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1890 New York City Police Census: A Research Guide

A guide to understanding the alternative census conducted in New York City. Guide by Andy McCarthy.

1890 New York City Police Census: A Research Guide

The 1890 New York City police census is a difficult resource to access, and the contents are slim.  It is arranged by Assembly District, then Election District, then by address.  Digital availability is limited, and the records are incomplete no matter the format. 

Though the information provided in the 1890 NYC police census is inelaborate, the records are valuable as a substitute for the 1890 federal census, which was damaged in a 1921 fire and destroyed by the Department of Commerce in 1934. 

Use this guide to understand the scope and context of the 1890 NYC police census, and to learn the arrangement, use purposes, and format of these records.

For historical background on the 1890 NYC police census, see our blog post Manhattan Mistabulation: The Story of the 1890 New York City Police Census.