The Dominican Archives was established in 2002 as a repository of archival materials that documents the experience and contributions of the Dominican population in the United States. Initial funding for the establishment of the Dominican Archives was provided by the New York State Archives Documentary Heritage Program (DHP). The DHP grant made it possible for the Institute to hire renowned archivist Idilio Gracia Peña as an archives consultant to prepare a feasibility study and action plan to establish the archives; conduct an archives survey of Dominican organizations and civic leaders to uncover extant archival materials generated by the New York Dominican population; and to accession, preserve and make available such materials. Mr. Gracia Peña, a professional archivist with over fifty years of experience in archives, library, and records management, was subsequently appointed Chief Archivist of the Dominican Archives. In 2007, the Dominican Studies Institute was awarded the Debra E. Berhardt Annual Archives Award, for Excellence in Documenting New York History, by the Board of Regents and The New York State Archives.
New York City Council Funding
November 2004 marks the most important milestone in the history of the CUNY DSI Archives and Library with the receipt of a $1.407 million dollar capital funding allocation from the New York City Council for the construction of a new repository to house the archives and library collections. The new space also includes a multipurpose reference/exhibition space, and administrative/processing areas. In addition to the City Council funding, the City College of New York provided a total of 2,950 square feet of prime space adjacent to College's Cohen Library.
Archives and Library Repository
The archives and library repository, which became operational in 2008 after the construction of a new facility, consists of: a climate-controlled storage area for archives and library collections; a processing area to arrange and catalogue archives and library materials; and a multi-purpose research, gallery and activities area that also provides access to the archives and library collections; provides an exhibit area for archives and library materials to be displayed; and serves as an area to conduct lectures, symposia and events. The multi-purpose area has also been designated as the CUNY DSI Gallery for exhibitions of art by and about people of Dominican descent.
The multi-purpose area includes an audiovisual system as well as computers, microfilm and photocopying equipment for use by researchers interested in the history of the Dominican population. The repository has been outfitted with modern equipment available for the preservation and service of archival materials, and to meet the programmatic needs of the Archives and the Library.