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.


Events

Author Talk: Ann Buttenwieser's “The Floating Pool Lady"
Tuesday, May 25, 2021; 1:00-2:00PM, Online

RSVP HERE

Join us and Ann L. Buttenwieser, an urban planner, historian and author of The Floating Pool Lady - A Quest to Bring a Public Pool to New York City’s Waterfront. Buttenwieser - who has taught at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and in the Macaulay College at the City University of New York - takes readers on an extraordinary journey into the past, recounting an adventure that started in the bayous of Louisiana and ended with a self-sustaining, floating swimming pool for underserved Bronx residents moored in New York Harbor.


Artist-Talk: The Magical History of Moving Water in NYC
Thursday, May 27, 2021; 6:30-8:00PM, Online

RSVP HERE

Please join New York-based artist Margaret Cogswell on a journey to explore her multimedia series, CROTON & ASHOKAN FUGUES - two mixed-media art installations which focus on the New York City Water Supply System and combine artistic elements with public policies and historical details related to the political and socio-economic impact of developing NYC’s water system around semi-rural communities located in upstate New York.


Docu-Talk: Filmmaker Tobe Carey on Building the Catskill Water System
Thursday, July 29, 2021; 6:30-8:00PM, Online

RSVP HERE

Join award-winning filmmaker and historian Tobe Carey for the screening of the documentary, Deep Water: Building of the Catskill Water System. This project celebrates the history of the Catskill Water System with rare archival film footage and historic photographs. Deep Water tells the story of the building of the Ashokan Reservoir, Shandaken Tunnel, Schoharie Reservoir, and the Catskill Aqueduct.


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.
View Virtual Gallery


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.
View Virtual Gallery


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.
View Virtual Gallery


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.
View Virtual Gallery


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.
View Virtual Gallery