muse: n. a source of inspiration

The New York Public Library’s Collections

The Technology: The New York Public Library’s Collections

The New York Public Library’s digital collections site gives you free access to their prints, streaming media, maps, photographs and more. And, there’s no account to create, no password to remember, and no subscription to maintain. You don’t even need a library card!

You can explore their images by clicking on the featured collections icons, or you can choose to search by keyword. (When I searched by the term, “Jewish” the site returned over 4,000 results, including images of sisterhood cookbooks, an oral history of Milton Berle, and photos of fifth and sixth century amulets found in Jewish tombs in Jordan.)

Photos can be easily downloaded, and cut and pasted into documents. The library provides the credit and citation information for you to include in any materials you use their images in.

Keep in mind that the site does not provide an option for you to save your searches. If you want to retain an image to refer to later, you need to download it onto your computer, or do another search for it later. 

In Your Classroom

  • If you’re teaching history, this is a terrific place to find photos that relate to your subject. For example, a search for “lower-east-side” resulted in photos of street scenes that could add a great deal to an immigration unit.
  • Historical  photographs can make great discussion starters.This photo, for instance, would be a wonderful visual to prompt student discussion on what it must have felt like to be waiting to be allowed to immigrate to America.
  • Are your students doing biography projects about American Jews? Invite them to search the site to find engaging memorabilia that relate to their projects. For example, this image from 1931 shows the Supreme Court justices of the time, including Louis Brandeis.  

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.


September 15, 2016 - Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Technology Tuesdays, Uncategorized |

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