QUEENS — The Queens Library's archives have a new home online as its physical archives reopened in a newly renovated space.
Queens residents can now search for old pictures of their neighborhoods in the recently launched Digital Archives, which include 12,000 items like high-resolution images, maps and other documents, the library said.
The new website offers several ways to access the collections, including keyword searches and browsing by material type and collection name. There is also a map of Queens that lets users select the neighborhood they're interested in.
The library also reopened its physical archives collection on Tuesday.
The archives were moved from the second floor of the branch at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. to a newly renovated space within the Central Library branch in Jamaica this summer. The new climate-controlled location on the lower level of the library will better preserve the collections, the library said.
The archives, initiated in 1912, have since amassed more than 50,000 items, including manuscripts, maps and photographs documenting the history of the four counties of Long Island: Queens, Kings, Nassau and Suffolk.
“The digital archives website and the relocation and renovation of the archives space will give the public a new level of access to our collections and services, and help them discover a treasure trove of historical information about their families, their neighborhoods and the development of the great borough of Queens,” Queens Library president and CEO Dennis Walcott said.
The majority of the printed material and manuscripts date from the 19th and 20th centuries, but the archives also include some 18th century material and 17th century manuscripts.
The collection also features several rare historical artifacts, such as the original 1686 Dongan Patent, which settled the boundaries of Jamaica, and the papers of inventor Lewis Latimer, the library said.
"The collections here is one of a kind and you won't find it anywhere else," said Judith Todman, the archives' manager.