Welcome to the Virtual Archives in Westchester County!

The Virtual Archives is an innovative website bringing history alive by presenting the best examples of Westchester’s government and private records online and at your fingertips. Here you will find estate records, minutes from the county's Board of Supervisors and local government sessions, poll lists, maps, assessment rolls, census records, newspaper articles, pictures, diaries, letters and all types of ephemera.

The Westchester County Archives, a unit within the Department of Information Technology, serves as the backbone and continuum of the Virtual Archives. The current online projects were developed in collaboration with the Westchester County Historical Society, the agency that serves as the Westchester County Historian and whose partnership with the Westchester County Archives is essential to this site. In addition, other local governments, libraries, museums and historical societies have supported the website with contributions of their own important primary source materials.

"Westchester County and the Civil War," the initial project, documents county life in the turbulent era of the 1860’s-- the everyday existence of its citizens, the wartime experiences of its soldiers, the perspective of its African American community, the contributions of its women volunteers, the special relationship of the county to President Lincoln and the role of its veterans.

The Virtual Archives’ second segment offers the "Historic American Engineering Record of the Bronx River Parkway Reservation." This documentation of the parkway's beginnings, compiled by the National Park Service, includes a thoroughly researched report of its origins as America's first public parkway, as well as 124 photographs – both historic and modern -- and 22 engineering drawings.

"Historical Treasures of Westchester County," the third offering, debuted with the presentation of the "Top 25" items from the collections of the Westchester County Archives and the Westchester County Historical Society. These documents were selected for their intrinsic value, uniqueness and/or historical relevance. This online exhibit and reference source continues to grow with the inclusion of special items from 24 county communities.

"The Army’s Century on Davids Island" documents the history of the New Rochelle island, from its earliest years when Native Americans fished along its shores to the Civil War years when De Camp General Hospital was located there to the vibrant military establishment that was Fort Slocum from the late 19th century through the two world wars and the Cold War era.

The fifth and most ambitious section of the Virtual Archives is "The Hudson River: A Voyage Through Time." It focuses on the Hudson River and its impact on the county’s development. There is even an opportunity to take a video voyage up the river from New York harbor to Peekskill in the year 1848.

One of the few government-sponsored, online archives in New York State, the Virtual Archives provides the public with immediate access to important historic documents that have often been difficult to locate. While these treasures of Westchester's unique history have been safeguarded, they are now also showcased in a user-friendly manner and catalogued for reference, encouraging a far deeper understanding of our past.

This site is maintained by Westchester County, NY
Dept. of Information Technology, Westchester County Archives & Records Center