Over 870,000 photographs of the municipal operations of New York City have been made public and tell the history of the city through a unique medium. Some of the photographs date back to the mid 1800s and highlight the unique physical and cultural evolution of the city – highlighting the construction of various important buildings and structures, the rise and fall of celebrities, and even grisly gang-land murders.
The publication and availability of these photographs is a move by the Department of Records to make these records more readily accessible via the internet.
“We all knew that we had fantastic photograph collections that no one would even guess that we had,” Kenneth Cobb.
The database, while impressively large, still has some prominent gaps that the city is consistently working to fill – and it is growing daily.