SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Learning Curve: 1941

Learning Curve: 1941

January 21, 1941. "Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park Plaza. Balcony curve. Githens & Keally, architect." Gottscho-Schleisner photo. View full size.

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It's still a wonderful building

This part of the inner lobby is now the checkout desk, and the section of the card catalogue (long gone--the BPL now has a nifty, customer-friendly computer system) shown here has been replaced by a nice cafe. The building is still breathtaking, a joy to walk into.

Beautifully Sparse

As they say, "Less is more."

I just love how bare the library lobby is. Furthermore, look at the librarians' desk. No phone, no computer, no clutter!


Lots of unused space

I know that many great buildings have large spatial volumes, but for a library, there sure is a lot of open space where you would expect either sitting areas, magazine areas, book shelves, more card catalogs, etc.

And to think, the area where the card catalog is here would easily hold the entire contents of the library, in electronic form today, including racks to put electronic book readers and places to sit.

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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