The mission of the New York Archival Society is to preserve, support, and promote the collections, services, and programs of the New York City Municipal Archives and Library.

The Society advances its mission through public outreach, events and sponsorship of special projects, especially those that encourage the use of primary source documents by researchers including high school and college students in New York City.

New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the world and has been a leader in promoting the social, economic and political progress of its residents. The Society believes that preserving and making accessible to the public the records that document this history is important for the future progress of the City.


Welcome to the Municipal Archives

The Archives preserves and makes available New York City government's historical records. Explore our collections dating from 1645 to the present including documents, digital collections, still and moving images, ledgers and docket books, cartographic materials, blueprints, and audiovisual materials.


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In Memorial

Catha Grace Rambusch

The Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) notes with sadness the passing of long-time friend and supporter, Catha Grace Rambusch, on April 18, 2024.

Catha Rambusch’s association with the Municipal Archives began in the 1970s when she joined Paul O’Dwyer, the City Council President, to create the New York Archival Society. Catha served as a Board member, Secretary, Executive Director, and in 2023 she assumed the role of President.

Catha’s work on behalf of the Municipal Archives took many forms. She helped transport the re-discovered Brooklyn Bridge drawings to the Archives in her station wagon. She planned and organized numerous special events and programs such as the lecture presented by Missy Dierickx on the history and architecture of the Surrogate’s Court building, and most recently, the memorial for long-time New York Archival Society treasurer Joseph Van Nostrand.

Catha’s connections in the world of private philanthropy proved invaluable in the 1980s when she helped the Archives secure grants to preserve the Central Park drawings collection. In 1985, she facilitated an award of $35,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the first year of a two-year project to examine, catalog and conserve the collection.

In 1986, she arranged for a grant of $28,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation to support the second year of the project. In April 2022, she lent DORIS a book from her voluminous collection of historical materials for the exhibit of the original design for Central Park in celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th Birthday.

Catha’s dedication to archives and preservation extended well beyond the Municipal Archives. Among her many signature achievements, in 1973 Catha established the Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records. She was a founding member of UNESCO’s International Confederation of Architectural Museums. She served as Director of the National Catalogue of Landscape Records at Wave Hill from 1989 to 2004. The American Institute of Architects awarded her their Silver Medal. In 1988, Secretary of the Interior Donald Paul Hodel bestowed the Conservation Award to Catha in recognition of her significant contributions to the preservation of historic records.

Brooklyn-born, and a long-time resident of Stuyvesant Town, Catha Rambusch was the archivist and historian of her husband Viggo Rambusch’s 125-year old family firm. She is survived by Viggo, her husband of 65 years, and four children, Kristin Von Thelen, Lucia Rambusch-Adam, Edwin and Martin Rambusch and eight grandchildren.