Monday, April 11, 2005

NYPL Digital

The Thomas Ford Memorial Library (at which I work) and the Western Springs Historical Society are beginning a digitization project to make local historical photos and documents available through the Internet. Soon we will have between 100 and 200 items on a new website that we are creating. Understandably, it is with awe that I look at NYPL Digital. The New York Public Library, a huge library system, has over 275,000 images digitized from primary sources in its collections. All disciplines seem to be included – history, literature, art, architecture, urban studies, the sciences, and industry. Viewers can search for images by keyword or browse lists of subjects or names of photographers. Most of the images are in collections, such as “Civil War Medical Care: Photographs from the United States Sanitary Commission Collection, 1861-1872” or “Empire and Regency: Decoration in the Age of Napoleon.” Collections vary in size from a few images to thousands of images. The collections may be further organized into albums. Maps, posters, engravings, postcards, magazine covers, and prints are just a few of the types of sources included. Students, historians, and casual browsers will find many interesting images at

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