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New York City History Primary Source Archives: PS: Visuals

In the tab names, SS stands for Secondary Source, PS stands for Primary Source


Mapped Historical Photos

Then and Now

Fifth Avenue

Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, The New York Public Library. "Manhattan: 5th Avenue - 91st Street" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 21, 2016.

91st Street: 1865

New York Public Library Image Collections


Public Art

Historical Photos of NYC*

Searching these collections is best done by cross streets, since exact addresses are rarely included in the metadata. For example, to search for images of the New York Public Library’s main Schwarzman building, one would search 42nd and Fifth. Numbered Streets are usually numeric while numbered Avenues are usually spelled out, one of NYC’s many nuances in place names.

Neighborhood names may not be included and may also have changed over time. At the time of this post, there was only one result for “Hell's Kitchen”, but many photos of the neighborhood could be found by searching for cross streets such as Ninth & 39th or Eighth & 35th. 

In some cases, searching by landmark or building name will also yield results, but only if the name of the building was included in the metadata. For example, a search for “Empire State Building” delivers hundreds of images. A less well known building may not have its name included in the metadata: “Tenement Museum” yields no results, but its cross streets Orchard & Delancey yield dozens.

*Information from: Nigro, Carmen. "How to Find Historical Photos of New York City." The New York  Public Library. Last modified July 30, 2014. Accessed February 23, 2016.