Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Online Photo Database Launches TODAY!

Today we are excited to announce the launch of our online photo database, accessible at This project has been over four years in the making. Wow! And hooray!

The database features images of the neighborhood, historic and contemporary photographs of 97 Orchard Street, and historic portraits of those who lived and worked there. All images are part of the Museum’s permanent collection, which features over 5,000 objects and 130 linear feet of archival records. For the first time, researchers from around the world can access the photographic archive online, making our historic resources available to a wider audience.

We imagine that if you are a teacher or researcher, you'll find a lot of useful information on the database. But if you're a history nut, an artist, or a Museum visitor, you'll also find something to love here. Either way, we hope you will dig in and explore. You can even create a log-in and save your favorite images.

Some of our favorite parts of the database include:
  • Photographs of former 97 Orchard Street residents and their descendants, 1860s-2000s. Families whose stories are told on Museum tours are represented, as well as many others.
  • The last days at Sidney Undergarment Co., a photo essay taken on closing day of this business at 97 Orchard Street, 1979
  • The WPA photographs of Arnold Eagle, taken on the Lower East Side in the 1930s and early 1940s.
  • Lower East Side images taken by photographer Donald Sheppard in the 1940s.
  • Edmund Gillon’s photographs of Lower East Side street scenes during the 1970s
  • Images of the Tenement Museum’s restored apartments, as well as the building pre- and during restoration, from 1988 to the present day
So, what are you waiting for... head over to and check it out!

Many thanks to our collaborators, staff and sponsors:
Software: PastPerfect
Database production: MWeb System by Systems Planning
Consultant: Picture Projects
Designer: Jeff Tancil
Curatorial Staff at the Tenement Museum along with interns and volunteers.

This project is made possible, in part, by the David Berg Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Sites Fund.

All images Courtesy Lower East Side Tenement Museum, (c) 2010. Tenement rear yard photo by Arnold Eagle. Orchard & Delancey photo by Edmund Gillon.

- Posted by Kate


  1. Any tips on how to date old family photos?

  2. One of the best ways to date old family photos is to analyze costume, fashions, hats & jewelry worn by the people that appear in the photos.


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