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5 of Our Favorite Images From the Public Library's New Digital Archive

The history of the city just got a whole lot more searchable with the release of more than 187,000 public domain pictures, texts, maps and historic documents — all in high resolution and downloadable — from the New York Public Library on Wednesday.

The treasure trove of documents from the library’s digital collection are generally astounding — would you like to see three-dimensional scans of Babylonian cuneiforms? Now you can! — but particularly because, as long as you search with the “public domain” category checked off, everything you’ll see has “no known US copyright restrictions,” according to the library.

The collection is especially rich in artifacts from the city, with digitized photographs of immigrants at Ellis Island, artwork from African-American artists and floor plans of fancy 20th-Century Manhattan mansions (complete with its own interactive map-building game called "Mansion Maniac").

Here are some of our favorites from the library’s public domain collection. Find your own here.

A photo of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, printed in a menu for a "Welcome Home" dinner held at the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn Heights in the team's honor after they won the 1955 World Series. For the record, they ate "breast of chicken with smoked beef tongue," a mixed green salad and a "frozen log of ice cream," according to the document from the library's "Buttolph Collection of Menus."


Sheet music from 1890 for "Lovers Once But Strangers Now," printed by a company based in Union Square, is dedicated to "my niece, Miss Laura E.A. Paige, Brooklyn." The document is from the library's "American Popular Songs" collection.

A painting by artist Elizabeth Olds depicts "Two Boys," as the work is titled. The piece is part of the Works Progress Administration Art collection from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and is believed to have been created between 1935 and 1943.

This postcard from the lake in Prospect Park was created in 1908 or 1909 according to information available from the "Detroit Publishing Company postcards" collection, an endless repository of antique cards from all over the country.

A photo from Paris in 1883 shows the construction of the left arm and hand of the Statue of Liberty before it was brought to New York. The image is part of the a complete collection of photographs by French photographer Albert Fernique of the building and construction of the famous statue.