An artist, a community collaboration and nonprofit charitable organization assisting families across the globe to relocate a diverse, international community of people who disappeared in New York City.
The City Cemetery occupies 101 acres in the Long Island Sound on the eastern edge of New York City. It is the largest tax funded cemetery in the world. Prison labor is used to perform the daily mass burials that now number over 850,000. Relatives must enter the prison system to visit the grave of a baby. There is no map of the burials and no one is permitted to visit a specific grave. The Department of Correction restricts visitation to those who can document the burial of a family member buried on Hart Island. Records at this location consist of intact mass graves since 1980.
The mission of the Hart Island Project is to make the largest cemetery in the United States visible and accessible so that no one is omitted from history. The process of reclaiming the identities of those buried is a global, community effort. Volunteers entered data from pages acquired through Freedom of Information Law. Many older records were destroyed in a fire on Hart Island in 1977. Some surviving records are available:
CITY CEMETERY, 1881-1950'S
Ledger volumes recording burials in the City Cemetery on Hart Island, a.k.a. "Potter's Field."
The ledger records the name of the deceased, date of death, date of burial, place of death, cause of death, and place of burial (trench and grave number). These records are not indexed. Stillborn and premature baby deaths are recorded separately.
The ledgers have been microfilmed (this series is not available for inter-library loan). The entries are arranged chronologically; they are not indexed by name.