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 - April 30, 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.


Young Lords: History and Impact
April 26, 2018, 6 p.m. (arrive at 5:30 to tour exhibit)
31 Chambers Street, NYC 10007 - Rm. 111


The New York City Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) invites you to attend the final public program related to the exhibit Unlikely Historians: Materials Collected by NYPD Surveillance teams, 1960-1975 – which will close on April 30th. The exhibit uses NYPD surveillance materials to depict the arc of social/political movements between 1960 – 1975.

The final event will explore the history and continued impact of The Young Lords – the Puerto Rican civil rights organization based in New York City. From their storefront offices in East Harlem and the Lower East Side, they defiantly took back the streets of El Barrio. The Young Lords became known for forward-thinking, media-savvy tactics and bold actions, such as takeovers of the First People’s Church and Lincoln Hospital to running clothing drives, day-care centers, and food and health programs for the local community. Known as one of the most revolutionary and misunderstood groups to emerge during the 1960s, their infamous direct action techniques and community empowerment became a prominent force in the urban northeast.

The program includes newly digitized police surveillance footage of the Young Lords from the collections of the Municipal Archives and a screening of filmmaker Iris Morales’ documentary ¡Palante Siempre Palante!: The Young Lord. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Miguel Melendez and Professor Denise Oliver-Velez (SUNY New Paltz), moderated by Professor Johanna Fernandez.

LIMITED SEATING. The first to arrive will be seated.

First Thursdays at DORIS

Join us on the first Thursday of every month! Each month, the NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) will showcase special events during our extended hours (from 5 to 8PM). Visitors will get the opportunity to explore new aspects of our latest exhibition, go behind-the-scenes at the Municipal Library or Archives, or possibly tour our amazing workspace. Free admission at all times. Check back each month to see our latest offering.

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.

If Beale Street Could Talk
By James Baldwin
Wednesday, May 2nd - 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Municipal Library, 31 Chambers Street, Room 112.

A young woman named Tish narrates the story of her love for Fonny, a musician unjustly imprisoned for a horrific crime. The future is tumultuous and uncertain as the story unfolds.


Exhibits & Education