Unlikely Historians: Materials collected by NYPD surveillance teams, 1960-1975

On view at the Municipal Archives Gallery September 7, 2017 - February 28, 2018

Beginning in 1904 with the “Italian Squad’s” focus on anarchists and continuing to the present day, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has conducted surveillance of individuals and infiltrated organizations perceived as enemies of the status quo. At different periods, the focus was on immigrants, labor leaders, Nazi supporters, socialists, anarchists, and communists. In the process, they created a unique archive of political movements from a turbulent time. Drawn from the recently acquired NYPD Photo Unit and NYPD Inspectional Services Bureau collections, the exhibit covers groups arrayed along the political spectrum, including the Communist Party, Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, The American Renaissance Party, and Youth Against War and Fascism.