Historical Societies & Preservation Groups


 historical societies
& preservation groups

Bowery Alliance of Neighbors

A non-profit "working to protect… the historic character of NYC’s oldest street." Originally a native American trail, the Bowery has seminal links to tap dance, vaudeville, Yiddish theater, Abe Lincoln, Irving Berlin, Houdini, abstract expressionism, Beat literature and punk rock. The organization hosts walking tours and illustrated lectures.


Brooklyn Historical Society

Founded in 1863 as The Long Island Historical Society, BHS is a museum, library, archive and educational center, and now has an “annex” in DUMBO.


City Lore

Founded in 1986 to produce programs and publications that convey the richness of NYC's cultural heritage.


Bronx Historical Society

Founded in 1955, this private educational and cultural organization is the historical agency for The Bronx, dedicated to the collection, preservation, documentation and interpretation of the borough’s history and that of lower Westchester, from the 17th century to the present. BHS puts on exhibitions and other programs for the public, and has a research library with archives.


Center for Jewish History

A research center that offers public programs and resources for educators.


Fenimore Art Museum

Formerly the New York State Historical Association. Founded in 1899, the organization boasts a large collection for researchers, provides resources to educators, and publishes the scholarly journal New York History.


East Harlem Preservation

A volunteer advocacy organization founded in 2005 to promote, preserve, and protect the neighborhood's cultural, architectural and environmental history.


Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts

In addition to safeguarding the UES's six historic districts and 125 individual landmarks, Friends seeks to maintain and improve zoning laws governing the area. Their website includes maps and brief descriptions of historical districts, and links to other preservation and landmark resources.

Greater Astoria Historical Society

A community organization, chartered in 1985, dedicated to preserving the past and promoting Long Island City's future. We host field trips, walking tours,slide presentations, and guest lectures to schools and the public, focusing on the neighborhoods of old Long Island City: the Village of Astoria, Ravenswood, Steinway, Hunters Point, Sunnyside, and Dutch Kills.


Hispanic Genealogy Society of New York

The society is still working towards establishing a library and research center in Manhattan, where their extensive collection of reference publications and research materials will be housed.

Jackson Heights Beautification Group

Preservation and landmark information about this historic Brooklyn neighborhood just 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan.


Landmark West!

A non-profit working to preserve the best of the Upper West Side's architectural heritage from 59th to 110th Streets between Central Park West and Riverside Drive. Since 1985 it has worked to achieve landmark status for individual buildings and historic districts.

Municipal Art Society

A private, non-profit membership organization that aggressively champions excellence in urban design and planning and the preservation of the best of New York's past.

New Netherland Institute

The world’s largest collection of original documentation of the Dutch West India Company and its New World Colonies, housed at the New York State Library and State Archives. The organization sponsors publications, talks, research, awards, digital exhibits, and other resources, as well.


New York Irish History Roundtable

Promotes interest in and research on the 300-year history of the Irish in NYC. It sponsors lectures, fieldtrips, walking tours, special projects, graduate and undergraduate scholarships, museum exhibitions, genealogy workshops, newsletters, and an annual journal, "New York Irish History." Its members include both professional and amateur historians and genealogists. Membership is open to all.

New York Genealogical and Biographical Society


Newtown Historical Society

New-York Historical Society

Queens Historical Society

As the historical society for the largest borough in NYC. QHS publishes a quarterly newsletter and offers a regular series of lectures, programs and slide presentations. In addition, the Society cooperates closely with local preservation groups and historical societies.


Preservation League of New York State

Historical preservation resources and information about NYC and the state at large. Website has many history / preservation links.

Preservation League of Staten Island

Richmond Hill Historical Society


Sandy Ground Historical Society

The oldest continuously inhabited free black settlement in the United States.

Tottenville Historical Society


Union Square Community Coalition

Formed in 1980 to advocate for the rehabilitation of the historic park and to work with NYC in its re-design. That accomplished, the organization continues its historic preservation and landmarking activities in the area.


Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation

Public lectures, tours, exhibits, publications, and a school program that teaches children about Greenwich Village history and architecture.

Historic Districts Council

The only city-wide grassroots organization singularly dedicated to these communities and the Landmarks Law that protects them.


Historic House Trust of NYC

Works with the Parks Department and the nonprofit boards of each of the twenty-three historic houses in the city's park system, to restore, interpret, and promote the sites, which span 350 years of city life.

Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History

An independent non-profit research center devoted to collecting, preserving, and disseminating information relating to colonial New York under English rule. At the core of the Institute are the Jacob Leisler Papers, which contain over 4,000 records relating to five generations of Leisler’s immediate family from 1550 to 1800; court records and administrative papers from Leisler’s government, as well as family-related property deeds and trade transactions, and political writings. In addition, the collection contains papers of Leisler’s sons-in-law Jacob Milborne, Abraham Gouverneur, Robert Walter, Joachim Staats, Barent Rynders, and Thomas Lewis, and materials pertaining to the related Bayard, Schaats, Cuyler, Edsall, Stevens, Pasco, Noxon, Mauritz (Morris), Vaughton, Wendell, Schuyler, Kennedy, Myer, Provoost, and Richards families.


Lower East Side Conservancy

A group dedicated to the preservation, stewardship, and promotion of the LES as the cradle of Jewish cultural life in America. Its focus is "to preserve, enhance and support the Lower East Side's body of historic buildings, including its architecturally, culturally and religiously-significant living synagogues; also to raise public awareness of the Lower East Side's distinct cultural identity as both an historic and present-day Jewish community."

Lower East Side History Project

A non-profit dedicated to researching, documenting and preserving the history of the greater Lower East Side.


Neighborhood Preservation Center

A place where locals can meet, strategize, and exchange information on preservation, sponsored by the Historic Districts Council, St. Mark's Historic Landmark Fund, and Greenwich Village Society for Preservation. There is an online resource database and library as well.

New York Correction History Society

Documents, photos, and other information related to New York prisons since 1625.

Place in History

A nonprofit founded in 1997 that examines urban development, decay, and redevelopment through community-based public art and public history projects.


Queens Council on the Arts

Providing services to cultural organizations and individual artists in Queens. Website includes resources and listings of cultural events in or about the borough.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society


Weeksville Heritage Center

An historical group dedicated to preserving the four remaining structures of what was once the free black community of Weeksville in Brooklyn in the early nineteenth century. Their website has a brief outline of the settlement's history.