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October 12, 2007


Facility Attracts Scholars From Around the World

NEW YORK, October 15, 2007 – The Dominican Archives at The City College of New York (CCNY) is the only one of its kind in the United States. It attracts scholars from all over the world to its unique collection of material related to the U.S. Dominican population.  

On October 22, the Archives will receive the 2007 Debra E. Bernhardt Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Documenting New York’s History from the New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Archives at a luncheon in Albany. The Archives, which were established in 2002 as part of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (DSI), are being recognized for “efforts to collect the records of key individuals and organizations in the Dominican community.”

“We are just exhilarated that the New York State Archives has acknowledged all the hard work that the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute has put into this groundbreaking initiative,” said Dr. Ramona Hernández, Director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. Dr. Hernández and Chief Archivist Idilio Gracia Peña will receive the award on behalf of the Dominican Archives at the October 22 luncheon.

People “come from as far as Germany and Norway and as close as New Jersey to learn about the history of people of Dominican ancestry in the United States, and particularly in New York City,” Dr. Hernández added. She praised Mr. Gracia Peña, a key figure in its creation, for developing it into a “world-class repository.

 “Don Gracia Peña has worked tirelessly since Day One in launching, sustaining and developing the Archives and its staff into an institutional outlet that has earned the respect and appreciation of professional archivists in both the U.S. and overseas,” Dr. Hernández noted.

A 1974 CCNY graduate with over 45 years experience in archives, library and records management, Mr. Gracia Peña is a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Records and Information Services (1990-1995). He was director of the New York City Municipal Archives (1978-1989) before that.

Mr. Gracia Peña said the Archives’ mission is to identify, appraise, access, process, preserve and provide access to archival materials that document the contributions and experience of the Dominican community in this country.

“It supplements and compliments the efforts of the Dominican Studies Institute’s library and research programs, greatly enriching the supply of primary source materials that it makes available to scholars, students and faculty in the area of Dominican studies,” he added.

Previous Bernhardt winners include the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College and the Marist College Archives and Special Collections.

For more information about the Dominican Archives at City College, please visit: .

About The City College of New York

For 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.