Friday, January 15, 2016

Explore the NYPL Digital Archives

Every once in a while, our neighbors at the New York Public Library announce the release of new additions to their digital collections archive, and last week saw one of their most exciting releases yet.

The library has announced the addition of 180,000 hi-res images to their online archive, all of which are entirely within the public domain with no known copyright restrictions. Take a peek and resist the temptation to get sucked into years of history. Ever wonder what your street looked like in the 1930's? Not only can you find out, but you can download old maps and images to use as a background or even order prints to display in your home.

In addition to the newly released assets, NYPL also debuted a series of fun and unique digital tools to explore some of the content. One application, titled Mansion Maniac, utilizes a collection of blueprints from the 20th century Apartment Houses of the Metropolis archive and invites users to explore these ornate homes as a keyboard controlled character, slowly unlocking rooms of the floor plan as you traverse these expansive spaces.

Another fun tool collates Burton Welles' 1911 wide-angle photos of Fifth Avenue and presents them in contrast to sepia toned Google Street View images of Fifth Avenue in 2015, allowing users to navigate up and down the Avenue and see how much has (or hasn't) changed is the last 104 years.
Fifth Avenue in 1911.
Photo via Burton Welles
The same view of Fifth Avenue in 2015.
Photo via Google
Be sure to head on over when you have a couple of hours to spare, and be on the look out for images of our very own Bryant Park.
We're proud of Bryant Park's transformation.

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