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Protest Letters

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


Campaign to Keep Former Mayor Giuliani's Papers public

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Add your Name to the Petition | Press Conference, Feb. 6, 2002 | Protest Letters | News Articles | Testimony at the Feb. 20, 2002 City Council Hearing |
Defending the archives contract: Saul Cohen, President, Rudy Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs