Tell Your New York Story With the Urban Archive Vintage Photo Call

Women on the Long Meadow, 1913. Photo via Bob Levine Collection, Prospect Park Alliance


    Got a snap of New York with an evocative story behind it? Here’s your chance to get your story and photograph out to history enthusiasts across the city with Urban Archive’s new photo call.

    Urban Archive, an app that works with dozens of New York City’s collecting institutions to create a mobile archive, is now looking to add some personal snapshots to their collection. During the month of February they are launching My Archive and asking New Yorkers to dig through photo albums and submit shots that tell a story about the city.

    vintage new york

    Family on Surf Avenue, Coney Island, 1939. Photo by Andrew Herman via Museum of the City of New York

    The photos don’t necessarily have to be antique; anything taken before 2005 is eligible. However, the photo must show an identifiable city street scene or building and at least one person. If you find some snaps of interest and own the rights you can submit up to four photographs for consideration. Ultimately, 20 photographs will be chosen and added to the Urban Archive’s permanent collection. Since its launch, Urban Archive has geolocated more than 60,000 historical photographs in partnership with New York archives and organizations.

    If you want to submit photos for consideration but don’t know the exact address where your snap was taken, just supply as much of the story as you can and Urban Archive will do some detective work to see if they can hunt down the location. Since the selected photos will be accessible via the app, they ultimately must be tied to an address like all of the other historic images in the collection.

    vintage new york photos

    Photo via Urban Archive

    New Yorkers looking to engage with history can then explore the images chosen from fellow New Yorkers and more than 45,000 other historic views in the app in countless ways as they walk around the city. They can take a walking tour, explore an exhibition, search for historic images or even set an alert so when roaming the city they know when they pass something captured in a historic view.

    Submissions will be accepted from February 1 until February 27, and the 20 selected photos will be announced on March 6. For all the details, including how your photo will be used, check out the project page here.

    To view the other historic images already included, you can download the app for free, here. Right now the app is available only for iPhone, but an Android version is in the works and should launch this year.

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