Urban Archive invites New Yorkers to submit photos for their new crowdsourced history project

Posted On Fri, February 1, 2019 By

Posted On Fri, February 1, 2019 By In History, Technology

Image courtesy of Urban Archive. Photo credits, clockwise from top left: 1, 2, Museum of the City of New York; 3, 4, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation; 5, Museum of Chinese in America

Technology nonprofit Urban Archive has been creating new connections 
between people, places, and historical institutions for several years based on New York City’s architecture, culture, and unique stories, and they’ve just launched a new initiative. My Archive is a citywide project that tells the story of NYC through crowd-sourced histories and photographs–and it’s an opportunity for regular New Yorkers to add their own history to the map. Throughout the month of February, you can submit your own photos for a chance to have them added to a collection of personal histories captured on city streets across the five boroughs–and included in the UA app.

urban archive, my archive
LinkNYC kiosk at Orchard and Hester Streets showing a photograph from that location in 1898. Image courtesy of Urban Archive.

Over the last two years Urban Archive has geo-located more than 60,000 historical photographs of New York City from the collections of more than a dozen institutional partners. Just one example of how they’re put to good use: Through a joint venture with Museum of the City of New York and LinkNYC, terminals throughout the city are providing New Yorkers with a new perspective on places where they live and work.

Though the UA app is filled with high quality architectural photographs, the occasional snapshot of a family posing in front of a piece of public art, for example, or a pair of friends standing casually next to an iconic eatery clearly strikes a note when it adds a personal side to the bigger context. And Urban Archive often receives touching and quirky stories of app users’ history that correspond with places on the app. Enter My Archive, and the addition of 20 submitted photos that will be added to a permanent, citywide archival collection on the UA app.

Dig into your family archives and join UA in telling the city’s story: The call is open to anyone with a story to share, with an emphasis on photographs that were taken in NYC before the year 2005. All submitted photographs must have been taken on a city street and/or in front of a building that can potentially be identified within the five boroughs. Each photo must also include at least one human subject. If you don’t know where a photo was taken, the Urban Archive team will try to figure it out, but you should include as much information as possible in your submission. You must own all rights to photographs submitted.

Submissions will be accepted between February 1 and February 28. You can submit up to four photos. At the end of the month, 20 winning photographs will be geotagged, added to UA’s permanent, citywide archival collection and featured in the Urban Archive app. The selected photographs will be announced on March 6, 2019.

You can find out more about My Archive and photo submission here, and submit photos here.

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