Tuesday, January 08, 2008

new york in the 1930s

These images are from the New York Public Library's collection of Berenice Abbott photographs. She took them in the mid-1930s as part of a 5-year project funded by the Works Progress Administration to document Manhattan as it transformed itself. Click image to view full size.

A couple of years ago another photographer, Douglas Levere, re-created the same shots as exactly as he could. Using the same model camera, same time of day, and same photographic technique, he positioned himself to take identical images some 70 years later. The results were published in a side-by-side book of photographs: New York changing : revisiting Berenice Abbott's New York with a companion web site which shows the image pairs on separate web pages. You can also view the pairs on web site devoted to Levere by the Morning News.

Here's one pair showing how little things have changed in some cases.


Josh Greenberg said...

Great to see you referencing New York Public Library collections! For your (and your readers') convenience, the link back to the actual items at the Library are


In the future, if you wouldn't mind
linking back to the item itself, we'd very much appreciate it. Not only would this give credit to the hard work our staff has done, but more information about the image can be found on our site, which we feel could benefit your readers. Thanks!

Jeff said...

Thanks, Josh. I'll be sure to link back in future. I've been reading and enjoying the NYPL Labs blog. I'm grateful for the excellent work you do and for the blog's discussion of it.