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Posted on: November 2, 2023

City Is Digitizing More Historical Records

Historical Documents website

City officials have received a $50,000 grant from the New York State Archives to digitize more historical records.

The city secured the grant through the Chamberlain’s office, which is responsible for the city’s Office of Vital Statistics.

Records digitization preserves the integrity of Poughkeepsie’s historical documents, provides a searchable database for more efficient records requests and creates a more user-friendly experience for residents and employees. This months-long project will improve the efficiency and accuracy of the city’s record retrieval capabilities and, most importantly, maintain the integrity and preservation of historical records for future generations.

 At this moment, the Office of Vital Statistics  no longer has records on site for retrieval and all vital records are being processed by appointment only. All birth and death records between 1882-2003 and marriage records between 1882-2023 will be digitized and requests for those records will have a waiting period of at least 48 hours for retrieval. Birth and death records between 2004 to present are unaffected by this change as they are already digitized. Marriage certificates from 1998 to present are available but not the marriage licenses.

The city is partnering with InStream, a New York State Archives designated preferred source imaging and document management consulting firm. The retention schedule of the records has been developed following the city’s Common Council adoption of New York State Archives standards. 

Over time, the city’s review of its digitization needs will extend beyond the City Chamberlain’s office to include Corporation Counsel and the Finance Department. These departments will engage in a multi-year process of records conversion pending funding availability. The City Chamberlain’s office has been given priority by the City Administration, as their services (and access to the birth, death and marriage records) involve the largest requests from, and contact with, the public. In 2022 alone, the public requested more than 17,000 vital records.

 Once the project commences in December and until its conclusion in the summer of 2024, to  request your birth, marriage or death record, go  to website link,  email the Chamberlain's Office at or call 845-451-4200 to make an appointment. You will be asked to provide the name and type of record you are requesting and the corresponding date. The office will process your request within 72 hours and contact you when the record is ready for retrieval.

 The city received the funds through the New York State Archives Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund.


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