Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
Vintage photos of:
New York noir circa 1913. "The Woolworth Building at night." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
This is, for all intents and purposes, a "new" image for anyone alive today -- a muddy-looking print of it has been available for years in the Library of Congress archive, but it wasn't until last year that the glass negative was imaged and put online. As far as I know this is its Interwebs debut, apart from the LOC website. We did a lot of work to adjust the contrast and get it cleaned up.
Circa 1912. "Post Office, New York City." Although it looks about a million years old, the Eighth Avenue post office is still under construction in this view. Enlarged in 1934, it's now called the James Farley Building and has the zip code 10001. The famous motto "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" is inscribed on the entablature. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.