5 Amazing Digital Collections for Cultural Historians from the NY Public Library

Portal to the NYPL's amazing digital collections.
Portal to the NYPL’s amazing digital collections.

The New York Public Library recently announced the addition of more than 180,000 items to its digital collections, along with improvements to the digital interface to help users find the content they want, especially if they are looking for public domain or restriction-free content.

With so much stuff, there’s material for anyone from entomologists to cartographers. Highlighted here are five digital collections that may be of particular interest to cultural historians, especially those who deal with 20th century history. These collections contain everything from photos to maps to posters, making them a treasure trove for historians who study visual culture, material culture, design, technology and so on.

And for those of us who have dealt with the complicated and often confusing process of getting permission to use images in our published and online work, the NYPL offers a helping hand. First, a great deal of material in the collection is in the public domain, meaning that it can be used freely. For other items, the library has clarified who owns the rights, helping to streamline the process.

Plus, they are encouraging artists and others to remix their collections. Downloads of varying qualities are provided to cover all the bases from a blog post to a book cover.

To read my suggestions for 5 Collections that cultural historians will love, click over to the History News Network.

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