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Best of the Web: History & Social Sciences » History » New York City History

  • Historical highlights, 1898-1998, presented by the New York Times.

  • Survey of signs from 14th Street to 42nd Street with an emphasis on vintage signs. Documentation is supplied wherever available.

  • Website for the African Burial Ground National Historic Landmark located at the corners of Duane and Elk Streets in lower Manhattan.

  • Over 29,000 photographs primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States, especially the New York City area, and Florida.
  • This Website includes the history of the Battery and Castle Clinton.

  • The Society's objectives are to identify, collect, preserve, and maintain materials that document the history of Bayside and Northeast Queens.
  • A site devoted to the New York City blackouts in 1965 and 1977.

  • Dedicated to uncovering the cultural, political, economic, and religious histories of the more than 500,000 people of African descent in the Bronx.
  • The Bronx County Historical Society was founded in 1955 to preserve the heritage of this thriving community. The Society administers the colonial era Valentine-Varian House, which serves as the Museum of Bronx History The Bronx County Archives an extensive Research Library and Poe Cottage, the final home of America's great 19th century poet and author, Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Look for the History section of The New York Public Library's "The Bronx on the Web. It includes a compilation of documents and links relating to Bronx history.
  • A special collection on the history of Brooklyn from earliest times to the present including books, photographs, postcards, newspapers, clippings, atlases, maps, manuscripts, and memorabilia.
  • This database, produced by the Brooklyn Public Library, provides access to the full-page image with searchable text of the Eagle from 1841-1902.
  • This Website explores Brooklyn during the Civil War by presenting primary source documents photographs, letters, newspaper articles, illustrations, and more that show what life was like during this period.
  • Founded in 1863, the Brooklyn Historical Society, is a nationally renowned urban history center dedicated to the exploration and preservation of documents, artwork and artifacts representative of Brooklyn's diverse cultures past and present. Website includes an interactive timeline
  • In 1872, Thomas Nast, the premier cartoonist for Harpers Weekly, waged a scorched-earth assault against the presidential campaign of Horace Greeley, the famous and influential founder and editor of the New York Tribune.
  • This web companion to the PBS documentary features a timeline, photos and history.
  • Search the full text of hundreds of documents relating to New York State. Local documents include: Proceedings of the bi-centennial celebration of Richmond county, Staten Island, New York. November 1st, 1883 (includes hundreds of names of participants and descriptions of the festiviites) and Facts against rumor: being a brief statement, without note or comment, of the most important facts which transpired in the late difficulties between the vestry and the people of St. Andrew's and Trinity parishes, Staten Island, N.Y., prior to the 5th of February, 1857. By order of committee.
  • This collection offers access to primary materials documenting nearly a century of investigation, arrest, judgment and incarceration of many famous and unknown criminals in New York City. Materials have been gathered from the Lloyd Sealy Library's Special Collections at John Jay College and includes photographs and trial transcripts.
  • This collection of photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company Collection includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States including New York City.
  • Digital Gallery provides access to over 337,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs,
  • Archaeologists and historians rediscover a famous 19th century neighborhood.
  • Archaeologists and historians rediscover a famous nineteenth-century New York neighborhood.
  • The hidden city: in advertisements, buildings, signs, and old maps.

  • The "first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. The Journal was published weekly in New York City from 1827 to 1829. All 103 issues have been digitized and placed into Adobe Acrobat format."
  • The museum is a national landmark that collects, preserves and exhibits historical objects relating to the lives of General Giuseppe Garibaldi and Antonio Meucci.
  • Housed at the City University of New York's Graduate Center, this Website includes a resources directory, a calendar of events, online discussion groups, and information for educators.

  • The Greater Astoria Historical Society, chartered in 1985, is a non-profit cultural and community oriented organization dedicated to preserving the past and promoting Long Island City's future.
  • The Greater Ridgewood Historical Society was established in 1975, by a groups of local residents to preserve the Onderdonk House. The Society maintains a history and genealogical research library.
  • Green-Wood Cemetery is one of the worlds great cemeteries. Founded in 1838 as the third rural cemetery in America, it is the final resting place of nearly 600,000 persons, including some of history's most memorable figures.
  • Contains more than 1,600 old names of streets and other urban features that are no longer on the map.

