Historic Brooklyn Photographs

Historic Brooklyn Photographs

Brooklyn Public Library's online catalog contains a selection of more than ten thousand historic photographs from the Brooklyn Collection.

Searching and Viewing

Every word in the catalog record is fully searchable, including the photographer's name, the call number (for example, NEIG 0829), and any caption information. The search results appear as a list of catalog records. To view the actual photograph, first click on the underlined title, and then click on the thumbnail (small picture) to see a larger version of the photograph.


Find out about ordering a print of any photo from the Brooklyn Collection.

Photograph Collections

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Photograph Collection (c. 1900-1955) provides many of the images, documenting change and development in the urban environment throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Major categories of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle photographs in the catalog include Bridges, Churches, Coney Island, Neighborhoods, Parks, Schools and the Eagle itself.  You can find a full listing of the digitized Eagle photograph categories here.  For a listing of all Eagle photograph files, including those not digitized in our catalog, see "Photographs from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Morgue" and "Photographs from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle -- Brooklyn Subjects" our finding aids page

The Brooklyn Collection also houses smaller photography collections by commercial and amateur photographers. Ranging from family photographs to images of street life to official municipal photographs, these collections capture a broader range of borough history. The following collections have been digitized and can be viewed online:

Daniel Berry Austin photo thumbnail | Call# AUST 0214

*Daniel Berry Austin. Daniel Berry Austin. 1899-1909. Brooklyn, Manhattan. Farms; houses; neighborhoods; landscapes. Many stereoviews. Amateur photographer.

View Daniel Berry Austin photographs



George Bradford Brainerd photo thumbnail | Call# BRAI 0338*George Bradford Brainerd. 1845-1887. Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Connecticut. Street scenes; houses; landscapes; waterfront; parks. Many stereoviews. Amateur photographer.



View George Bradford Brainerd photographs


Brooklyn Public Library. More than 1,200 images of Brooklyn Public Library's 58 branches and their surrounding communities through the 20th century. 

View the Brooklyn Public Library photograph collection.



Brooklyn Public Library - Central Library. c. 1937 through the present.  This collection of over 1,300 photographs documents the construction of the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza as well as the events and exhibits in the building throughout the 20th century.

View the Brooklyn Public Library - Central Library photographs.


Carnegie Libraries. Exterior and interior photographs of Brooklyn Public Library branches built near the turn of the 19th century with funds from Andrew Carnegie.

Search for the Carnegie Library photographs


Cobb Collection. 1907-1908. Prospect Park; Grand Army Plaza; Coney Island. Photographer's full name is not known.

View Cobb Collection photographs


Coney Island Dreamland Fire. 1911. Ten photographs of the aftermath of the May 27, 1911 fire that destroyed the Dreamland park in Coney Island.

View the Coney Island Dreamland Fire photographs



Coney Island Lifeguards. c. 1920. Candid photographs of lifeguards and swimmers at Coney Island beaches from the 1920s.  The photographer is unknown.

View the Coney Island Lifeguards photographs



Raoul Froger-Doudemont photo thumbnail | Call# FROG 0046*Raoul Froger-Doudemont. 1898-1901. Manhattan and Brooklyn. Street scenes, waterfront, parades. Amateur photographer.
View Raoul Froger-Doudemont photographs




Anders Goldfarb. 1978 - 2009. Greenpoint; Williamsburg; buildings; industrial landscapes; street scenes; neighborhood festivals; color and black & white photography.

View Anders Goldfarb photographs

Learn more about Anders Goldfarb on our Brooklynology blog


Irving I. Herzberg photo thumbnail | Call# HERZ 0499Irving I. Herzberg. 1950-1990; Coney island; Hasidic Williamsburg; Ocean Parkway; people on the subway; Brooklyn institutions; plane crash in Park Slope; character studies/portraits. Amateur photographer.
View Irving I. Herzberg photographs


H.S. Lewis. 1902-1917. Coney Island; Dreamland; Surf Avenue; Barnum and Bailey Circus.

View the H.S. Lewis photographs


George S. Ogden. 1914. Historic Dutch houses in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, including the Wyckoff house, the Van Siclen house, the Schenck house, and the Remsen house, among others.

View the George S. Ogden collection


Pope Mansion. 1909. Images of the interior and grounds of the Pope family home at 871 Bushwick.

View the Pope Mansion photographs

Learn more about the Pope family on our Brooklynology Blog


Postcard Collection. c. 1890 - present day. Hundreds of postcards depicting landmarks throughout Brooklyn.

View the Postcard Collection



Edgar E. Rutter photo thumbnail | Call# RUTT 0020E.E. Rutter. 1912-1954. Brooklyn streets; subway; road-building; sewers. Official photographer for the Borough of Brooklyn.
View E.E. Rutter photographs



Learn more about E.E. Rutter on our Brooklynology blog.


Boris Schleifer. 1925 - 1926. Photographs of the staff, inmates, and grounds of the Kingston Avenue Hospital, which specialized in treatment of contagious diseases.

View the Boris Schleifer photographs of Kingston Avenue Hospital

Learn more about Boris Schleifer and the Kingston Avenue Hospital on our Brooklynology blog.


Jamel Shabazz. 1980 - 2010. Brooklyn street life, fashion, Prospect Park, youth culture; color and black & white photography

View Jamel Shabazz photographs

Watch an audio slideshow of Shabazz's photographs of Prospect Park.


Shore Road Collection. Photographs of homes and landscapes along Bay Ridge's Shore Road in the early 1900s.

View the Shore Road photographs


Steeplechase Park Circus. c. 1934 - 1937.  28 images of the cast of the Steeplechase Park Circus at Coney Island, many of them autographed. 

View the Steeplechase Park Circus photographs.


Subway Construction. Over 300 images from the early 20th century (c. 1905 - 1915) depicting the construction of subway lines throughout Brooklyn.  Many of them are cyanotypes.

View the Subway Construction collection.


Edgar S. Thomson photo thumbnail | Call# THOM 0042*Edgar S. Thomson. 1893-1900. Manhattan and Brooklyn; military; Navy Yard; waterfront; circus. Amateur photographer.

View Edgar S. Thomson photographs


Irving I. Underhill photo thumbnail | Call# UNDE 0035*Irving I. Underhill. 1900-1949. Brooklyn municipal and commercial buildings, monuments, waterfront. Commercial photographer.

View Irving I. Underhill photographs


Breading Way. 1888. Home interiors; Brighton Beach; waterfront; Blizzard of 1888.

View Breading G. Way photographs


Eugene Wemlinger. 1903 - 1910. Coney Island; Luna Park; Steeplechase Park; Dreamland.

View Eugene Wemlinger photographs


Julius Wilcox. c.1892. Cyanotype photographs of Brooklyn and Manhattan by photographer Julius Wilcox.  Brooklyn Bridge; Williamsburg Bridge; street life; tenements; waterfront.

View the Julius Wilcox photographs

Read more about Julius Wilcox on our Brooklynology blog here and here.


* indicates collections owned jointly with the Brooklyn Museum

Contact the Brooklyn Collection
  • To share information or ask a question about photographs in the catalog, please contact the Brooklyn Collection.
  • To submit a reference question to the Brooklyn Collection, please use the Library's Ask A Librarian form.

Funding for the digitization of the Brooklyn Collection images was provided by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, while BPL continues to support the on-going cataloguing work.