Over 700,000 Newly Digitized Photos Of New York Show What Life Was Like In The 1940’s

The NYC Municipal Archives Online Gallery provides access to hundreds of thousands of digitized materials from the Municipal Archives. This includes photographs, maps, motion-pictures and audio recordings.

A few months ago we wrote about some video footage of NYC from 1911 as well as what life was like back in the 1930’s in New York. All this history can be overwhelming but the Department of Records and Information Services tries to keep it organized for all us lay-people with an interest in historical New York.

Their latest addition of photos and historical documentation includes about 720,000 files, mainly of photos of properties. According to their website, “between 1939 and 1941, the Works Progress Administration, in conjunction with the New York City Department of Taxation, organized teams of photographers to shoot pictures of every building in the five boroughs of New York City. The photographs were taken to improve the process of determining and recording property value assessments.”

Images span from all five boroughs;

The Bronx


110th Precinct, 43rd Avenue, Elmhurst, Queens
110th Precinct, 43rd Avenue, Elmhurst, Queens
Staten Island
17 New Street
17 New Street
39 Park Row, Manhattan
39 Park Row, Manhattan
31-33 Smith Street
31-33 Smith Street

If you’re interested in finding your apartment building or office, there are explicit instructions on the page to explain to you how you can go about doing so. Can you find your home or business? We have and it’s pretty awesome to see how it’s all changed!

Featured image and all photos: nycma.lunaimaging.com

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