Original XLS files, as provided by the City ...

URL: https://archive.org/download/nycmarriageindex_1950-1995_data_xls/nyc_marriage_index_-_1950-1995_-_original_XLS_files_from_City_Clerks_Office.zip

This is the index to marriage licenses for 1950-1995 filed in New York City, presented in a zip archive of six .XLS (Microsoft Excel) spreadsheet files. This index was originally kept by the New York City Clerk's Office, used as their in-house database.

In late December 2015, the not-for-profit activist group Reclaim the Records made a New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request asking for a copy of this data. The New York City Clerk's Office refused to answer the FOIL request in a timely manner, and were therefore eventually named in a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York in March 2016. The City eventually settled with Reclaim The Records in September 2016, and provided the data that was requested, as well as reimbursing their attorneys fees.

The data that the City Clerk's Office eventually provided were in the form of six .XLS (Microsoft Excel) spreadsheet files, one for each borough of the City but two for Manhattan, which had the most records. Each file had multiple sheets within them, and the files had many data format and content problems.

Reclaim The Records turned the six .XLS files into five cleaned-up and concatenated .CSV files. They also loaded those five CSV files into a MySQL database with five tables, one for each borough of New York City. An auto-incrementing 'id' field was added to each of the five tables, as there was no unique or primary key in the files previously. This download represents a zip archive of the original six .XLS files, untouched. They're presented here for public use, but you'd probably be better served starting with the slightly less messy CSV or SQL versions instead.

These original XLS files, the cleaned-up CSV files, and the SQL database file are all in the public domain as public documents. There are no restrictions on their use. Feel free to republish them, use them in projects, for personal research, or anything else you'd like.

To learn more about the backstory about the NY FOIL request that led to the first public release of these files, and to read the original court documents and settlement papers, click here: https://www.reclaimtherecords.org/records-request/2/ .

Thanks go to our attorneys at the New York City law firm Rankin & Taylor, for taking our case and seeing it through to its successful outcome.

To learn more about Reclaim The Records, check out our website and sign up for our free e-mail newsletter, follow us on Twitter at @ReclaimTheRecs, or Like us on Facebook:

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Additional Information

Field Value
Last updated October 18, 2016
Created October 18, 2016
Format XLS
License Other (Public Domain)
created11 months ago
formatXLS
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package id512b48d5-b746-4698-b5a6-f182d63a6135
revision id6fb9f314-399d-4a39-81f4-107544c0ed43
stateactive