The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood It Serves highlights the central role of the New York Public Library within a diverse, vibrant, and ever-changing community. View and experience Seward Park as the portrait of the neighborhood changes from crisp black and white to vivid color, as streets once filled with pushcarts become lined with sharp-finned cars, and as children sled on snowy sidewalks before sitting down for "story time" in a green park.
The earliest footage, from 1934–5 and 1941, was captured and edited by Grace Hardie, a former Seward Park Branch staff member. In 1959, Bill Sloan, head of the Donnell Library Center’s Film Library, and his wife Gwen shot the color section using a 16mm Bolex. At this time, Donald W. Fowle, a clerk at the Seward Park Branch, created the script as part of the branch’s 50th anniversary celebration. His narration has been read aloud at screenings of the film ever since. Mr. Fowle and the Sloans were assisted by Jean E. McIntosh, assistant branch librarian at Seward Park. A detailed account of the action – a shot list – was prepared by Tara D. Kelley of the Reserve Film and Video Collection in 2012.
The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood It Serves has been preserved by the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Credits and acknowledgements for the Seward Park film streaming project:
Moving Image Archivist
Tara Kelley, Michelle Chan
Director, Teaching & Learning, Literacy and Outreach (NYPL)
Director, Urban Memory Project
Library Information Assistant, Seward Park Branch (NYPL)
Director of Multimedia Content (NYPL)
Special thanks to
Bill and Gwen Sloan, and Donald Fowle
The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood It Serves has been preserved and digitized by the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (preservation) and the Verizon Foundation (digitization).