A glimpse into New York City at the turn of the 20th century can now be viewed at an exceptional level of detail: 6.5 million unique census records from 1850, 1880, and 1910 are pinpointed to residential addresses on the recently launched website Mapping Historical New York: A Digital Atlas. During these 60 years, New York City experienced a radical transformation due to an immigration surge and expansion into Brooklyn.
The interactive map visualizes Manhattan’s and Brooklyn’s transformations during this period, and shows how migration, residential, and occupational patterns shaped the city. The atlas also breaks new ground by locating each person counted in the census at their home address, sometimes before the street grid was even established. The ongoing project will expand over the next three years to include all five boroughs up to the 1940 census.
The atlas emerged from a multi-year collaboration between the Department of History and the Center for Spatial Research, which is part of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Wright Kennedy, a postdoctoral research scholar, and Dan Miller, a research associate, led the project, alongside History Professor Gergely Baics, director of Urban Studies at Barnard; Rebecca Kobrin, Russell and Bettina Knapp Professor of American Jewish History; GSAPP Professor Laura Kurgan, director of the Center for Spatial Research; GSAPP Professor Leah Meisterlin; Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies; and Dare Brawley, assistant director of the Center for Spatial Research. The team spoke about Mapping Historical New York, which is funded by the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation, at a recent virtual launch event, hosted by GSAPP.
New Research Tool: “Mapping Historical New York: A Digital Atlas”
Filed by December 7, 2021on