  • This site presents a wealth of archival treasures and scholarship from Columbia University about the history of one of the world's most famous and influential neighborhoods.
  • An online exhibition from The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library.
  • An exhibition from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture that includes a timeline, biographies, a section for teachers and other information about the African American community in Harlem.
  • Brooklyn Public Library's catalog of several thousand historic photographs from the Brooklyn Collection.
  • The Historic House Trust of New York City, a not-for-profit organization, was created in 1989 to preserve and promote the 22 historic house museums located in New York City parks.

  • In the "Browse" menu select any of the following topics under "New York City": Castle Garden, East River, Ellis Island, Ferries, Governor's Island, Forts, Harbor, Hell Gate, Hudson River, Statue of Liberty or Wharves & Docks.
  • The New York Public Library's blog on U.S. and New York history and genealogy.

  • A brief history of Queens from the Office of the Queens Borough President.
  • A repository for 20th century New York City political and social history covering the mayoralties of LaGuardia, Wagner, Beame, Koch, and more.
  • The New York City agency that is responsible for identifying and designating the city's landmarks and the buildings in the city's historic districts. The Commission also regulates changes to designated buildings.

  • This online collection contains 45 films of New York City dating from 1898 to 1906 from the holdings of the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting, & Recorded Sound Division. Provides streaming short films from the Edison Company and the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, including footage of Ellis Island, Central Park, skyscrapers, and subways.
  • The Long Island Division of the Queens Borough Public Library collects, preserves, and makes available resources that document the social, economic, and political history of the four counties on Long Island - Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk.
  • Originally a series published by Newsday, provides information about Queens (plus Nassau and Suffolk) communities at the turn of the 19th century.
  • An interactive recreation of P.T. Barnum's nineteenth century museum on Lower Broadway and the fire that consumed it. Includes essays and an archive.
  • This site documents the destruction of many of New York City's 19th century tenement and other buildings.

  • Web-based examination of New York City's African American history includes videos, audio, maps, images and teaching materials.
  • 19th-century prints celebrating the ever-changing face of a thriving, bustling, confident city trace Manhattan's urban evolution. Provided by The New York Public Library.
  • Based on an exhibition mounted by Fordham University.
  • A collection of 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923.
  • Houses 150,000 cubic feet of historical government records, including manuscripts, official correspondence, vital records, ledgers, several thousand feet of moving images, over one million photographs, sound recordings, maps, and architectural plans.

  • The Municipal Art Society of New York is a private, non-profit membership organization that aggressively champions excellence in urban design and planning and the preservation of the best of New York's past.

  • The museum covers all five boroughs of NYC. Use the "Search" box to find Staten Island information.

  • The Centers mission is to facilitate and encourage citizen participation in the improvement and protection of New York Citys diverse neighborhoods. It is a place where the public is welcome to convene, strategize, and exchange information through its various services: public meeting rooms, temporary and virtual offices, and a resource referral service.

  • This site, developed and maintained by Steve Anderson, includes historic overviews, maps and photos of the highways, bridges and tunnels of the New York metropolitan area.

  • This is a simple list of sites designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Links are provided when available.

  • A pathfinder produced by the staff of Columbia University Libraries, which provides links to many useful resources covering the history of New York City.

  • The Neighborhood Preservation Center and New York Citys Landmarks Preservation Commission have joined together to provide free online access to Landmark designation reports. Designation reports explain the architectural, historical or cultural significance of an individual landmark or historic district. Work in Progress.
  • part of the NYC Department of Records & Information Services

  • Information on the holdings of New York City newspapers available in the Microforms Room (Room 100) of the Humanities & Social Sciences Library located at 5th Ave. and 42nd St.

  • Monitored by an independent webmaster and unaffiliated with MTA, this site provides information about the NYC subway and bus systems, the Transit Museum, history, events, facts and figures contributed by volunteers.

  • A photographic and historical tour of New York's first subway line, the IRT.
  • The Picture Collection Online is an image resource site for those who seek knowledge and inspiration from visual materials. It is a collection of 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923. Search the collection for New York City images.
  • View the virtual exhibits.

  • The New York Landmarks Conservancy provides news and information about building preservation in New York, including repair work and financing resources.

