Legislative archives find a home at LaGuardia
by Andrew Pavia
May 15, 2013 | 559 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LaGuardia Community College is now home to many of the documents and photographs from the City Council's formidable archive. It contains records dating back to 1938, the largest portion of the which dates to between the 1970s and the mid-2000s.

Roughly half of the collection is already searchable on the archive’s website, while there are approximately 1,000 more boxes that are being preserved and indexed.

In 1985, then-speaker Peter Vallone, Sr. approached Dr. Richard Liberman, director of LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, and asked him to sift through the documents of the City Council that were stored in various warehouses throughout the city.

Liberman has been working for the past 27 years reviewing documents and photographs, organizing material and digitizing a large portion of the archives.

“The history of New York City, as ruled by the law of available data, was basically the mayoral history because documents chronicling the legislative history of the city were difficult to access,” said Liberman. “This archive now makes it possible to tell the story of the New York City Council.”

Vallone said that New York has historically been a benchmark for the rest of the country, making the archives an important asset for the rest of the country.

“All the things that you take for granted now took a lot of courage to do at the time,” said Vallone, noting the city's crack down on big tobacco and its groundbreaking laws outlawing sexual discrimination.

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