My Archive Open Call
New York, dig into your family archives and join us in telling the story of our city! For the entire month of June, we are once again collecting personal histories and photographs of New Yorkers captured on city streets across the five boroughs.
Submissions will be accepted between June 1 and June 28. All photographs that meet the selection criteria listed below will be added to our permanent, citywide archival collection.
With the help of our esteemed panel of Quintessential New Yorkers, we will also pick 25 stories from the submission pool to highlight in Urban Archive and feature on LinkNYC kiosks in proximity to where the photographs were originally taken.
SELECTION criteria and PROCESS
The call is open to anyone with a story to share but we are most interested in photographs that were taken in NYC before the year 2005. All photographs submitted must have been taken on a city street and/or in front of a building that can potentially be identified within the five boroughs. Each photo must also include at least one human subject. You must retain all rights in any photograph you submit. See examples from our last round here.
Our panel of Quintessential New Yorkers will be helping our team pick 25 stories to highlight in Urban Archive and feature on select LinkNYC kiosks across New York City.
Meet our panel
Dave Ortiz is a New York artist of Puerto Rican descent. Growing up in East New York in the 70s and 80s, Ortiz was swept up in the graffiti zeitgeist but eventually decided to turn to fine art and painting. His work focuses on heritage and cultural assimilation topics.
In addition to his artistic endeavors, Dave has a long history with NYC brands and stores. He was the first employee of Zoo York; he started both a sneaker and a bike/skate company; and he is currently the local partner of Our/New York, the first distillery in Manhattan since Prohibition.
Debi Mazar is a Queens-born actress who has starred in movies and television, including Goodfellas, Empire Records, Entourage, and Younger. She once worked at Danceteria and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Michelle and James Nevius are the authors of three books about New York City, Frommer's 24 Great Walks in New York, Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, and, most recently, Footprints in New York: Tracing the Lives of Four Centuries of New Yorkers. They have also edited guidebooks for Fodor's and written for numerous other publications. James's explorations of real estate and architecture appear frequently in Curbed New York and The New York Post.
Jake Dobkin is the publisher of Gothamist, the New York website, and the author of Ask a Native New Yorker, a book of advice essays. He lives in Park Slope, where he grew up.
James and Karla Murray are husband-and-wife architectural and interior photographers and multi-media artists based in New York City. For the past twenty-five years they have focused their lens on the streetscape through portraits of storefronts and shop owners and have strived to capture moments of city life that often go undocumented but capture the spirit, energy and cultural diversity of individual neighborhoods.
Don’t have your photos digitized?
No problem! We’ll help turn your vintage photos into digital images. As part of this month-long initiative, we're hosting a pop-up scan night on Thursday, June 20th to help you convert your analog photographs into digital files for better preservation and easy sharing! Just B.Y.O. photos and memories to share, and we'll take care of the rest.
June 1, 2019: Submission window opens
June 20, 2019: Pop-up “print and scan” event
June 30, 2019: Submission window closes
August 12, 2019: Photograph selection announced
August 13, 2019: Photograph selection features begin
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is My Archive, anyway?
My Archive is a citywide project that tells the story of NYC through crowd-sourced histories and photographs of New Yorkers. It’s a chance for you to add your story to the map!
What is LinkNYC?
LinkNYC is a new communications network that is replacing New York City pay phones with state-of-the-art kiosks called Links. Each Link is equipped with free services like high-speed Wi-Fi, phone calls, a tablet for maps and city services, and device charging for anyone living in or visiting New York City to enjoy. In the past, we’ve partnered with LinkNYC to bring history to city streets!
How does this fit into the Urban Archive mission?
Over the last two years, Urban Archive has geo-located more than 80,000 historical photographs of New York City from the collections of more than a dozen institutional partners. The app is rich with architectural photographs, often crisp and professional, but occasionally we come across a family posing in front of a piece of public art or a pair of friends captured casually next to an iconic eatery. At the same time, you, the Urban Archives users, have sent us touching and quirky stories of your history with places on the app. We’ve introduced My Archive because a city is not just buildings, but the people who live there and visit, and we want to add your story to the map. This project creates a space for that. We hope you join us for the inaugural year!
Who is eligible to submit?
Anyone with a photo and story to share.
What kinds of photos are you looking for?
The call is open to anyone with a story to share, but we are most interested in photographs that were taken in NYC before the year 2005. All photographs submitted must have been taken on a city street and/or in front of a building that can potentially be identified within the five boroughs. Each photo must also include at least one human subject. You must retain all rights in any photograph you submit.
Can you provide me with a submission example?
See our selections from the last My Archive round for examples.
I don’t know where the photo was taken, can I still submit?
Yes. Our team will try to pindown just where the photo was taken. We just ask that you include as much information about the photo as possible in your submission.
How do I apply?
Easy! You can submit your photos here.
How many photos can I submit?
You can submit up to five photographs.
How many photos will be added to Urban Archive?
We will add all photos that meet the selection criteria and that can be located to our permanent, citywide archival collection.
You retain all rights in any photograph you submit. However, we do need your permission to use your photograph and comments as part of this project. By uploading your photograph and comments you grant Urban Archive a non-exclusive, world-wide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicenseable, and transferable license to use, reproduce, reformat, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform your photograph and comments in connection with and for the promotion of My Archive and the Urban Archive platform. This includes the right display your photograph and comments on LinkNYC kiosks. You also warrant that you have the power to grant all rights and permissions required for Urban Archive to make use of those photographs and comments as part of My Archive and Urban Archive.
Have more questions?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to submit your photos?
Add your story to the map today!