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Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.
Its charter is possibly the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere.
In the early 21st century, Albany has experienced growth in the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector.
Albany has been a center of higher education for over a century, with much of the remainder of its economy dependent on state government and health care services.
The fur trade attracted settlers who founded a village called Beverwijck near Fort Orange.