Exhibits & Education

Exhibits & Education

The agency hosts rotating exhibits. Past exhibits include "Women Make History," "In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses and the Battle for Downtown," and "Little Syria". View treasures from the archives and learn about the history of New York City.

DORIS offers programs, tours and activities related to our holdings. Students can work directly with primary sources to build a greater understanding of research and history.

Please visit Archives.NYC to view digital galleries and a sampling of our past exhibitions.

Upcoming Events
Note: If you require an auxiliary aid or service in order to attend a DORIS event, please contact our Disability Service Facilitator.


Unlikely Historians: Materials collected by NYPD surveillance teams, 1960-1975
September 7, 2017 - Spring, 2018*
31 Chambers Street, NYC 10007 - First Floor Gallery

For more than a century, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) conducted surveillance of individuals and infiltrated organizations challenging the status quo. At different periods, the focus has been socialists, the German American Bund, anarchists, labor unions, and communists. During the 1960s and 1970s, they investigated organizations including the Communist Party, Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, The American Renaissance Party, Women Strike for Peace and Youth Against War and Fascism, among others. The records created by the surveillance teams and the materials they collected during the course of surveillance activities now provide unique documentation of one of the most turbulent eras in the City’s and nation’s history. Photographs and objects displayed in the new Municipal Archives exhibit address subjects such as the Vietnam War, the nascent environmental movement, racial and gender discrimination, fair housing, workers’ rights, as well as global issues such as independence and sovereignty, the spread of communism, and poverty.


Open for viewing through March 31  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Young Lords: Crowdsourcing with the Municipal Archives
Saturday, June 16th - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
31 Chambers Street, NYC 10007 - Rebecca Rankin Reading Room (Suite 111)


Join us as we present newly digitized photos, files, and extended surveillance footage of the Young Lords and call on our guests to help fill in the gaps of this vibrant history.

Participants will gather at computers and in small groups to view materials, share stories, and identify important people and events. This archival crowd-sourcing event will allow you to make visible the important history of the Young Lords. The day is structured in an open and informal way. You can stay for half an hour, an hour, or for the entire four hours!

This event is connected to our exhibit, Unlikely Historians: Materials Collected by the NYPD Surveillance teams, 1960-1975, and is part of the Department's efforts to publicly acknowledge and preserve histories connected to New York's communities.

Comparta su historia de los Young Lords. Contemple archivos, fotos, y videos de vigilancia historicos!


Flashback: A Living Archive of Bedford Stuyvesant
Saturday, June 16th - all-day event; Launch announcement: 6PM
Hancock Community Backyard Garden Park
324 Hancock Street in Brooklyn, NY (Cross streets: Tompkins and Throop Avenues).

The NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS), in partnership with the Hancock Community Backyard Garden Park, the Central Bainbridge Community Garden, the Jane Bailey Memorial Garden, and Bailey’s Café, is kicking off its African-American community history and storytelling initiative.

With this project, DORIS aims to gather some of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s local history that will supplement City government’s historical records on the neighborhood  By documenting the community history of this neighborhood and its residents, the project the will add a diversity of voices to the City’s Archive.  The launch is part of a daylong series of events honoring Juneteenth at the Hancock Community Backyard Garden Park.  There will be food, music, stories, and (limited) summer youth employment opportunities available.

Events will take place through September 2018. Tentative schedule follows:

Schedule of Summer Activities

June 16: Juneteenth Launch at Hancock Community Backyard Garden Park

June 22: Story Circles* at Jane Bailey Memorial Garden

June 29: Story Circles* at Central Bainbridge Garden

July 14: Green Thumb Open House at Hancock Community Backyard Garden Park

July 28: Brevoort Day – stories of homecoming at Central Bainbridge Garden Park

August 18: Music and jazz in Hancock Community Backyard Garden Park. Focus on artists, performers, performance spaces, etc.

August 22: Veterans’ art and stories at Jane Bailey Memorial Garden

*Story circles are intimate storytelling and listening circles organized around a theme or issue. It is a form that came out of the Free Southern Theater and their work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the Civil Rights movement.


Hancock Community Backyard Garden Park:
324 Hancock St., Brooklyn 11216.

Central Bainbridge Community Garden:
277-279 Bainbridge St., Brooklyn 11233.

Jane Bailey Memorial Garden:
327-329 Greene Ave., Brooklyn 11238.

Night at the Museum
Tuesday, June 19th
31 Chambers Street, NYC 10007 - First Floor Gallery

Explore the Unlikely Historians: Materials collected by NYPD surveillance teams, 1960-1975 exhibit in its entirety, before components are used in upcoming exhibition in Brooklyn!

Municipal Library Monthly Book Club

Read about our City’s rich political, cultural and social history with like-minded peers. Join us on the first Wednesday of each month for a lively discussion.

The End of Your Life Book Club
By Will Schwalbe
Wednesday, July 5th - 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Municipal Library, 31 Chambers Street, Room 112.

When the author’s mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer, mother and son form a book club.  Through their shared love of books, they discover the joy books can bring and celebrate life instead of mourning death.