Arts and Cultural Affairs Law
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
- 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 histori-
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.
§ 57.03. Functions of the office of state history.
It shall be the
function of the office of state history:
1. To collect, edit and publish, with the approval of the commissioner of education, any archives, records, papers or manuscripts
that are deemed essential or desirable for the preservation of the
2. To prepare and publish, with the approval of the commissioner of
education, or assist in the preparation and publication of, works
relating to the history of the colony and state of New York.
3. To acquire, administer, preserve, exhibit, interpret, and, in
conformity with the regulations of the commissioner of education, to
loan, exchange or dispose of historical objects of personal property
relating to the history of the colony and state of New York; and to
advise any state agency, board, commission, office, civil subdivision,
institution, organization, or individual on the acquisition,
administration, preservation, exhibition, interpretation, and dis-
position of historical objects.
4. To perform the functions of the state education department set
forth in section 19.11 of the parks, recreation and historic
preservation law with respect to historic sites under the jurisdiction
of the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation; and to
advise and assist any political subdivision of the state and any
institution, organization or individual concerning the designation,
acquisition, administration, interpretation, use and disposition of any
historic site, property or place relative to the history of the colony
and state of New York, and to coordinate educational programs and
projects at such historic sites or properties.
5. To advise and assist any state agency, board, commission, office,
civil subdivision, institution or organization in the planning and
execution of any commemorative event relating to the history of the
colony and state of New York or New York`s participation in
commemorative events outside of the state.
6. To perform other functions or duties assigned the office by the
commissioner of education.
§ 57.05. State archives.
1. There shall be continued within the
education department the state archives. The state archives shall
acquire, appraise, preserve either in original or duplicate form,
catalog, display, duplicate and make available for reference and use by
state officials and others those official records that have been
determined to have sufficient historical value or other value to warrant
their continued preservation by the state.
2. For the purposes of this section, official records shall include
all books, papers, maps, photographs, or other documentary materials,
regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by any
agency of the state or by the legislature or the judiciary in pursuance
of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and
preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its
legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions,
policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities, or
because of the information contained therein.
3. Library or museum material made or acquired and preserved solely
for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents
preserved only for convenience of reference, and stocks of publications
and of processed documents shall not be deemed to constitute official
records for the purposes of this section.
4. Except as otherwise provided by law, the state archives shall
acquire and assume the official custody and responsibility for pre-
serving and making available for reference and use those official
records of the legislature, the judiciary and the civil departments of
the state government which are deemed to have sufficient historical
value or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the
5. The state archives shall acquire and assume the official custody
and responsibility for preserving and making available for reference and
use the official records of any public office, body or board now
extinct, or hereafter becoming extinct, which are deemed to have
sufficient historical value, or other value to warrant their continued
preservation by the state, if the custody and preservation of such
records are not otherwise provided for by law.
6. The state archives may accept records, or copies of records, of a
municipal, district or public benefit corporation, providing the records
have sufficient historical significance to warrant continued
preservation by the state.
7. The commissioner of education may request the attorney general to
institute legal action for the return to the custody of the state of any
record which has not legally been released from state custody.
8. The state archives may duplicate records in its custody, and
certify under its own official seal to the authenticity of the copies of
such records. The state archives with the approval of the commissioner
of education and in accordance with existing state statutes may dispose
of original records in its custody that have been duplicated.
9. The commissioner of education shall have the power to promulgate
rules and regulations to carry out the purposes of this section,
providing no objection to those rules and regulations is made within
thirty days prior to the effective date of the proposed rules and
regulations by the following: the speaker of the assembly for rules and
regulations relating to the records of the assembly; the president
pro-tem of the senate for rules and regulations relating to the records
of the senate; the director of the division of the budget for rules and
regulations relating to records of the civil departments; and the chief
administrator of the courts for rules and regulations relating to
records of the judiciary.
11. The state archives shall establish a state records center consisting
of one or more depositories for nonpermanent storage of state records
and shall be responsible for the preservation and disposal of such
records. Solely for the purposes of carrying out his record-keeping
functions, the commissioner of education shall be empowered:
(a) To assume responsibility for the physical possession, storage,
servicing and preservation of state agency records accepted into the
state records center, and for the security of the information contained
in or on them. State records stored with the state archives shall for
all purposes be deemed to be within the possession, custody and control
of the agency that transferred such records.
(b) To authorize the disposal or destruction of state records including
books, papers, maps, photographs, microphotographs or other documentary
materials made, acquired or received by any agency. At least forty days
prior to the proposed disposal or destruction of such records, the
commissioner of education shall deliver a list of the records to be
disposed of or destroyed to the attorney general, the comptroller and
the state agency that transferred such records. No state records listed
therein shall be destroyed if within thirty days after receipt of such
list the attorney general, comptroller, or the agency that transferred
such records shall notify the commissioner of education that in his
opinion such state records should not be destroyed.
(c) To agree to the deposit of noncurrent state records in the state
(d) To review plans submitted by state agencies for management of their
records and to make recommendations thereupon to the head of the state
agency and the director of the division of the budget.
