Attention history buffs: the New York Public Library debuted a new interactive map this morning that takes its vast, digitized collection of vintage photos and allows folks to browse them according to geography. Essentially, start by zooming in and out of the incredible resource that is OldNYC.org. Then click on the red dots (mostly located at intersections) to see the range of vintage images snapped there, which record that specific locale at various points in history. The 80,000 photos in the Milstein collection range from the 1870s to the 1970s, and include many by Percy Loomis Sperr, a Staten Islander who took more than 30,000 photographs between 1924 and the 1940s. The addictive, user-friendly interface, which required a lot of work from data guru Dan Vanderkam, combines two of New Yorkers' favorite things: cool maps and old photos. So it's bound to be a hit.
For example, when clicking at the corner of 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue, you get a selection of snaps of the Times Square of yore. (Click any of the images in this post to see them bigger!)
If you zoom further of the map on OldNYC.org, you'll see just how many historic photos have been digitized. Practically every block of Manhattan, it seems, and many spots in the other boroughs, too.
This took a ton of work, obviously, by NYPL Labs is up to the task, taking on several digitizing projects with aplomb. (They've already been knee-deep in old maps.) But if the thread following NYPL's Twitter announcement is anything to go by, there's more to come: