The city has just made it easier to access a portion of its historical photos. The New York City Department of Records and Information has digitized 720,000 photos from its tax photo collection, all taken around the 1940s, and added them to the NYC Municipal Archives’s online collection, reports Brownstoner.
Between 1939 and 1941, the city tasked a team of photographers with traveling across the city to document every building. Up until now, the process to gain access to these historical photos wasn’t easy: People had to make their way to the Municipal Archives building on Chambers Street and know the block and lot number of the building they were interesting in seeing photos of. Then, folks would have to weed through rolls of microfilm in hopes of finding just what they were looking for.
The project to digitize the photos was a collaboration between the New York City Department of Taxation and the Works Progress Administration. So history buffs, get excited: getting a glimpse at what the city’s landscaped looked like decades earlier has just gotten a lot easier.
Check out the archives here.