January 22, 2022

Video: New Image Database Provides Access to Brooklyn’s Historical Past

A video report from News 12 Brooklyn that provides a brief look at the new Brooklyn Visual Heritage project web site and database from Project Chart.

The Project Chart (Cultural Heritage, Access, Research and Technology) collaboration includes the Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS), the Brooklyn Historical SocietyBrooklyn Museum and The Brooklyn Public Library.

Project CHART is funded through an IMLS grant sponsored by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program.

From a Pratt Institute Announcement:

Project CHART builds on earlier collaborations between Pratt-SILS and each of the cultural institution partners, whose historical photographic collections represent their rich holdings. The Brooklyn Public Library, the fifth largest public library in the United States, has an extensive image collection documenting Brooklyn in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including photographs of subway construction and early immigrant neighborhoods. The photographic holdings of the Brooklyn Historical Society, a nationally recognized urban history center that includes a museum, scholarly research library, and educational center, include images from the 1977 Blackout as well as photographs of Brooklyn sites and residents dating from the 1800s through the 1970s. Images to be digitized from the Brooklyn Museum, one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country, include several documentary photographs, lantern slides, and postcards that are not readily available on the internet and feature buildings that no longer exist in the borough.

Direct to Video Segment (via News 12)

Direct to Brooklyn Visual Heritage Home Page ||| Advanced Search Interface

Images can also be browsed by collections and subjects.

A Helpful FAQ Includes the Following About Metadata:

One of the ways that Brooklyn Visual Heritage unique is that is there is no unified metadata scheme between the institutions. Since BHS, BM, and BPL all have well established cataloging procedures, we used this site to create a unified data format without requiring the institutions to change their practices. In some cases it was not possible to make data fields match up exactly, so some information is missing from the site. A keyword search of the subject or location will search the data of all three institutions and return those results. Also, if users follow the image link back to the museum website they will be able to find additional data about the images or sources from which they came.

Learn More: SILS Lets Us Surf Brooklyn’s Visual History (via Pratt SILS)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.