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License this photo Complete information on licensing for editorial, commercial, or other uses. is something like a private digital image archive, containing mostly graphics, engravings or photographs from more than 3 centuries.
New-York Historical Society librarians reveal fascinating stories from the past through exceptional items in the library's collection. By 1897, New York City was well on its way toward being the roaring metropolis of steel and concrete that we know today.
At the height of the Roaring Twenties, the wealthy and glamorous descended in droves on the northeast corner of 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue to hear the latest compositions, see the newest dances, and revel in the cultural and creative crucible of Harlem’s most famous nightclub: the Cotton Club. Archival collections from the Revolutionary War period are thick with stories of heroic soldiers and their battles won and lost. Elevator cars were carrying passengers up and down in the earliest skyscrapers, while the elevated rail lines stretched further and further uptown. When he died in 1935, his will directed that the New-York Historical Society should receive his photographs and papers, as well as some money, on the condition that it publish his then unknown work.

Unidentified boy seated beside a spring on the Hudson River shore, east of the railroad tracks near the foot of W. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church chartered an excursion ship named the General Slocum for their 17th annual picnic to Locust Grove, Long Island.
Although less evident, collections of this era also contain documentation of what President Obama describes as the “nation’s original sin,”[i] i.e. When it was opened in 1911 it ranked as the biggest marble structure ever built in the United States. The entire library is like a museum and an art gallery all rolled into one with the Rose Reading Room on the third floor with its original Carre and Hastings lamps and the spectacular mural in the McGraw Rotunda. As part of their 100 year exhibition you can see the Guttenberg Bible: The first major book published with movable type created in 1452-1455, a draft of the Declaration of Independence hand written by Thomas Jefferson, music written by Ludwig van Beethoven, a handwritten letter by George Washington, the first published copy of the Star Spangled Banner, Charles Dickens personal copy of David Copperfield (with hand written notes) and letter opener and the original illustrations for the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).
It was then that James Reuel Smith embarked upon his quest to document a particular feature of the city’s vanishing pastoral life—its springs and wells.
He made careful notes regarding each aquiferous site, and he always had in mind the publication of his findings.

The arrangement resulted in the 1938 publication of Springs and Wells of Manhattan and the Bronx: New York City at the End of the Nineteenth Century. Traveling by bicycle, Smith explored the upper half of Manhattan and much of the Bronx looking for and photographing those places where New Yorkers were still obtaining water without the necessity of an aqueduct or faucet. His interest led him to travel around the Mediterranean region in search of the springs mentioned in classical literature, and this work resulted in the 1922 publication of Springs and Wells in Greek and Roman Literature, Their Legends and Locations. So if it's a bit wet and windy outside, grab a book and head head up to the third floor to read the book and admire all of the art inside.

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