Message from the Commissioner

Pauline A. Toole
Pauline A. Toole
Commissioner

Welcome to the New York City Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS)!  We operate City government's Library, Archives and Record Center. Collectively, we are responsible for City government’s current and past records.

Our mission is to foster civic life by preserving and providing access to the historical and contemporary records of New York City government, to ensure that City records are properly maintained following professional archival and record management practices and to make materials available to diverse communities both online and in person.

To achieve this mission, DORIS is modernizing our operations to reflect the best practices in each field.  We are digitizing our historical records and creating an online repository for them.  This will give researchers easy access to materials that were only previously available onsite.  In the process, we also are approaching the Archival records in a comprehensive manner -reviewing all collections and developing accurate inventories and finding aids.  Similarly, the Library has updated the government publications portal so people can find recent reports online and learn what City government is doing.  The Library is also home to the Open Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) portal which assists New Yorkers in making and tracking requests for information.  Finally, we are “catching up” with modern record management practices.  After twenty years of accumulating paper records, the DORIS records management team is applying records schedules to the digital records that agencies create and use. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio is committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers can easily access information, whether about current business or past events.  DORIS proudly supports this goal through the publications and FOIL portals and the online gallery at www.archives.nyc.
 
Finally, we are using the historical material in the Library and Archives to explore themes around immigration, full civic participation, City infrastructure and development.  In the process, we are engaging with new audiences who learn about City government’s long history of leadership in the fields of public health, education, infrastructure, public safety and more. 

DORIS is responsible for the City’s treasures—original Dutch records dating to 1645, the Central Park drawings, the Brooklyn Bridge plans, the collections of every mayor since 1849, and so much more.  

I hope you enjoy browsing our website.  Please visit us in person.  The Rebecca Rankin Reading Room (Rm. 111), Leonora Gidlund Reference Room (Rm. 103) and exhibit space (Rm. 110) are open to the public.


Sincerely,

Commissioner Pauline Toole