The Municipal Reference and Research Center is Born: New York’s Municipal Library in the late 1960s

Mia Bruner


Recently the news site Democracy Now! featured a story titled “NYPD Surveillance Unveiled: City Claims to Lose Docs on 1960s Radicals, Then Finds 1 Million Records.”1 The segment describes Baruch College professor Johanna Fernández’s efforts to access records of New York Police Department (NYPD) surveillance of radical organizations in the 1960s and 1970s. In the early 2000s, Fernández began her search for this material but encountered a major obstacle when the city of New York claimed it had lost them. Sixteen years later, the city contacted Fernández to inform her that these documents were in fact not lost and had been found with more than 520 boxes of related materials in a warehouse in Queens. 

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