NYC Municipal Gallery
On April 25, 2012, the NYC Department of records published 870,000 photos online. This is part of a digitization process of more than 2,2 million pictures in the archive reaching back to the midst of the 19th century. Crimes scenes, shot as evidence by police are here, the famous building portraits and photos documenting great projects like the building of the Brooklyn Bridge (by city employed photog Eugene de Salignac who was honored with the exhibition New York Rises at the Museum of the City of New York). Prints can be ordered as well.
|NYC Municipal Gallery|
New York, but I recommend finer approaches by using the subject search (more than 91,000 results) or the matching keywords around it.
Do absolutely NOT MISS the single collections, there are wonderful troves to be found, like the hundreds of photos Berenice Abbott took for her book Changing New York: Photographs by Berenice Abbott, 1935-1938. Head for the All Collection Guides to see more than a dozen digital collections about New York City alone!
If you prefer to just get bounced around the most intriguing old photos of the city, try NYPL's Pinterest.
|New York Public Library Digital Collections|
|Collection of the Museum of the City on New York|
Amongst the many photographic collections on the web which are not just specifically about New York, Flickr Commons should be noted quite at the start of the list. The participating institutions add a never ending stream of historic photos in the public domain for easy access online. The most relevant for the City of New York are probably the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the George Eastman House.
Other good photo spotsOther good places to see New York related photography are for example the Jewish Museum, which recently had a great show about the Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951, or the International Center of Photography, which actually shows until September 2, 2012, grim photos in Weegee: Murder is my business.
And then there are countless little museums and galleries sporting New York related photography. But that would lead us astray right here...