Note: Images provided with applications may be scans, photocopies or photographs, but must be readable. Please underline, highlight or otherwise indicate relevant text. 

  • Maps -include date and source of map; use multiple images, if needed.
  • US Federal, NY State and Local Government Census Records – must include copy of original document - with some exceptions, transcriptions alone are not considered primary source documents;* for federal and state censuses, include column information at top of page; for local government census records, include title, date and location of source. 
  • Newspaper Articles and Obituaries – created at the time event(s) occurred: include masthead with name and date of newspaper.
  • Atlases, Gazetteers, Directories and other publications – copy of page(s) relevant to marker text, including title page, publisher and publication date of source; please note that local history publications are rarely accepted as primary sources documentation.
  • Deeds, Wills, Probate Files, Inventories, Court Records and other government records – copy of the orignal document; with some exceptions, transcriptions alone or abstracts of deeds are not accepted.*
  • Letters, other correspondence – please provide copies of the entire letter or correspondence; with some exceptions, transcritions alone are not accepted.*
  • Journals, Ledgers, Church Records and Business Records (bound volumes)– copy of page(s) containing relevant information, including title page, cover or spine with author/owner’s name and date, if not appearing on page with information.

    *Some authorized transcriptions, such as Founders Online (, that have been collected, transcribed, annotated and reviewed by scholars are accepted.

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning the subject being researched. They are usually created at the time the events occurred. Examples include diaries, photographs, census records, deeds, legal filings, and newspaper reports published at the time of the event. Here’s a helpful link for determining if a source is primary:

Secondary sources analyze, report, summarize or interpret data. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Examples include reference books - such as encyclopedias and local history publications - textbooks, magazine articles, and newspaper articles analyzing past events. National Register of Historic Places nominations are considered secondary sources as the historical information they contain is not routinely verified by the historic preservation office.