The New York Public Library Just Unleashed 180,000 Free Images. We Can’t Stop Looking at Them.

Say goodbye to your afternoon.


Blossom Restaurant, 103 Bowery, Manhattan Berenice Abbott/The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library.

The New York Public Library just digitized and made available more than 180,000 high-resolution items, which the public can download for free.

The images come from pieces in the library’s collection that have fallen out of copyright or are otherwise in the public domain. This includes botanical illustrations, ancient texts, historical maps—including the incredible Green Book collection of travel guides for African American travelers in the mid-1900s. They’ve also released more than 40,000 stereoscopes, Berenice Abbott’s amazing documentation of New York City in the 1930s, and Lewis Hines’ photos of Ellis Island immigrants, as well as the letters of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, among other political figures.

One of the related projects they’ve created with this release is a cool visualization tool that lets you browse every item released.

It’s a true treasure trove and—warning!—a total time suck.

Say goodbye to your afternoon.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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