City Images from Distant Past Now Online

April 24, 2012 Updated: April 29, 2012

NEW YORK—More than 870,000 images from as far back as 160 years ago are now available online for perusal.

The city’s Department of Records made the news public on Tuesday. Photos, maps, video, and audio are all included in the collection.

The site had already become too popular, becoming jammed with visitors.

“Due to overwhelming demand, the New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery is experiencing temporary difficulties,” stated the website. “Please try again later.”

When the material is available, it is free to browse and access to research. However, ordering prints or digital files and licensing images or film clips for commercial use costs money. Prices begin at $45 for digital prints. Prices for digital files were not available.

According to The Associated Press, the pictures were “taken mostly by anonymous municipal workers,” and part of more than 2.2 million images of the Municipal Archives.

Department of Records assistant commissioner Kenneth Cobb told AP the project began four years ago, adding, “We all knew that we had fantastic photograph collections that no one would even guess that we had.”

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