These Are the Best Architecture Images from the NYPL’s New Public Domain Collection

09:30 - 14 January, 2016
These Are the Best Architecture Images from the NYPL’s New Public Domain Collection, Woolworth Building construction. Image via The New York Public Library
Woolworth Building construction. Image via The New York Public Library

Last week the New York Public Library made over 180,000 images from their digital archives available in the public domain, and free for high-resolution download. Not only are the images available for download, but since they are in the public domain and free of any copyright restrictions, users have the freedom to get creative and alter, modify, and reuse the images in any manner they see fit. Featuring a wide variety of images including drawings, engravings, photographs, maps, postcards, and in some cases, digitized copies of entire books, the collection has been noted for fascinating historical artifacts such as a set of color drawings of Egyptian gods and goddesses, and a digitized book from the 18th century containing over 400 color plates depicting various current and historical fashion trends.

Of course, the archive also includes a significant assortment of captivating architectural images that range from everyday scenes to historic treasures. We've trawled the database to find some of the most unusual and insightful examples - read on to see a selection of the most interesting architectural images from NYPL’s digital archives.

Design Development of the Chrysler Building. Image via The New York Public Library The Bund, Shanghai in the early 1900s. Image via The New York Public Library World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. Image via The New York Public Library via The New York Public Library +36

Do Architectural Preservationists Know What They’re Fighting For?

11:00 - 28 November, 2015
Do Architectural Preservationists Know What They’re Fighting For?, Earlier this year, a plan to alter James Stirling's No.1 Poultry caused a heated discussion. Image © Flickr user merula licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Earlier this year, a plan to alter James Stirling's No.1 Poultry caused a heated discussion. Image © Flickr user merula licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If there’s one thing that can get the architectural community up in arms, it’s the threat of demolition being placed over a much-loved building. Whether it’s a 44-year-old bus station, a 38-year-old hospital, or even a 12-year-old art museum, few other news stories can raise such a sustained outcry. And recently, some have started to turn their eyes toward the next wave of preservation battles: the upcoming crop of Postmodern buildings which are increasingly being placed under threat. But in all of these heated debates about preservation, do people really know what they’re arguing for?

Call for Sessions: SAH 2017 Annual International Conference

04:00 - 20 October, 2015
Call for Sessions: SAH 2017 Annual International Conference, Cloisters at University of Glasgow (courtesy of People Make Glasgow)
Cloisters at University of Glasgow (courtesy of People Make Glasgow)

At its 2017 Annual International Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, SAH will offer a total of 36 paper sessions. The Society invites its members, including graduate students and independent scholars, representatives of SAH chapters, and partner organizations, to chair a session at the conference. As SAH membership is required to chair or present research at the Annual International Conference, non-members who wish to chair a session will be required to join SAH at the time of submitting a session proposal.

Society of Architectural Historians 2016 Annual International Conference

23:30 - 7 October, 2015
Society of Architectural Historians 2016 Annual International Conference

The SAH 2016 Annual International Conference will take place in Pasadena/Los Angeles, April 6-10, with the theme New Local/Global Infrastructures. The conference will engage participants from around the world with the rich, evolving legacy of the region’s built environment. With the scheduled completion of the Metro Expo Light-Rail Line west to Santa Monica in early 2016, Pasadena will be connected to downtown LA and the rest of Los Angeles County. This infrastructure, building on historic right-of-ways, will provide new ways to see the broad range of the region’s architecture and urbanism.

Artefacts Under Attack: What Has Been Damaged And To What Extent?

04:00 - 17 March, 2015
Artefacts Under Attack: What Has Been Damaged And To What Extent?, Buddhas of Bamiyan (1963, 2008). Image via Wikipedia
Buddhas of Bamiyan (1963, 2008). Image via Wikipedia

In an article for the Financial Times (FT), writer and historian Simon Schama examines world conflict zones and the efforts to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable architectural and cultural sites. If history is a measure, then Schama's study of William “Basher” Dowsing - an Englishman who, in the winter of 1643, "made it his personal mission to obliterate as much as he possibly could of sacred art in the churches and colleges of East Anglia" in the name of religion - is pertinent now more than ever.

The Proliferation of "Cultural Genocide" in Areas of Conflict

00:00 - 1 September, 2014
The Proliferation of "Cultural Genocide" in Areas of Conflict, Umayyad Mosque, Old City of Aleppo, Syria (2013).
Umayyad Mosque, Old City of Aleppo, Syria (2013).

In an article for the London Evening Standard, Robert Bevan examines one of the many often overlooked consequences of conflict: the destruction of monuments, culture, and heritage. With heightened conflict in the Middle East over the past decade an enormous amount of "cultural genocide" has occurred - something which Bevan notes is "inextricably linked to human genocide and ethnic cleansing." Arguing that "saving historic treasures and saving lives are not mutually exclusive activities," case studies from across the world are employed to make the point that with the loss of cultural heritage, most commonly architectural, the long term ramifications will resonate throughout this century.

The Library: A World History

01:00 - 27 October, 2013
© Will Pryce
© Will Pryce

Written by James WP Campbell and featuring stunning photography by Will Pryce, "The Library: A World History" (published by Thames & Hudson 2013) explores the evolution of libraries in different cultures and throughout the ages. It investigates how technical innovations as well as changing cultural attitudes have shaped the designs of libraries from the tablet storehouses of ancient Mesopotamia to today's multi-functional media centres.

Read on for some insights from the book and more of its beautiful photography

The Most Amazing (Unknown) Buildings In the World

00:00 - 26 October, 2013
The Most Amazing (Unknown) Buildings In the World, Chand Baori. Via Flickr CC User. Image © S. Le Bozec
Chand Baori. Via Flickr CC User. Image © S. Le Bozec

What makes a building world-famous? The answer is most likely some combination of magnificence, size, and historical importance. But it's far from an exact science, and many of the world's most impressive architectural landmarks are therefore not very well known outside of their own locations.

Thankfully, this post on Quora sheds some light on the lesser-known architectural landmarks on the planet. Read on to find out which marvels you may have missed...

Stari Most. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Nick Kocharhook Parliament Palace, Bucharest. Via Flickr CC user. Image © Gaspar Serrano Choquequirao. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Danielle Pereira Great Wall at Kumbhalgarh. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Dave Poortvliet +7