  • Virtual Walking Tours of Manhattan Streets

  • The PBS Series.
  • Web companion to an episode of the PBS television show the American Experience, looks at the construction and impact of New York City's subway system.
  • Include more than 4000 State and National Register of Historic Places nomination forms and their associated photographs.
  • This web companion to the PBS documentary features an introduction to the making of this film a 3-D virtual trip around NYC using QTVR panoramas a multimedia quiz game and an educational guide for students.

  • The 8th episode of filmmaker Ric Burns' award-winning series New York: A Documentary Film examines the rise and fall of the World Trade Center -- from its conception in the post-World War II economic boom, through its controversial construction in the 1960s and 1970s, to its tragic demise in the fall of 2001 and extraordinary response of the city in its aftermath.

  • NewYorkHeritage.org is a portal to hundreds of free digital collections about New York State's people, places, and institutions contributed by libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions.
  • Offers audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with ten influential New Yorkers, drawn from the collections of the Oral History Research Office of the Columbia University Libraries.
  • Frequently asked questions about the history of the New York City Police Department.

  • A virtual tour of New York University and Greenwich Village history including a walking tour, biographical sketches and quotes.
  • The Old York Library contains a unique assemblage of books, maps, images (photos and postcards), newspapers, and memorabilia of New York City. The collection, founded in the 1960s by Seymour Durst, chronicles the history, geography, architecture, culture, politics and many other aspects of NYC.

  • Featuring the history, facts, and photos of the various neighborhoods that make up our borough. WORK IN PROGRESS
  • The online counterpart to the illustrious Mid-Manhattan Librarys Picture Collection, this resource is a collection of 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923. Browse under the subject New York City
  • A joint project of City Lore and the Municipal Art Society, advocating for places in New York City that preserve history and sustain culture. Maintains an interactive survey called the Census of Places that Matter where New Yorkers can nominate places of public significance.

  • Organization dedicated to preserving historic sites in New York City and throughout the country. Focuses on threatened sites, providing information on how to assist with their preservation. Offers a schedule of events--tours, exhibits, and society meetings--in the New York City area. Includes a directory of links to preservation resources throughout the U.S.

  • This non-profit organization for historic preservation provides national and local resources for locating, designating, and maintaining historic buildings.

  • The Queens Historical Society produces a regular series of history related exhibitions and lecture series. It also serves as a local history research center, which provides access to a library of maps, atlases, manuscripts, photographs, documents, family papers and ephemera covering over 300 years history of Queens.
  • Founded in the early 19th century by freed black men from New York, Sandy Ground is the oldest community established by free slaves in North America. The Society maintains the largest documentary collection of African-American culture and history on Staten Island and the museum also serves as an educational research facility chartered by the state Department of Education.
  • Seneca Village was Manhattan's first significant community of African American property owners. It existed from 1825 through 1857 and was located between 82nd & 89th Streets and 7th & 8th Avenues. Today, this area is part of Central Park.
  • The archive's goals are to "collect, preserve, and present the history of the September 11, 2001 attack in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and the public responses."

  • A few big cities -- and many more small towns -- long ago made the Mid-Atlantic States of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut one of the most densely populated regions in North America. This Website presents 12,000 photographs of those three states as they were captured in stereoscopic views from the 1850s to the 1910s.
  • Snug Harbor is a cultural center set within an 83-acre National Historic Landmark district containing the finest collection of Greek Revival buildings in the United States, plus Beaux Arts, Italianate and Victorian style architecture.
  • New York-based museum dedicated to the preservation of the regions marine heritage. Provides information on exhibitions, educational programs, related events, and fleet of ships.

  • New York City's only general interest museum, explores the arts, natural science, and local history through permanent and changing exhibitions. Also known as the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences (SIIAS).
  • Look for the History section of The New York Public Library's "Staten Island on the Web. It includes a compilation of documents and links relating to Staten Island history.
  • The online edition of a Columbia University Libraries exhibition held from May 25 to September 17, 1994 in conjunction with the international celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
  • The online edition of the Columbia University Libraries exhibition on gay and lesbian history and culture, held in 1994 in conjunction with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the "Stonewall Riots" in New York City.
  • 3309 Bainbridge Avenue
    Bronx, New York 10467
    (718) 881-8900
    Library is open Monday - Friday by appointment only.
  • Since its organization in 1977, the Preservation League of Staten Island has supported the preservation of Staten Island's historic built environment through a variety of activities.
  • This project's goals are to use electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath.

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