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.

Join our mailing list to be the first to know about exhibition openings, upcoming events, recent blog posts and much more.

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

To request language interpretation services, please contact the Language Access Coordinator at least three (3) business days before an event.


Brooklyn Bridge Program at the Municipal Archives: Informational Session
Multiple dates, Online

Calling all NYC K-5 Educators! Join us to learn about our Brooklyn Bridge educational program using original materials from the Archives.The New York City Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) has developed a free, virtual program on the history of building the Brooklyn Bridge for elementary students. This engaging program features a brief interactive talk illustrated with slides and digitized images of Washington Roebling’s original design drawings of the bridge towers and caissons. We will be holding informational sessions to provide interested educators with an in-depth explanation of this exciting program, including a description of the featured primary sources, learning objectives, and program logistics.

Archives, Reference, and Research Advisory Board (ARRAB) Board Meeting  
July 20, 2022; 4:00PM; Online

The New York City Charter established the 15-member Archives, Reference, and Research Advisory Board (ARRAB) to consult with the Commissioner of the Department of Records & Information Services and to issue an annual report to the mayor. The meeting will be held virtually and is open to public. If you would like to join the meeting, please click the following link on the day of the meeting: ARRAB Quarterly Meeting Link July 20, 2022. 

Archival Review Board (ARB) Archival Review Board (ARB)
July 27, 2022; 4:00PM; Online

New York City Charter established the Archival Review Board (ARB) to render annually to the mayor a report reviewing the archival processing of any city papers during the year for which the report has been written. The next meeting of the ARB Board is scheduled for July 27, 2022, starting at 4:00 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually, if you would like to join the meeting, please click the following link on the day of the meeting: ARB Meeting Link July 27, 2022.

Virtual Exhibits
Ebb & Flow: Tapping into the History of New York City’s Water

In collaboration with the Museum of American Finance, we launched a new exhibit, titled Ebb & Flow: Tapping into the History of New York City’s WaterEbb & Flow explores the more than 200-year history of the city’s efforts to build one of the world’s finest water supply systems. The exhibit includes the fascinating story of how a private water company, founded by Aaron Burr in 1799, evolved into the largest bank in the United States today.
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Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives - A Pictorial History of Working People in New York City

The extraordinary efforts of ordinary people are visible during this pandemic as never before. Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives tells the stories of the men and women who built the City—of towering structures and the beam walkers who assembled them; of immigrant youths in factories and women in sweatshops; of longshoremen and typewriter girls; of dock workers and captains of industry. It provides a glimpse in to the traditions they carried with them to this country and how they helped create new ones, in the form of labor organizations that provided recent immigrants, often overwhelmed by the intensity of New York life, with a sense of solidarity and security.
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Public Record – Julia Weist

Julia Weist worked with the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) as part of the Public Artists in Residence (PAIR), a municipal residency program that embeds artists in New York City government. During her residency at DORIS, Julia Weist researched the municipal government’s relationship to art and artists as documented in the City’s Archives, looking particularly at records featuring criteria for evaluating art, surveillance of individual artists, and notes on artists’ role in civic life. Weist used these findings as the foundation for a series of eleven photographic prints that comprise Public Record and then leveraged the City’s records retention procedures by transferring artwork created onsite to Pauline Toole, Commissioner of DORIS. As a result, the artwork became subject to the NYC Agency Head General Subject Files Retention and Disposition Series which required they be kept, processed, and made public according to regulations.
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Healthcare Workers in History

From the days of horse-drawn ambulance carriages and handwritten medical records, through the introduction of modern vaccines and medical technologies, the collections of the Municipal Archives document the history of healthcare in the City.  Our collections from the Department of Public Charities and Hospitals, Department of Health, Department of Public Charities and Correction’s Almshouse Ledger Collection, and others document the activities and methods of New York City’s doctors, nurses, and healthcare heroes as they confronted the many challenges a vibrant city presents.  By continuously adopting the latest tools and methods, the City’s medical staff has worked tirelessly to keep the public health.
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Department of Buildings - Architectural Plans and Drawings

The history of building regulation in New York City dates almost as far back as the city itself.  In 1625, the Dutch West India Company imposed rules regarding the types of structures that could be built and where they could be located.  In succeeding years, additional regulations were enacted that addressed fire hazards, as well as sanitary and public safety needs, but enforcement was inconsistent.  The Municipal Archives staff have recently worked to improve the conditions of the plans through conservation treatments and preservation housing.  The selections in the gallery here present a unique view of the varied types of plans in this collection.
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