Between 1939 and 1941, the city photographed every house and building in the five Boroughs. Copies of these unique images are now available for purchase.
HISTORY OF THIS COLLECTION:
During the 1930's, 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 images of every property in the five Boroughs. The Municipal Archives acquired the original negatives (20,000 strips of film stored in cans) in the early 1980s. The original film stock was nitrate and some negatives had begun to deteriorate and exhibit signs of "redox" blemishes (which look like giant snow flakes). With grant funds from federal, state, and private sources, the Archives duplicated the original negatives so that new prints can be produced and copied them to microfilm so that patrons can easily and safely view the entire collection.