New York Archival Society Letter to Mayor Bloomberg
Regarding the Giuliani Papers
February 22, 2002
The Honorable Michael J. Bloomberg
Mayor The City of New York
City Hall, New York 10007
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:
The New York Archival Society is writing in opposition to the contract negotiated
between former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the Department of Records and
Information Services. This agreement trans-fers his official mayoral papers to
the Rudolph W. Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs, Inc., a private insti-tute,
instead of to the City's Municipal Archives. The contract empowers private
individuals to make deci-sions regarding the disposal, retention, and access of
public records instead of city officials as required by the City Charter.
The Department of Records and Information Services is required to accession,
preserve and make available all archival materials generated by the city
government. It is also required, under Chapter 72, sec-tion 3004 (3) (b) of the
City Charter, to "initiate actions in replevin to recover any historical and/or
other documents properly owned by, or originating from the city of New York". By
allowing the records to be transferred to a private institute, the Department
became part of the problem it was supposed to solve.
The New York Archival Society is not opposed to the establishment of mayoral
libraries or the transfer of copies of archival records provided that such copies
are properly obtained after the Municipal Archives becomes the official owner.
The Society unequivocally contends that mayoral papers are public records and not
the personal property of public officials and belong in the Municipal Archives.
Further-more, the Society believes that the contract sets a bad precedent and is
detrimental to the City's archival program.
For these reasons, the New York Archival Society respectfully requests that you
instruct the De-partment of Records and Information Services to take the
necessary steps to recover these records, within the ninety days stipulated by
the contract, as required by the City Charter. Please, do not allow even a small
fraction of such an important segment of our City's history to disappear.
The New York Archival Society wants to take this opportunity to congratulate you
on your election as Mayor of this great city and commend your "open government
concept". We also want to thank you in advance for your consideration and
understanding. If you require more information please contact the New York
Archival Society, at the above address.
Sincerely, Ann Phillips