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Bronx Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, September 28, 2001


Receiving Gift Turkey. Central Park, Manhattan, December 2, 1934. New York City Parks Photo Archive

Parks’ Photo Archive is a history of Parks in images. The archive stores more than 100,000 photographs that date to the 1860s and negatives from as early as 1934. Taken by official Parks photographers ostensibly to document park acquisition, develop and use, they not only illustrate a history of our green spaces, they tell a history of sports, landscaping, wildlife conservation, and special events in New York City. Each year, the archive receives roughly 300 requests for images from authors, journalists, and other members of the public. These have been used to illustrate several hundred books and articles. Recently, photographs were selected for the NY2012 Olympic Bid package.

This weekend, 14 of the archive’s vintage film clips and several stills will appear in the PBS premier of Ric Burns’ epic documentary of New York history, parts 6 & 7, which cover 1932 to 1945 and 1945 to 1975. Interested Parkies can tune in to Channel 13 on Sunday, September 30 and Monday, October 1 at 9:00 p.m.

Like many archives, the Parks Photo Archive is endangered by damage and loss caused by environmental conditions, and the archive has sought public and private resources to help finance its preservation we as we its retrieval capacity. This year, the archive received two State grants from the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund. $39,000 will be used to digitize images of Prospect Park taken in the period between 1930 and 1970. The archive will work with the Prospect Park Alliance to complete this task. An additional $22,000 will be used to copy negatives and prints of the 2,000 maps, drawings, and photographs in Parks’ annual reports from the 1860 to 1930s.

Parkies interested in Parks’ collection may contact Photo Archivist Sachiko (Ciocio) Onishi, or "Sony", by e mail. This summer she retrieved historic photographs of Bethesda Fountain, Coney Island, and other park sites for wedding, birthday, and going away gifts for Parkies. Some of the archive’s holdings are exhibited on the website as an extension of the Gallery’s last exhibit, Greener Pastures: A History of Bronx Parks. The archive’s procedures and user fees are also posted on the website.



(Friday, September 30, 1988)



This week marks the beginning of a series of free weekend programs designed to help children understand and appreciate Central Park through creative games and arts and include creating Halloween masks, greeting cards, holiday ornaments and toys, as well as exploring the historical and horticultural wonders of Central Park. The workshops are organized by the Central Park Conservancy.


"A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely.
That is why I think a photograph can be kind."

Albert Einstein

Directions to Bronx Park

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