What's to come in 2013
The dedicated staff and volunteers of the Westchester County Archives are committed to continuing an excellent standard of service to the public and to building the collections of the Archives to make even more available at the Archives and online. Here are some things we look forward to accomplishing in 2013:
Improvements to the Digital Collections Web site: Currently we are in the process of updating the software for our Digital Collections Web site, and with the re-launch of that site, users will benefit from an improved image viewer and enhanced search functions. In addition to the new user interface, we also plan to add several new Digital Collections over the coming year:
Indexing of the Playland Phonograph Collection, ca. 1920s-1960s: This processed collection includes both 10 and 12 inch phonograph records from the 1920s through the 1960s that were played from the Playland Music Tower. It includes classical music as well as popular tunes, including a group of Hawaiian-themed music. We hope to finish indexing of this collection in 2013.
Online Indexing projects: We are still working hard to index our Surrogates records, Naturalization records (1927-1955), and our Incorporation records – keep checking back to see what has been added to the indexes. We also hope to finish indexing the Veteran Cemetery Index Cards by the end of 2013.
County Executive Records, ca. 1946-1961: Making the subject files from some of Westchester’s earliest County Executives available to researchers is at the top of our processing “to do” list for the year.
Box and Folder Lists Added to Series Descriptions: The start of 2013 also brings the completion of a long-term project to add Box and Folder lists to the Series Descriptions available online for many of the Archives’ collections. These lists greatly enhance researchers’ understanding of the records in any given collection by providing the names of the actual folders in that collection. This can speed up the research process when researchers visit the Reading Room, or aid in requesting research by mail. If a Box and Folder list is not provided online for a collection, it simply means that the records are organized in a strictly chronological or alphabetical manner.
Recent Acquisitions / Newly Processed Collections
With the assistance of members of the Volunteers in Archives program and archival student interns, the staff of the Archives made considerable progress in the second half of 2012 towards their goal of increasing the number of collections available to the public. Some of these newly available materials are:
Board of Legislators / Board of Supervisors Committee on Budget and Appropriations – Meeting Minutes, 1926, November 1928-1971, 1974-1976: This Committee’s work focuses on the approval or disapproval of monetary appropriations for various County government programs, projects, and committees, as well as other fiscally centered acts, such as allocations for the construction of roads and parkways, funding for the creation of Sanitary Sewer Districts, and financing for the construction and/or purchase of county buildings and parks.
Health Department: The Press Releases collection (Series 331), January 1994-October 2006, covers a wide variety of public health topics, including extensive coverage of the county’s response to the initial outbreak of West Nile virus in 2000. Similarly, the records of the Health Department’s Division of Public Health Education and Information (Series 332), 1984-2006 (bulk 1990s-2003), provide additional details on how the county dealt with West Nile virus, as well as Lyme disease, AIDS and other important public health issues.
Law Department Historical Records: Records from both the Law Department’s Litigation Bureau as well as County Attorney William Davidson (1915-1947) who was in office before the Law Department was officially created in 1937. Topics covered include taxes; county agreements and contracts; easements and exchange of lands; opinions for county departments; litigation matters; and drafts of laws and legislation for review by the County Board of Supervisors.
Planning Department / Peter Eschweiler materials: The Planning Board Meeting Materials collection (Series 338), 1939-1992 (bulk 1969-1992), primarily include packets prepared for use by the members of the Westchester County Planning Board for their meetings during the period 1969-1992. Some of the materials have handwritten notes and marginalia from Commissioner of Planning Peter Q. Eschweiler, who was commissioner from 1969-1991. In addition, supplementary material for two smaller collections also came out of the Peter Eschweiler materials: Interstate 684 Records, 1960-1967 (Series 23) and Courthouse Development Committee Records, 1915, 1948-1968 (Series 24).
Court Records: Five new collections have been added that document various courts in Westchester County. Now available for the County Court are the County Court Case Index, 1868-1933 (Series 341), County Court Registers, 1847-1911 (Series 337), and County Court Minutes, 1853-1911 (Series 342). In addition, there are new collections of Supreme Court Minutes from 1869-1916 (bulk 1869-1911) (Series 344) and Special Proceedings Registers from 1817-1911 (bulk 1847-1911) (Series 336).
Parks Department Marketing/Public Relations Subject Files 1967-2005 (bulk 1980s-1990s): This collection includes brochures, press releases, news clippings, brochures, flyers, and programs, along with some press packets, correspondence, mailing lists / invitee lists, contracts, licensee agreements, fact sheets, RFPs, and planning committee meeting minutes for a variety of events and activities hosted by the Parks Department at the end of the 20th century.