3 Million Pounds of History

A great profile in the New York Times of the trials, travails, and impressive holdings of the Municipal Archives of the City of New York.

The collection — three million pounds of material, ranging from the original 1654 Dutch sales slip for the purchase of Coney Island, to a trove of stereoscopic Victorian pornography assembled by an antivice crusader — has weathered centuries of profound neglect. It has been appallingly lodged in a succession of makeshift spaces, including a city pier and the attic of a fire-prone pizza parlor. . .an improbable thing has happened as archivists have made these records available to scholars in recent years: New York City\'s history has been rewritten.

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