The NYSPCC Archives

The NYSPCC Archives is one of the nation’s most valuable repositories of original and compiled material on the origins, history and development of the child protection movement. The mission of the NYSPCC Archives is to arrange, preserve, and make accessible the unique records of the organization, including files concerning approximately two million New York City children during the period 1874 to present day.

Contact The NYSPCC'S Archivist View our Finding Aid Here

More Information On The NYSPCC Archive

The NYSPCC Archive Collection consists of NYSPCC annual reports containing a wealth of child protection statistics, newspaper clipping books concerning child protection issues including child labor and the theatre, selected cases such as the complete documentation of the Mary Ellen Case, practice manuals, forms, legislation, case files of any person who was the subject of an NYSPCC investigation, and miscellaneous artifacts.

This wealth of material has not only provided families with the means to reconnect with their roots, but has also been used by researchers to enrich documentaries, dissertations, biographies, histories, periodicals, and textbooks dealing with children’s rights around the globe.

From 1875 to 1950, nearly all reports of alleged child abuse, neglect, or abandonment in New York City were made to The NYSPCC. Records that may be on file include: residents of Manhattan and Marble Hill 1875-1950, Bronx residents west of the Bronx River 1975-1916, and non-resident children whose cases were reported in the above areas. Individuals researching their family genealogy may request information on individual case files from this period if they are persons who as children were the subjects of reports, relatives and descendants of such persons, legal representatives of such persons or their estates, or professionals engaged by any of the preceding individuals. Two levels of searches are offered:

  1. Family Search – $100 Flat Fee
    Provides a thorough search of The NYSPCC records and the identification of all relevant case files. A “Report of Basic Findings” is provided which summarizes the number of case records found, names and vital information of household members, and a brief statement regarding the nature of the case. If a substantial amount of material is discovered, an estimate is provided regarding the number of hours required to produce a “Comprehensive Family Report”
  2. Comprehensive Family Report – $50 per additional hour
    Individuals seeking a more thorough examination of materials may request a “Comprehensive Family Report”, this will include a detailed review and analysis of all relevant information contained in each record, noting or resolving discrepancies in vital information, and to the extent applicable, explaining procedures and identifying resources for further research.


To request an archival search, complete the following APPLICATION FORM.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use The NYSPCC's archival records?

The NYSPCC Archives have served as an invaluable resource for published works concerning the origins and history of child protection, the movement to regulate child performers, and for various local museum exhibitions.

Any person can use our records by looking over our finding aid and contacting the Archivist, Chelsea Frank, MLIS., at

Please view our Finding Aid at the Search the Collection page listed below.

Who may request and obtain Family Search request?

• Persons who as children were the subjects of reports

• Relatives and descendants of such persons

• Legal representatives of such persons or their estates

• Professionals engaged by any of the preceding individuals

To request a “Family Search”, complete the application form above and choose a payment option.

Whose records may be on file?

• Residents of Manhattan and Marble Hill 1875-1950

• Bronx residents west of the Bronx River 1875-1916

• Non-resident children whose cases were reported in the above areas

Please view our Finding Aid at the Search the Collection page listed below or contact our Archivist, Chelsea Frank MLIS., at for more information.


Click the links below to continue learning about The NYSPCC’s history or contact The NYSPCC Archivist at

Contact The Archives

Contact information for The NYSPCC Archivist and visiting policy.

Search the Collection

View The NYSPCC Archives Finding Aid and information on how to search the collection.

Historical Timeline

View the compelling story behind The NYSPCC’s founding and early history!

125th Anniversary Booklet

Click here to view The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's 125th Anniversary Booklet.

Need to Report Child Abuse?

Report Child Abuse