Hundreds of Thousands of New York City Photos Available Online

The New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery features almost 1,000,000 photos from its various collections. There are numerous collections from which one can select; among the largest repositories are the tax photos of every property in the city. These are updated photos used for tax appraisals and were taken in the 1980s. A word of caution here: we looked up our parents’ house in Brooklyn and the house photographed is not where we grew up. Close but not the place we spent our formative years. Another great source is contained within the Cities & Buildings section of the New York Public Library. Several of the collections in this section ( At Home in Brooklyn; Changing New York; and Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s) explore New York City. And do not overlook these important repositories: Photographs of New York City and Beyond (from the New-York Historical Society with over 23,000 photos dating mainly from 1839-1945, can search via keyword, subject, or date); Photographs (from the Museum of the City of New York, over 140,000 photos sortable/searchable using various access points); OldNYC: Mapping Historical Photos from the NYPL (over 40,000 photos from the above collections overlaid on a map of the city);  Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America (from the Library of Congress, over 29,000 images mostly of the Northeast, especially of NYC); and New York Architecture (can be searched by neighborhood). As an added bonus, peruse this highly informative site from Columbia University: New York Real Estate Brochure Collection “The collection consists of over 9,200 advertising brochures, floor plans, price lists, and related materials that document residential and commercial real estate development in the five boroughs of New York and outlying vicinities from the 1920s to the 1970s.”

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