info 03.31.15

The Department of Records
Every Person in New York

The Department of Records…not exactly clickbait. But allow us to make the case.

First of all, there's the online archive of over 900,000 NYC photos. Time travel doesn't get much better than this.

But take a real-world trip to the Beaux Arts building, which opened in 1907— it's worth a visit for the lavish lobby alone: three stories, a marble double staircase, all inspired by the Paris Opera House.

The Municipal Archives and the Municipal Library are the real jewels: an astonishing historical trove for professional and amateur historians and sleuths.

Even if you're not there to dig deep, the rotating exhibits are worthwhile. Through June 30, it's the wide-scope Women Make History, "celebrating women's struggles to achieve equity in pay, civic and City government participation, access to reproductive health, and to combat gender-based violence."

You can hang out with fellow history nerds when The Municipal Library Book Club meets the first Wednesday of every month, 1-2pm, in room 112, to discuss a book about the city's history.

Sure, there's more, but exploring is part of the fun. And "Honey, let's go check out the Department of Records" just might make you sound irresistible.

31 Chambers [Centre/Elk]. Open M-Th, 9-4:30, F 9-1.

Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for Every Person in New York on Tuesdays in MUG and daily at Jason's site.

Chinatown (from 2013)

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