(e) To inquire into the condition, character, amount and method of
keeping such records.
(f) To develop and implement a comprehensive and ongoing training
program in records management for all state agencies.
(g) To provide technical assistance in records management for state
(h) To provide for the transfer of such records having archival value
from the state records center to the state archives for their permanent
(i) To develop and implement a fee schedule, to be adopted by the board
of regents pursuant to rules and regulations adopted in conformity with
the state administrative procedure act, to support records management
activities subject to the following:
(j) To promulgate such other regulations as are necessary to carry out
the purposes of this subdivision.
- the fee schedule may be changed only once in any twelve month
- after the initial fee schedule is established by the board of
regents, proposed changes to said schedule must be included in the
annual budget request submitted to the director of the budget. Such
amended fee schedule shall not become effective until enactment of the
budget submitted annually by the governor to the legislature in
accordance with article seven of the constitution, and shall generate
revenues consistent with appropriations contained therefor within such
budget and sufficient to cover anticipated expenditures for the period
for which such fees shall be effective.
§ 57.07. Local historian; appointment; maintenance of historical
1. A local historian shall be appointed, as provided in this
section, for each city, town or village, except that in a city of over one
million inhabitants a local historian shall be appointed for each borough
therein instead of for the city at large; and a county historian may be
appointed for each county. Such historian shall be appointed as follows:
For a city, by the mayor; for a borough, by the borough president; for a
town, by the supervisor; for a village, by the mayor; for a county, by the
board of supervisors. Such historian shall serve without compensation,
unless the governing board of the city, town, village or county for or in
which he or she was appointed or in the city of New York, the mayor, shall
otherwise provide. In a city having a board of estimate, other than the
city of New York, a resolution or ordinance establishing compensation or
salary for such historian shall not take effect without the concurrence of
such board. Each local government historian shall promote the establishment
and improvement of programs for the management and preservation of local
government records with enduring value for historical or other research;
encourage the coordinated collection and preservation of nongovernmental
historical records by libraries, historical societies, and other
repositories; and carry out and actively encourage research in such records
in order to add to the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the
community`s history. The local authorities of the city, town, village or
county for which such historian is appointed, may provide the historian
with sufficient space in a safe, vault or other fire proof structure for
the preservation of historical materials collected. Such local authorities
and also the board of supervisors of each of the counties of the state are
hereby authorized and empowered to appropriate, raise by tax and expend
moneys for historical purposes within their several jurisdictions,
including historical edifices, the erection of historical markers and
monuments, the collection of war mementos, and, either alone or in
cooperation with patriotic or historical organizations, the preparation and
publication of local histories and records and the printing and issuing of
other historical materials in aid of the work of the local historian.
2. Such local authorities and also the board of supervisors of each of
the counties of the state are hereby authorized and empowered, in their
discretion, to contract with the trustees of an historical association for
the support of any or all historic edifices situated within the boundaries
of such municipality; or may share the cost of maintaining the same as
agreed with other municipal bodies; or may contract with the trustees of
such historical associations to maintain said historic edifices for public
use under such terms and conditions as may be stated in such contract. The
amount agreed to be paid for such use under such contract shall be a charge
upon the municipality and shall be paid in the same manner as other
municipal charges, except in a city having a board of estimate, other than
the city of New York, such contracts and any payments made thereunder shall
be approved by such board of estimate. In the city of New York, such
contracts and any payments thereunder shall be approved by the mayor.
3. Such local authorities are hereby authorized to establish and collect
reasonable charges to defray the cost of searching for and reproducing
copies of written or printed historical materials collected.
§ 57.09. Duties of local historian.
It shall be the duty of each local
historian, appointed as provided in the last section, in cooperation with
the state historian, to collect and preserve material relating to the
history of the political subdivision for which he or she is appointed, and
to file such material in fireproof safes or vaults in the county, city,
town or village offices. Such historian shall examine into the condition,
classification and safety from fire of the public records of the public
offices of such county, city, town or village, and shall call to the
attention of the local authorities and the state historian any material of
local historic value which should be acquired for preservation. He or she
shall make an annual report, in the month of January, to the local
appointing officer or officers and to the state historian of the work which
has been accomplished during the preceding year. He or she shall, upon
retirement or removal from office, turn over to the local county, city,
town or village authorities, or to his or her successor in office, if one
has been then appointed, all materials gathered during his or her
incumbency and all correspondence relating thereto. It shall be the duty
of the county historian to supervise the activities of the local historians
in towns and villages within the county in performing the historical work
recommended by the state historian, and also to prepare and to present to
the board of supervisors a report of the important occurrences within the
county for each calendar year. The state historian, at regular intervals,
not less than once a year, shall indicate to the local historians the
general lines along which local history material is to be collected.
§ 57.11. Penalty.
A public officer who refuses or neglects to perform
any duty required of him by this article or to comply with a recommendation
of the commissioner of education under the authority of this article,
shall for each month of such neglect or refusal, be punished by a fine of
not less than twenty dollars.
Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Law
§ 19.11 Functions of education department. Upon the
request of the commissioner, the following functions relating to
identification, restoration and educational interpretation of
historic sites and places of historic interest shall be performed
by the education department:
1. Preparation of interpretative literature, the texts of
signs and markers, exhibition, and other presentations designed
to utilize the educational potential of historic sites.
2. Advising the office with respect to the custody, use,
cataloguing, restoration and control of original documents and
objects (such as furniture, paintings, equipment, records,
drawings, manuscripts and maps) having unique historic
significance. The office may assign to the education department,
and the education department may accept, custody and control of
any such original documents or objects.
3. Evaluation of the historic significance of historic
sites, historic site development projects and places of historic
interest; and advising the office with respect to the
restoration, interpretation and use thereof. The office shall
request the evaluation of the education department before
approving the acquisition of an historic site or the undertaking
of an historic site development project.
4. Such other functions relating to the identification,
restoration and educational interpretation of historic sites as
may be agreed upon between the office and the education
OFFICERS; GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 400. Officers; manner of selection; term;
§ 400. Officers; manner of selection; term; vacancies.
4. (a) Appointive. There shall continue to be appointed in the manner prescribed by law a clerk of the board of supervisors, a county attorney, county superintendent of highways, sealer of weights and measures and county historian. The board of supervisors may by local law provide for the appointment of additional county officers, define their powers and duties not inconsistent with law, and fix the term of their office. No officer appointed for a fixed term shall be removed by the board during his term without written charges and the opportunity to be heard.
5. Certificate of election or appointment. Upon filing in the office of the county clerk a certificate of election or appointment of any officer, together with the oath of office and official undertaking prescribed by law, the county clerk shall execute and deliver to such officer a certificate stating that he or she has duly qualified and is entitled to assume the duties of his or her office. On or before the tenth day of January in each year and thereafter within five days after any subsequent appointment is made, the clerk of the board of supervisors shall file in the office of the county clerk a certificate showing the names of all officers of the county appointed by the board and the amount of the official undertaking, if any, required in each case. On or before the fifteenth day of January in each year and thereafter within five days after any person is elected or appointed to any office within the county, the county clerk shall file in the office of the executive department of the state a certificate showing the name of each person so elected or appointed who has duly qualified and, within the same time periods, file the name of any person appointed to the office of director of real property tax services with the state board of real property services.
6. Notice of vacancy in office. Within ten days after any vacancy occurs as prescribed by section thirty of the public officers law, the county clerk shall give notice thereof to the governor when the power of appointment is vested in the governor and to the board of supervisors when the power of appointment is vested in said board.
7. Filling of vacancies. Except as hereinafter provided, a vacancy in an elective county office, shall be filled by the governor by appointment and for the office of sheriff with the advice and consent of the senate if in session. When a vacancy shall occur, otherwise than by expiration of term in the office of county judge, surrogate, or judge of the family court, it shall be filled for a full term at the next general election held not less than three months after such vacancy occurs and, until the vacancy shall be so filled, the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate, if the senate shall be in session, or, if the senate not be in session, the governor may fill such vacancy by an appointment which shall continue until and including the last day of December next after the election at which the vacancy shall be filled. A vacancy in the office of coroner shall be filled by the board of supervisors. Such officer shall hold office until and including the thirty-first day of December succeeding the first annual election at which the vacancy can be filled by election. A person appointed to fill a vacancy in an office named in the constitution shall receive the same compensation that was fixed for the office for the most recent elective term. The board of supervisors shall fill any vacancy in an appointive county office for the unexpired term as prescribed by law.
1. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the board of supervisors may authorize any officer of the county paid from county funds or the head of any department to appoint one or more deputies, who shall perform such duties not inconsistent with law as shall be assigned to them by the appointing officer. In the event an authorized officer or department head fails to appoint one or more deputies and the authorized officer or department head is disabled for a period greater than thirty days, the board of supervisors may appoint such a deputy who shall possess the powers and perform the duties of the principal until the disability is removed or until a successor is elected or appointed and has qualified.
2. If there be but one deputy, he shall possess the powers and perform the duties of his principal during the absence or inability of his principal to act. If there be more than one deputy, the principal shall designate in writing and file in the office of the county clerk and of the clerk of the board of supervisors the order in which they are to serve during his absence or inability to act.
3. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the principal, such deputy, or the deputy so designated, shall possess the powers and perform the duties of his principal until the disability is removed, or, in case of a vacancy, until a successor is elected or appointed and has qualified. If no designation shall have been made and filed, the senior deputy shall act.
4. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the principal, the board of supervisors may require such deputy to furnish an official undertaking in an amount fixed by such board and approved as provided in this chapter, and upon default thereof, said board of supervisors shall have the power to designate another employee in such office or department as the acting principal officer, who upon executing and filing such undertaking shall have and exercise the powers and duties of the office until a successor is elected or appointed and has qualified.