org/records-request/29/And it’s all free, thanks to a genealogist who knew about the records, an archive who was helpful and allowed us to buy copies, a non-profit (FamilySearch) who did the tedious scanning work, and another non-profit (the Internet Archive) who let us upload and serve almost 500 GB of images to and from their servers.But here’s the kicker to our "Giving Tuesday" post. (And you knew this was coming, right?)We’re a non-profit, too. And we need your help. We love finding really great genealogical records that ought to be online, and then making it happen. Sometimes we can strike a great deal and it all goes exceedingly well, as it did here. But sometimes we need to hire lawyers and sue to get our records back. We’re very good at it and have a great track record, including at least three recent lawsuit wins that we haven’t even publicly announced yet (omg!!!) but it’s also not inexpensive.If you like seeing records like the New Jersey birth index go online for free, for everyone, forever, and you want to see us keep doing this kind of thing, and in more states nationwide, please consider making a donation to help fund our work. We really appreciate your support! (And you can donate on our website.)Thank you for your support! ☺ … See MoreSee Less
Reclaim The Records is an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our EIN is 81-4985446. Contact us at [email protected]