Free to share and reuse without permission, much of the fascinating collection can be downloaded easily and quickly online, or explored in a variety of ways through searching the library or in a new enhanced visualisation tool. View the library of images by genre, from photographs and postcards to maps, menus, letters and more; dates, from the 11th to the 21st century; or even colour. We’ve picked out some of our favourites…
NYPL currently also have an open call for proposals for the Remix Residency, asking what “beautiful, inspiring and engaging things” can be made from the public domain collections, aiming to encourage imaginative or creative uses of the digital resources.
Artists, information designers, software developers, data scientists, journalists, digital researchers, or anyone with in interest in rummaging around archives who has a great idea for new educational or creative tools, can apply, as individuals or collaborative teams, until 19 February (currently open to US citizens).
Although the library has been in the process of digitising the collection for some time, now with the release of more restriction free items, it presents a greater opportunity to transform the archive into engaging creative projects, from mappings and visualisations to generative art, games, bots and interactives.
NYPL Labs – the library’s digtisation and innovation team – have released several demonstration projects, including Fifth Avenue Then & Now, a comparative visual tour where you can click along the famous New York street, viewing 1911 photos and Google Street View from 2015; Navigating the Green Book – a trip planning tool using locations extracted from mid-20th century motor guides listing hotels, restaurants and other destinations welcoming both white and black travellers; and Mansion Maniac, a game of exploration around early 20th century floor plans of mansions in New York City.
See all the tools here and the restriction free images here nypl.org/research/collections/digital-collections/public-domain
Full digital collection at digitalcollections.nypl.org