The following announcement was written by the folks at Reclaim The Records:
The 1908-1929 NYC marriage index goes online for free public use
It took one Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, one modification of that FOIL request, one FOIL Appeal, one Advisory Opinion issued by the New York State Committee on Open Government, one “Article 78” legal petition filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, one legal settlement with the City of New York, 46 brand new microfilm copies created from the master films held in one city agency’s vault and another two films from another city agency’s vault, one portable hard drive full of high-quality digital scans of the 48 films donated by a kind non-profit organization, several days working in the headquarters of another non-profit to borrow their Internet bandwidth and hard drive space, and sixteen months.
But we did it. Today, Reclaim the Records is very pleased to announce that the index to the New York City Clerk’s Office marriage records (the application, affidavit, and license) for 1908-1929 is now online and open for public use.
There are no logins required, no paywalls, no copyrights, and no usage restrictions. The index is now free and open data, forever.
39 of the 48 microfilms are now online at the Internet Archive, and the remaining nine films will be put online throughout the next few weeks.
Here’s the link!: https://archive.org/details/nycmarriageindex
This includes (so far) 48 items scanned from 39 microfilms:
- MANHATTAN 1908-1929
- BROOKLYN 1908-1929
- BRONX 1914-1917
Coming soon are the final nine microfilms:
- BRONX 1918-1929
- QUEENS 1908-1930
- STATEN ISLAND 1908-1938
Details about how to join a new volunteer-led transcription project for these images, to turn them into a free online searchable database, will be announced shortly.
Quick notes and updates
- Our first court date in our Article 78 legal petition in the Supreme Court of New York against the New York City Clerk’s Office, seeking the first-ever public copies of the 1930-2015 NYC marriage index under the New York State Freedom of Information Law, has been pushed back one month, to May 9, 2016. We will let you know how it goes.
- Our case to be reimbursed our attorneys fees by the New York City Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS, parent agency of the NYC Municipal Archives) is scheduled to have its oral arguments on May 25, 2016. We’ll let you know how that goes, too.
- Last month, Reclaim The Records was one of the organizations that was a signatory to a letter to Senators Grassley, Leahy and Cornyn, all of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for the Endorsement of Immediate Passage of FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. Yup, Reclaim The Records is going to start getting involved in governmental lobbying efforts to improve FOIA and strengthen state Freedom of Information laws.
The start of the avalanche
Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this journey to make this dream of open records a reality.
And we’re just getting started… There’s more news coming soon.