May 27, 2022

New Online: New York City Municipal Archives Digitizes Materials From Early Colonial “New Amsterdam” (1647-1674) Collections

From the New York City Municipal Archive:

The Municipal Archives has digitized early colonial collections. Ordinances drawn from the Records of New Amsterdam for the period 1647-1661 and their corresponding translations are now available at

Digitizing the records and posting them online are the first steps in making the City Archives more accessible.

These 17th century documents show the foundation of City government. There are several ordinances regulating the sale of alcohol, the price of bread, and the maintenance of chimneys and fireplaces. The records also depict tensions in the new settlement, prohibiting the sale of alcohol to the native people but also prohibiting traders from going inland to fraudulently trade with the natives.

Calling the digitization project “inspired”, Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World urges viewers to “Roam through these documents – in the 17th century originals or in the 19th century English translations” and notes that “a realization dawns on you: New York was New York right from the start.”

Direct to Digital Collection: New Amsterdam Collections, 1647-1674

Coverage: City posts 17th century manuscripts from when New York was New Amsterdam online (via NYDN)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.