Governor's Press Release - 1997
When the concept of a statewide focus each November on the History of the State of New York was proposed, legislators looked within existing law to find the most natural and effective place to establish this new program.
Arts and Cultural Affairs Law seemed the logical place, as Article 57 of that law already described the functions of the Office of State History, now part of the New York State Museum. Included among these functions were various statewide programs focused on New York State History, the position of State Historian, and responsibility for a network of local government historians in each borough, town and county of the State.
Being within the State Education Department, these programs and mandates also had the potential of promoting the school-linked orientation stated in the body of the new law.
And so it was that the language of the new program (see below) was inserted into the existing language of Article 57 as a new Section 57.02.
DIVISIONS OF HISTORY AND PUBLIC RECORDS
- 57.01. Office of state history.
- 57.02. New York state history month.
- 57.03. Functions of the office of state history.
- 57.05. State archives.
- 57.07. Local historian; appointment; maintenance of historical edifices.
- 57.09. Duties of local historian.
- 57.11. Penalty.
§ 57.01. Office of state history. There shall be in the education
department the office of state history.
§ 57.02. New York state history month.
1. Each month of November
following the effective date of this section shall be designated as New
York state history month.
2. The purpose of this month shall be to celebrate the history of New
York state and recognize the contributions of state and local historians.
3. The commissioner of education, through the office of state history
is hereby authorized to undertake projects to recognize New York state
history month. Such projects may include the creation of an essay
contest for state residents who are enrolled in any elementary or
secondary education program which shall reflect upon the importance of
New York state history. Any project or projects created pursuant to this
subdivision may, in the discretion of the commissioner of education,
authorize non-monetary awards to be given to project participants or
project winners as such commissioner may deem appropriate.