Recently, the New York City Municipal Archives granted the public access to their ever-expanding gallery of photographs of NYC. In total, there are over 2.2 million pictures in the archive. Over the last 4 years, many of the pictures were scanned and initially, 870,000 were made available online for personal and research purposes. Unfortunately, they did not expect a huge demand for these pictures and when the opposite proved to be true, the servers crashed. Unfortunately, the city has not yet been able to restore access.
The archive includes photographs that expose the city’s wonderful physical and social evolution over time. They include photos of criminal justice evidence, more than 800,000 color photographs of each and every building in NYC during the mid-1980s, and more than 1,300 images taken by local photographers during the Depression. The collection provides wonderful social context to early 20th century life in New York, in addition to being exceptional stand-alone images.
A great contributor to the archive was Eugene de Salignac, who was the official photographer for the Department of Bridges, Plants & Structures from 1906 – 1934. You’ll see some of his work below.
Today, I want to share a selection of my favorites (followed by a gallery) for a total of 56 photos.
Make sure to watch the Gallery below! Click to enlarge. What is your favorite picture?
All picutres: © New York City Municipal Archive.