New York Public Library’s Rich Digital Collection Has Over 180,000 Images to Download

The New York Public Library has just made it a lot easier to take advantage of their digital collection. Not only have they released more than 180,000 pieces of digitized information into the public domain, they've also made it accessible without having to log in. From the letters of Thomas Jefferson to Farm Security Administration photographs by Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, it's a virtual treasure trove.

Botanical illustrations, sheet music, vintage phone books, and etchings that span all eras and provenance make the NYPL's release truly exciting. And in an effort to make the resource user-friendly, the interface has also gotten an upgrade, making it easier to filter by public domain materials and with clear buttons for downloading your finds. For scholars, educators, and researchers, there are also bulk export capabilities and analysis.

Perhaps our favorite part of the upgrade is the possibility to create wall art with the click of a button from within the collection. Now you can order archival prints, canvas prints, and wall mural art of your favorite public domain photographs from the New York Public Library.

With such an overwhelming amount of information, you might be wondering where to start. Well, featured collections on the homepage can help you dive quickly into topics like Changing New York, Ellis Island 1902-1913, and Walt Whitman Papers. Instead, the visual browsing tool allows you to see the collection in scale, organized by year, location, or color. Other special projects include a tour of early-20th century New York mansions and a then-and-now comparison of Fifth Avenue, both created using materials from the archive.

The New York Public Library has over 180,000 pieces of digitized public domain materials online in an easy to use interface.

New York Public Library - Public Domain Material

William Blake. Europe, [Frontispiece]. 1794.

New York Public Library - Public Domain Material

Walker Evans. Construction worker on the Westmoreland subsistence homestead project. 1935.

New York Public Library - Public Domain Material

Thomas Jefferson. Letter to unknown correspondent. 1790.

New York Public Library - Public Domain Material

Giulio Romano. The Throne of Jupiter on Olympia with Neptune, Minerva, Tethys, and Pan. 1680.

New York Public Library - Public Domain Material

Martha Swope. Maya Angelou and Charles Gordone (in masks) in the stage production The Blacks. 1961.

New York Public Library - Public Domain Material

Bronx telephone directory. Winter 1939-40.

h/t: [Open Culture]

Related Articles:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Hi-Res Images Online to the Public

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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