Eugene Armbruster served as the inspiration for Edna Huntington, a long-time librarian of the Long Island Historical Society, who donated her vast collection of Brooklyn photographs from the mid-1940s. Similar in scope to Armbruster’s, they show streets that have changed many times over. Both collections include great detail about the exact location of the subject−the East side of Hudson Avenue, North of Front Street: River to 83 Hudson Avenue, ca. 1945, for instance. John Morrell's photographs from the late 1950s continue in this theme.
These are just a few examples of the collections which have proved to be invaluable to the many residents and researchers of Brooklyn who visit the Othmer Library to find out more about the history of their homes and neighborhoods. Other collections include documentation of the Blackout of 1977 in Bushwick; the artistic interpretations of Flatbush through the worldly eyes of Lucille Fornasieri-Gold; the gritty observations of Coney Island by Anders Goldfarb; the building of the Brooklyn Bridge from the East River by John Jay Pierrepont; the construction of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank; and the unique and sundry Faces of Brooklyn by Nora Herting.
The Photographic Archives are open to everyone without an appointment. We make available our image database for searching the collection with the assistance of knowledgeable collection staff each Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 1-5pm. More information about visiting the library is available here. Highlights from the photography collection may be viewed at our blog.
Finding Material in the Photography Collection
Currently, only one photographic collection is available online: the John D. Morrell Collection. All other collections may be perused in our image database at the library. Each day, we are adding information about photography collections to Emma, our catablog of archives, manuscripts and special collections. Please begin your search on Emma; if you do not find what you need, then contact our archivist via our online form to inquire about materials relevant to your research prior to visiting the reading room during open library hours.
Photographs for Reproduction
More information regarding our usage policy is available here.
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