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Throughout much of U.S. history, New York City has been the hub of social, cultural, intellectual, and economic activity. It is an incomparable metropolitan center that has grown, changed, and set the standards for much of the nation's tastes and ideas.

With this microfiche collection of 54,000 photographs spanning 100 years in New York City's history, researchers can access the visual images to complement the written histories that document New York's evolution. From the collections of the New York Public Library's Local History and Genealogy Division, the unique pictorial file can be used for research by:


  • libraries
  • photo archivists
  • architects
  • the mass media
  • anthropologists
  • urban planners
  • historical societies
  • promotional agencies
  • set designers
  • sociologists

The collection reproduces black-and-white photographs arranged by avenue and cross street, by place name, and by subject, and provides a visual reference to the New York Public Library collection. Each photo is followed by an annotation describing the view or subject represented, highlighting major features such as the building or monument, the photographer, or date. The streets, subways, skyscrapers, parades, and people of New York over the last century are portrayed in descriptive visual detail unequaled in any other collection.

Locating a particular photograph within the collection is easy with the three hard-bound volumes provided with the collection. Each photograph is indexed by multiple access points and is identified by date, fiche number, and position on the fiche.

The list of uses is endless. For example, a New York architect might use the collection to document the history of a construction site. A librarian in New Jersey might use it as a reference file for genealogical research. A set designer in California could use it to verify period architecture for a production.


An Important Note The UMI® microfiche edition of Photographic Views of New York City is intended to serve only as a visual reference to the original collection at the New York Public Library and may not be reproduced further in any form. Photographic prints and permission for their use must be obtained directly from:


The New York Public Library
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
New York, New York 10018


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