26 June 2010

New York: Tenement Museum launches photo database

For some two centuries, many of our immigrant ancestors settled on New York's Lower East Side.

They lived crowded together in dark, crowded buildings called tenements.

One such building - 97 Orchard Street - housed some 7,000 people from more than 20 countries from 1863-1935. Restored as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, visitors can see restored apartments and get some sense of our ancestors' experiences as new immigrants.

According to the Tenement Museum blog, an online photo database has just been launched after four years of work.

It offers images including the neighborhood, historic and contemporary photos of the museum building, as well as portraits of its inhabitants.

The photo database is part of the permanent collection, with more than 5,000 objects and 130 linear feet of archival records.

Anyone with a computer connection around the word can now access the photo archive. Researchers may save their favorite images.

According to the blog, the most popular databases are photos of former residents and their descendants (1860s-2000s); stories of families presented on museum tours, photo essays, WPA photos, Lower East Side images, photos of apartments and the building.

Check out the images here.

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