Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anyone with Internet Access Can See Interesting Views of Albany


Albany Public Library has a rich and varied collection of historic Albany photos that is now available to view online through New York Heritage Digital Collections -- a free online portal designed for researchers and history buffs. The site -- -- is now showcasing two small APL collections: "Views of Albany" and "Urban Renewal in Albany."

Views of Albany showcases a selection of black and white photographs that are mostly from the early 20th century. This collection shows the homes, churches, businesses, weather events, transportation, streets, and people of Albany's past.

Urban Renewal in Albany is an album of photographs and captions that was handmade in 1976 by Florence L. Powell, a historical research assistant for the city of Albany. Powell's album is composed of before-and-after pictures of the Clinton Square area during the urban renewal era. The scrapbook documents the demolition of buildings, the reshaping of streets, and the construction of Interstate 787 and the Leo W. O'Brien Office Building.

The library will continue to add photos to the New York Heritage online collection. These images are just a sample of APL's full Pruyn Collection of Albany History, which is housed in the Albany History Room at the Main Library and includes documents about urban renewal, the South Mall construction, city and state government, and African American history. The Pruyn Collection is comprised of thousands of books, photographs, city directories, newspapers, documents, census records, city council minutes, maps, and more. For more information, please call 427-4303.

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