New York Records


Remote Reference Sessions

In April 2021, after a long year-plus with little to no outside access to the YIVO Archives, we launched a new pilot program. With the building closed to the public for the foreseeable future, we wanted to find a way to allow patrons to access materials remotely. Enter remote reference sessions.

Researchers can book appointments to meet with a YIVO archivist to view materials and discuss their needs. This way, no matter where you are in the world, you can have access to our collections.

The Sessions

We offer a few types of remote reference sessions. The most popular are document sessions, where researchers request materials. We use an overhead document camera to share archival materials and photograph whatever the researcher desires. These synchronous sessions allow us to discuss the patron’s needs in-depth, and allows the patron to ensure that the materials at hand are suitable for their needs. We can also explore different avenues together in real time, which is a much quicker and more productive process than doing so by email. All of these benefits are difficult to replicate by simply fulfilling digitization requests. After each session, we share a PDF of the photographs taken, any other materials that came up during the session, and a recording of the session, if the researcher opts to have one.

Types of Materials

About half of patrons are conducting family history research, so landsmanshaftn collections and yizkor book requests are common. Some are academics and PhD candidates doing research on anything from the history of the Yiddish PEN Club to Jewish herbalism to Holocaust photography to the fabulous hats of the Jewish literati of the Bronx. Some are artists, teachers, and writers using archival research to share history through various projects.

Book a session.



Start with this database which has records back to 1966. Earlier or additional records are going to require you to go to the property departments in each borough. The Municipal Archives folds property tax cards for properties as well but I believe they have to b ordered ie not available on site/



Link to blog of HIAS collection


Yivo-Vilna Document Folder


Over 1.3 million documents and books are already available for search online through the Vilna Collections web portal. This major project is one of combined effort between the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the Lithuanian Central State Archives LCVA, the Martynas Mazvydas National Library of Lithuania, and the Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Science. The past, once through to have been lost to the world of scholars and learned, is now becoming alive and enabling us to access it. The article, A Trove of Yiddish Artifacts, detailing the chilling past of protecting and discovering this rich collection appeared in the New York Times in January 2018

New York Vital Records and Indexes online

Naturalization records on

NYC Marriage Applications, Affidavits, Licenses Index, 1908-1995

NYC Marriage Records Search, 1829-1940

NYC Marriage Certificates 1866-1937

NYC Marriage License Index 1950-1995

NYC Birth Records Search, 1846-1909

NYC Birth Index in One-Step 1879-1909 (

NYC Geographic Birth Index Images 1880-1912 (ReclaimTheRecords)

NYC Geographic Birth Index Images 1880-1912 (

NYC Death Records Search, 1795-1949

NYC Death Certificates 1919-1948

New York State (not City) Birth Index images 1881-1942

New York State (not City) Marriage Index images 1881-1952

NY City Marriage Index 1950-2017

NY City Geographic Birth Index

New York Naturalization Records online

NY Eastern US District (Brooklyn) Naturalizations 1865-1958

NY Southern US District (Manhattan) Naturalizations

NY County Court Naturalizations 1791-1980

New York Cemeteries

Old Montefiore Cemetery - Springfield Gardens

New York Public Library

NYPL Catalog

Yizkor Books Online

New York Probate Records online

Kings County Probate

New York Probate

Choose County. Go to General Card Index.

Kings County Surrogate Court

2 Johnson St. Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone:

347-404-9700 Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Researcher: Allan Jordan

Someone already pointed out that the older probate records for Brooklyn are

scanned and on the site. Newer records from the 1920s on

(plus the older ones) are all stored in the basement at the Brooklyn Court

House. (2 Johnson St. Brooklyn, NY 11201). Only the fairly recent

records are scanned and on the computers at the Court House.

I do this research going to the court house for people. You have to get

the file number from the index and then fill out a request slip and in about

30 minutes or so they will bring the file to a desk where you can go through

it. You are free to read it and take notes. (The last time I went the

clerks were out sick so there was no one to do the retrievals that day ....

so you might want to call before you go.)

They have two rickety photocopies (one was broken the last time I was

there) in the room in Brooklyn and they are often monopolized by the

professional researchers and lawyers who are doing work there. They are coin

operated and last time the dollar bill reader was not working. I had my iPad

along and I asked the clerk and they had no objection to me taking pictures of

the documents. (I assume you could do it with any cell phone camera too

--- but you **cannot** take a camera digital or otherwise into the court house.

Go figure but that is how security works.)

At the court house (I will be showing examples in my presentation in

Boston) there is a card index to all the files both probate and administration.

It helps if you know the year the person died (especially if it is a

common name) because the index mostly just has names and dates. Only a few

cards have addresses and that's all you get to identify the person in the

index. Some records are on the computers as well but that is only newer