|Capt. Beverly Pinckney shows Trenton Daniel from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism the secure enclosure where NYCHS archives historical materials at NYC DOC Academy.|
The New York Correction History Society has initiated archival and research services at the New York City Department of Correction (NYC DOC) Academy in Middle Village, Queens.
During the next several weeks and months the materials which came together mostly as a random assortment will be organized so that a general guide can be devised and be made available to researchers in printed form as well as posted on the society's web site.
Some material is already sufficiently organized to permit limited research access but only to individuals (no classes or other groups) and only by prior advance appointment (no walk-ins).
Arrangements may be made by phone with the New York Correction History Society's general secretary, Thomas McCarthy, at (212) 266-1016. Written requests may be mailed to him at 60 Hudson St., Room 608, New York, New York, 10013, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org but must include a callback phone number.
Stacy Horn of EchoNYC recently became NYCHS' first researcher when she completed the registration procedure and began making notes in the Research Reading Room as she perused the society's archival treasure, a 1872-1875 ledger book that recorded Hart Island Potter's Field burials, and other Hart Island-related materials.
Ms. Horn was welcomed by the society's curator, Deborah Kurtz, who as NYC Correction Deputy Commissioner for Training, Organizational Development and TEAMS has charge of the Correction Academy. Academy Captain Ralph Greenberg also greeted her.
A few days later Robin McDowell of the Associated Press became the NYCHS Archives' second registered researcher and was greeted by Correction Academy Deputy Warden Alonzo Davis.
In February, the third and fourth registered researchers, Hart Island historian Melinda Hunt and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism student Will Van Sant, became the Year 2000's first users of the society's archives research services at the Academy.
The Academy leadership and staff have made available space and resources assisting the society to mount and manage an archival program preserving historical materials for study and research.
With the exception of certain items that have come into the society's possession by direct donation to it, all materials being made available to researchers belong to the NYC Department of Correction or to the other correctional agencies that have placed them in the society's custody for preservation and presentation purposes.
All rights to those materials are retained by the agencies to whom they belong. The society's making the materials available for research does not constitute a waiver of those rights by the respective agencies.
The society has devised a set of Research Reading Room Rules and a research registration application procedure using as templates the Rules of the Research Room and the Research Room Registration Form of the Manuscripts and Special Collections section of the New York State Library and State Archives Research Services in the State Cultural Education Center, Albany.
In general, the rules and registration procedures are intended to safeguard the archival materials and establish the identity of each researcher given access to them.
The registration form and reading room rules are available in downloadable printable Adobe Acrobat format (see box above right).
Web page (HTML) versions also are available: