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Research Hyperlocal History with Our Online Resources

Man using a laptop computer with a website search bar
Photo by Suriyawut/Vecteezy

Did you ever want to know who lived in your apartment decades or centuries ago? Or who owned your building when it was first built? Or how old all that warehouse on your block is, and what was there in, say, 1900? Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available online for you to satisfy that curiosity and gain a deeper understanding of your community and your city, and we have them all available on one page.

On Village Preservation’s new Resources for Neighborhood Research page, we’ve assembled links to online directories, photo archives, maps, and more from city, state, library, educational, and other organizations — including our own — all for your research endeavors. 

Scrolling through Resources for Research page

“Knowledge is power in historic preservation,” says Anna Marcum, Village Preservation’s director of research and preservation. “Thorough building research is the first step in the journey of saving any historic building! It’s also a great way to satisfy your curiosity and gain a new dinner party anecdote.”

The sites have been categorized for ease of use by topic:

  •     Building Histories and Construction Dates
  •     Architectural Features
  •     Historic Photos
  •     Past Inhabitants
  •     Additional Historic Maps
  •     Other Resources

“New York City is an incredibly well-documented city with robust records,” adds Sarah Eccles, , Village Preservation’s research and preservation associate, and “this allows preservationists and curious New Yorkers alike to dig deeper into the history behind our building fabric.”

Please note that, while there is a wealth of resources available for researching historic properties in New York City, record-keeping has not always been consistent over the years. You may need to cross-reference several sources to find the information you need. Each repository has its own wealth of information.

Feel free to share any historical details you uncover that might be useful to Village Preservation’s efforts or any additional resources with us by emailing info@villagepreservation.org.

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