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Thread: nyc municipal archives - 1980's photos

  1. #1
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    Default nyc municipal archives - 1980's photos

    fyi -- i recently got this email at work (as i imagine all city employees did):


    ANNOUNCING ...

    A NEW COLLECTION OF TAX PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE MUNICIPAL ARCHIVES

    Municipal Archives patrons have long known about the 1940s "tax photographs" collection. But what many may not know is that the city re-photographed all five boroughs in the mid-1980s, this time using color film.

    And now the Municipal Archives is pleased to announce that this collection is also available for research and purchase.

    In the 1930s, local governments began to use photography as a tool for appraising real property for taxation purposes. New York City was the largest municipality to adopt this technology. The result was 720,000 35mm black-and-white pictures of every building in the five boroughs dating from 1939 to 1940.

    By the early 1980s, the City's Department of Finance, the agency responsible for appraising property for real estate tax purposes, determined that the 1940s photographs needed to be updated. From 1983 to 1988, again using 35mm cameras, their staff fanned out in the five boroughs photographing every property, including vacant lots and tax-exempt buildings. They used color film stock resulting in over 800,000 photographs in both print and negative formats.

    HOW TO VIEW AND PURCHASE THE TAX PHOTOGRAPHS

    Researchers can view photographs in all of the boroughs from the 1940s collection on microfilm in the Municipal Archives reference room. For the 1980s collection, patrons can view low-resolution images on computer monitors in the Archives (currently, only Manhattan and the Bronx are viewable but photographs can be ordered from all boroughs).

    Online Historic Photo gallery:
    http://nyc.gov/html/records/html/gallery/home.shtml

    It is not necessary to visit the Municipal Archives to order copies of tax photographs from either collection. Copies can be ordered online via the e-payments system, or by mail. Visit http://nyc.gov/html/records/html/taxphotos/home.shtml for complete ordering information.

    For quickest delivery, you can order using your credit card on our secure website!

    The Municipal Archives is also open to the public. For hours and location, please visit:
    http://nyc.gov/html/records/html/about/archives.shtml

    Municipal Archives is a division of the New York City Department of Records. To learn more about the Department of Records and other divisions, please visit:
    http://nyc.gov/html/records/html/about/home.shtml
    Last edited by meesalikeu; July 9th, 2009 at 10:59 AM.

  2. #2

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    I understand these aren't photos of NYC, but the things this guy has found are fascinating. Can't wait to see the book. Video accessible with link below. Mods move or merge if needed, couldn't find related via search.



    EXCLUSIVE: Municipal Archives offer rare glimpse into NYC’s nearly 400-year history most people will never know

    BY Ginger Adams Otis
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    Saturday, October 24, 2015, 5:28 PM


    New York Daily News/New York Daily NewsAustralian historian Shane White at the New York County Clerk Records office, which he said has "the best set of records I have ever seen."


    Some of the city’s best-kept secrets are all hidden in one place — but you have to know what you’re looking for to find them.

    Inside the Municipal Archives, there’s a remarkable set of records full of forgotten history: the District Attorney’s Indictment Papers.
    They’re part of an incredible 221,000 cubic feet of documents kept by the city’s team of archivists and conservationists. Almost anything related to New York City life can be found there, from 1645 all the way through the Bloomberg years.

    This includes things like the very earliest etchings of the green space that became Central Park, tales of a black millionaire who got his start running brothels in the city and Robert Moses’ vision to create a huge expressway in lower Manhattan.
    Moses’ plan to turn Tribeca into a highway will be re-created for a city Department of Records’ exhibit opening Wednesday. It will feature a large-scale model of what the expressway would have looked like.

    New York Daily News/New York Daily NewsWhite has found records on libel cases, drunken brawls, murders and even some old evidence from long-ago cases within the archives.


    But the most fascinating items held in the archives are those that shed light on the lives of lesser-known locals — like Lady Deborah Moody.
    “Lady Moody was kicked out of New England because she was too radical,” explained Records Commissioner Pauline Toole.
    Pulling open a massive, wooden vault that was installed in 1910, the same year the archives building went up, Toole brought out the city’s oldest known record: a deed to Gravesend — now part of Brooklyn — in 1645.

    “They gave (Moody) the deed to Gravesend, and this little piece is the wax seal to the deed,” said Toole.
    New York Daily News/New York Daily NewsPauline Toole, the Commissioner of the Department of Records and Information Services, displays the oldest known document at the collection — a deed to Gravesend (now part of Brooklyn) given to Lady Deborah Moody in 1645.


    “It’s very rare to see a woman in the records like that,” she said.
    It’s even more unusual to get a glimpse of African-American New Yorkers over the centuries — but through the court records, rich details of their lives appear.

    A census from 1810 shows a hefty population of enslaved African-Americans — but a growing number of free blacks, too. Six years later, records show, an African-American woman named Nancy paid $2 to then-Mayor Jacob Radcliff for a certificate of freedom — allowing her to travel unimpeded in the city.
    The contents of the District Attorney’s Indictment Papers are so astounding that historian Shane White — a specialist in the city’s historic African-American life — comes all the way from Australia just to study them.

    He’s unwrapped more than 30,000 dusty old files, carefully untying fragile red ribbons to read through descriptions of murders, drunken brawls, even libel cases.
    “As it happens, the best set of records I have ever seen ... are contained in the Municipal Archives,” said White, whose latest book, “Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton,” recounts the life of the first black Wall Street millionaire.

    Sometimes old evidence from long-ago cases drops out of the files into his lap, he said.
    White has found “flick knives” from stabbings, old rope from a kidnapping and an implement used to terminate a pregnancy, he said.
    “That made me go and wash my hands, even though it was 150 years old,” White said.

    New York Daily News/New York Daily News
    221,000 cubic feet of documents are kept by the city’s team of archivists and conservationists. Almost anything related to New York City life can be found there, dating back to 1645.


    Other times the stories he finds are too bizarre to believe, like the tale of an amorous young man caught having sex with a horse on Broadway on Oct. 7, 1814.

    When White’s not prowling the archives, he is up on the seventh floor in the New York county clerk’s office — where senior archivist Joe Van Nostrand holds the key to a sealed room holding tens of thousands of court cases from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
    “These offer rare snippets of life for African-American New Yorkers over the centuries,” White said.

    New York Daily News/New York Daily NewsWhite has found stories too bizarre to believe, like the tale of an amorous young man caught having sex with a horse on Broadway on Oct. 7, 1814.


    “Sooner or later, even the most respectable of New York blacks had his or her day in court as a litigant or merely as a witness and left a paper trail in these records,” he noted.

    The archives tell a far more inclusive story about New York’s past than most people realize, White said.
    The ruthless Wall Street trader Hamilton wasn’t alone among the city’s successful black businessmen of the time.
    Another black entrepreneur, William Thompson, made his fortune running brothels in the 1830s.

    “Just like many white New Yorkers, he got his start with immoral gains, then he invested in real estate,” White said.
    “Most people have no idea that a black man once owned the lower half of Times Square — in fact, there’s a subway there today,” White said. “Whenever I walk by there, I give a little tip of my hat to him.”


    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.2410124

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