Culture

The New York Public Library’s Digital Photo Archive Is a Time Machine Through Latin American History

Lead Photo: The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library

If you’re anything like me, then you can easily spend hours looking through vintage photos on the Old School Cool subreddit. One of the downsides is that I can’t really find much that is representative of my Cuban and Nicaraguan roots.

But the New York Public Library may have an alternative for those interested in historic photographs and documents from Latin America, and recently, they made it easily accessible online. This month, the New York Public Library made 180,000 images available in the public domain through its digital collection archive.

“The New York Public Library is committed to giving our users access to information and resources however possible,” said Tony Marx, president of the Library. “Today, we are going beyond providing our users with digital facsimiles that give only an impression of something we have in our physical collection. By making our highest-quality assets freely available, we are truly giving our users the greatest access possible to our collections in the digital environment.”

While the catalog of images doesn’t offer much in the way of details, it does give a snapshot of what life was like in Latin America in the past. Check out 15 images from the NYPL collection:

1

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Harry Alverson Franck

2

Southwestern United States

Continent Stereoscopic Company

3

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


“Market Women,” 1860-1900

4

Barranquilla, Colombia

5

Argentina


“Argentina Pavilion – Marines,” 1935-1945

6

Lima, Peru

7

Maracaibo, Venezuela

8

Chile

9

Ecuador


“Ecuador Participation – Hat maker,” 1935-1945

10

Guatemala


“Theatres — Guatemala — Guatemala — Teatro Nacional”

11

Santiago de Cuba


“A group of children in Santiago de Cuba,” 1919

12

San Carlos and San Juan River, Nicaragua

13

Costa Rica

14

San Juan, Puerto Rico

15

Panama