One of the most frequent questions we get at GVSHP is where to find historic photographs. We have focused on this topic before here at Off the Grid, but the newly created online gallery at the New York City Municipal Archives is such an excellent resource, we thought it deserved another look.
You can browse the Municipal Archive’s collection here, or you can search for a specific subject or location with the dedicated search tool. You’ll notice that the collection names reference departments within New York City government, past Mayors, and one of my favorites, the WPA Federal’s Writer’s Project collection. This 1938 photo from the WPA collection shows a blacksmith shop in the South Village at 33 Cornelia Street. This image particularly resonates, as one of the low-scale buildings of the South Village, a historic neighborhood that lacks landmark designation under threat of development that GVSHP is working to protect.
For those of you who are keen on the tax photo collection, the Works Progress Administration project designed to photograph every building in New York City between 1939 and 1941 for tax appraisal purposes, you just have to wait. While the project documenting lots from the 1980s is currently available online, the older circa 1940s photos are still in progress. But since those are a GVSHP favorite, we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as they are available.
Still on the hunt for historic photographs? Check out GVSHP’s Guide to Researching the Village.