Hold History in Your Hand With the Launch of the Urban Archive App in Newburgh


    The collecting institutions of Newburgh have banded together to bring the rich history of their community to life via a new collaboration with Urban Archive.

    Starting June 1, natives and visitors to the scenic city along the Hudson will be able to soak in the sites while pulling up historic images and information via Urban Archive’s digital platform.

    Launched in 2016, Urban Archive has been working with dozens of New York City’s collecting institutions to create a mobile archive. At its heart, the app is designed to be a centralized resource for collections — allowing museums and libraries to expand their reach and make materials they already create for exhibits and educational programs available beyond the walls of the institutions.

    vintage new york photos

    Photo via Urban Archive

    New Yorkers looking to engage with history can explore the images 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.

    The platform has grown to include more than 80,000 geotagged images from more than two dozen collecting organizations. The expansion to Newburgh is the first time the project is extending its reach beyond the five boroughs.

    Perched on a scenic spot along the western banks of the Hudson River, Newburgh is a must-see for any architecture or history buff. To walk through the streets is to wander through an architectural guidebook with Federal, Gothic, Italianate and Queen Anne styles on display.

    newburgh ny architecture dutch reformed church

    The Dutch Reformed Church of Newburgh. Photo by Susan De Vries

    While strolling through the historic city, users of Urban Archive Newburgh will be able to pull up images and stories, including views of the endangered Dutch Reformed Church by Alexander Jackson Davis and the tale of Frederick Douglass’ visit to the AME Zion Church in 1870.

    Local organizations partnering on the project so far include Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands, Newburgh Heritage Center, The Newburgh Free Library, The Department of Small Interventions and The Southeastern NY Library Resources Council. They have contributed more than 200 images for the project, with more to come.

    The Newburgh app will debut on Saturday, June 1 during the annual Newburgh Illuminated Festival. Stop by the booths of the Newburgh Free Library and Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands between 12 and 6 p.m. to check it out. More information on the event is available here.

    Alas, for now, the Urban Archive app is still only available for iPhone, but it is free to download.

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