The People of Colonial Albany Live Here

Graphics Archive

Summer 2000

Accompanying our long term search for information on the lives of the 16,000 individuals who founded and built the city of Albany is an ongoing quest for graphics materials that will provide visual perspectives on the people of colonial Albany and their world.

At this point, the Colonial Albany Social History Project has accumulated more than 5,000 discreet images that are held in a range of useful forms. All of these have been copied from other sources - some directly from the original source. But many others in our collection are secondhand and even more distantly related copies. The Colonial Albany Social History Project owns no original historic materials. But the project seeks a quality copy of every historic image and artifact that might help us better understand the past and also help illustrate our educational programs. Because we do not own the originals, none of the copies in the Graphics Archive are ever duplicated for non project use. Inquiries regarding the use of such images are referred to the owners or custodians of the material who should be identified in conjunction with their use on this website.

Here are some links to useful expositions on the subject:

Picturing the Past: A Visual Dimension for Community History

See also, theme essays on art and artists and on victorianizing the past.

Finally, we have begun to come to terms with the issue of use of materials in external collections!


Image types include portraits and other likenesses of people and things, community views and street scenes, maps and diagrams, and other miscellaneous renderings. Some of these images are copies of authentic seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century depictations. Others are after-the-fact copies of all of the above. Included also are both historic photographs and more recent (after the birth of the project in 1981) photos. A final important category includes historical art such as the recreations of James Eights and Len Tantillo. Additionally, each core image may have many details and/or variations.

Graphics Archive image copies are stored on paper, as slides, or as computer files. During 2000, we began the task of upgrading the quality and digitizing all of our image copies. Digitized images now form the backbone of website and public presentations.

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posted: 7/28/00; last revised 11/17/03