Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New York City Photographs Online

The New York City Department of Records has announced a free online photo database of more than 870,000 images of New York City municipal operations.  The photographs were selected from the Municipal Archives collection of more than 2.2 million images dating back to the mid-1800's.   Some images have appeared in publications but most were viewable only by visiting the archive offices in Manhattan.

The bulk of the online collection is currently more than 800,000 color photographs taken of every city building in the mid-1980's to update municipal records.  Also available are photos taken by NYPD detectives and more than 1,300 images of the Depression-era Works Progress Administration.  There are plans to add more images, but this free collection does not include the 720,000 photographs of every city building from 1939-1941.  Genealogists were mentioned (yay!) in an AP article about the collection as being one of the groups that will find the collection useful.

The website for the New York City Department of Records is http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/gallery/home.shtml.  The direct link to the gallery is http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/misc/luna.shtml but it is currently overwhelmed.  If you wait a few days it will probably be easier to visit the site.

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