SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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NYPL: 1908

NYPL: 1908

The New York Public Library under construction circa 1908, some six years after groundbreaking and three years before it finally opened. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The Little Woman

The shape of the fire hydrant mimics the fashion of the day -- hat, long dress, high collar.

Patience and Fortitude

South lion and north lion, respectively.

Thanks Leon!

My great-great grandfather Leon Mathiez, a stonecutter, worked on this building. He emigrated from Paris and settled in Brooklyn.


Thanks for this amazing photo. I've been going to this library on a regular basis since I moved to Manhattan in 1967. Some of the best hours of my life were spent there. What a treat to see it when it was brand spankin' new.


It looks odd without the lions at the front entrance. I've spent many a lunch hour sitting on those steps watching the world go by.


This is probably the most striking image I've ever seen to illustrate how quickly the automobile took over American roads. Compare this with the 1915 photo or even the 1913 photo taken out front. Startling!

I Can See for Miles

What on earth is that man doing on the roof?

That sign

Is there anyway to zoom in and see what the sign says that man is carrying down the sidewalk?

[It says "KODAKS -- PHOTO SUPPLIES / Developing & Printing / Picture Framing" etc. etc. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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