More On Research

by Don Friedman on December 2, 2016


It seems like we’ve been using the Internet for a long time, but a little over twenty years of .com isn’t that much time for new technology to be assimilated. We’re all still figuring this stuff out, and it’s been great to see research tools improve as various institutions learn how we’re using their collections.

The photo above, the short-lived “chimney building” at 1 Wall Street, is from the New York Public Library’s collection and was taken circa 1905. It’s easy enough for me to find that photo in the library’s vast digital archive because I’m familiar with the building, but what do you do if you’re not sure what you’re looking for?

OldNYC is a graphic finding aid to the NYPL digital collection, with every architectural photo tagged by location. Click on a red dot on the map and thumbnails of the photos show up, click on a  thumbnail to get more information. Similar to the substitution of Google Books for microfilm, this is a huge leap forward in making it easier to access information.

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