Before Splinter trained those Turtles, he worked for the City

freshwater2006's Flickr via CreativeCommons use

Last week Larry Weimer wrote a great blog post for the Brooklyn Historical Society, in which he documented a major BHS processing  project: the records of the Brooklyn Bureau of Sewers (ARC.235).

Larry explains a bit about the collection and it’s benefits to the community:

The bulk of the collection consists of the documents compiled by the Bureau of Sewers principally for the purpose of establishing the tax levy to be assessed on those connecting to newly-laid sewer lines from the late 19th century to about 1960. So in addition to information about the expanding sewerage infrastructure in Brooklyn, the collection also includes documents concerning property ownership and maps showing blocks, lots, streets, and sewer paths. In short, the collection can be useful to house and neighborhood researchers.

He’s not kidding either. According to the final tallies:

…The collection holds over 50 feet of documents sprawling across 109 oversize manuscript boxes, record cartons and flat boxes. The variety of material and the changes in sewerage administrative structures over the course of a century also make for a complex collection. We hope to enhance the description with a block level index to the content to make the collection more efficient to use.

The city’s history is one that may never stop evolving. The city-beneath-the-city is no exception, and provides another lifetime of research and discovery. Read more of Larry’s processing overview and/or view the collection’s on-line guide!


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