History Tech App Urban Archive Expands from New York City to Newburgh, NY
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Newburgh, NY- Launching June 1, 2019, Newburgh is the first expansion for Urban Archive outside of New York City. Urban Archive, a technology non-profit, had their start in 2016 working with three institutional partners and only a few hundred archival photographs. Today, Urban Archive's digital platform features more than 80,000 geolocated images sourced from more than two dozen organizations in New York City. These images, which are available at your fingertips on a free iOS app, constitute a vital resource for the documentation of the City’s rich history.

Local institutions in the Hudson Valley have now begun to make their rich photographic collections publicly accessible, utilizing Urban Archive’s digital platform to tell their stories: the important intersections of architecture, preservation, place, and community. Through this new partnership, Newburgh residents and visitors can use the Urban Archive mobile app to interact with Newburgh’s history where it happened through archival photos and special features such as curated walking tours, audio tours, and DIY then-and-now photo recreations. For this launch, five collaborative partners have added over 148 images of historic Newburgh for users to explore.

Situated 60 miles north of New York City, Newburgh NY is the second largest historic district in New York State with architectural styles representing three centuries. Walking through the city, visitors will learn about the buildings and their stories with the Urban Archive mobile app. Examples include structures by renowned local architect Frank E. Estabrook whose specialty was designing public buildings and schools, AME Zion Church where Frederick Douglass visited in 1870, and the endangered Dutch Reformed Church - an 1835 Greek Revival "temple" that is on the World Monuments Fund's list of the "100 Most Endangered Sites". Like many industrial cities, Newburgh suffered through the mid-20th century losing jobs, taxes, investment and over 1,000 structures to a failed urban renewal program. Some of Newburgh’s lost notable buildings are also included in Urban Archive.

Collaboration is essential in compiling these archives. Local partners include City of Newburgh Heritage Center, Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands, The Newburgh Free Library, The Southeastern NY Library Resources Council and The Department of Small Interventions. The five partnering organizations are excited to see how the platform can be utilized by teachers, students, and researchers to uncover location-based history. The team welcomes the opportunity to expand membership to other organizations who want to share their collections with the public.

Urban Archive Newburgh will debut at Newburgh Illuminated on Saturday June 1 2019 at the booths of Newburgh Free Library and Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands. Facebook info at www.facebook.com/events/625277954633745/

Attend the Urban Archive Newburgh launch on Saturday June 15 at 2pm at The Heritage Center at 123 Grand Street, Newburgh NY.

Download Urban Archive from the App Store. Urban Archive is currently only available for iOS. Release of a web app is forthcoming in 2019.

For more information visit https://www.urbanarchive.nyc/ua-newburgh

About the Partnering Institutions

Urban Archive

Urban Archive is a technology nonprofit that creates new connections between people, places, and historical institutions. Its mission is to inspire learning that is rooted in what’s local — the architecture, culture, and unique stories of New York City. To date, Urban Archive has mapped more than 80,000 images across 33,000 locations in New York City, collaborated on more than 150 in-app curated photo collections, created both indoor and outdoor audio guides and hosted dozens of events. http://urbanarchive.nyc

City of Newburgh Heritage Center Archives

Among the thousands of records that a municipality retains are images, maps and documents that reveal the story of the city.  In Newburgh, these records are stored in the old 1840 courthouse building known as The Newburgh Heritage Center. https://www.cityofnewburgh-ny.gov/city-historian

Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands

The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands is a nonprofit organization founded in 1884 and dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the unique history, architecture and culture of Newburgh and the surrounding area. Since 1954 it has been headquartered in the Captain David Crawford House, an 1830 historic house museum with a collection of period furnishings, paintings, and decorative arts - as well as temporary exhibit space and a collection of historic ship models. The house also contains an extensive research archive of local documentation and photographs. In addition to maintaining the house and collections, the Historical Society offers illustrated lectures, guided walks and other public programs, including the popular “Candlelight Tour” of private houses decorated for the holidays every December. http://www.newburghhistoricalsociety.com/

The Newburgh Free Library Local History Room

The Library collects, organizes and makes available information, materials, and activities to serve the public’s informational, recreational, cultural and educational needs within the limitations of space and budget. The Library provides access to its collection and services to all regardless of race, color, national origin, creed or religion, marital status, veteran status, sex or sexual orientation, age, disability, economic status, or views.  The Local History Room contains regional information about the people, places and things that make up the Greater Newburgh Area including genealogy and family histories, maps, photographs, and of course books on the history of our region.,

Southeastern N.Y.Library Resources Council New York Heritage

The mission of Southeastern New York Library Resources Council is to provide access to information, resources, support, networking, and professional development opportunities to enhance the services of its member organizations. Southeastern is a member organization serving libraries in the eight-county area of Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Putnam and Rockland. Through the coordinating activities of Southeastern, this member network of hundreds of academic, hospital, institutional, school and public libraries, historical societies, archives and museums exists to share library resources and professional expertise for the betterment of the organizations' users.

New York Heritage is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and anyone else who is interested in learning more about the people, places and institutions of New York State. The collections in New York Heritage represent a broad range of historical, scholarly, and cultural materials held in libraries, museums, and archives throughout the state. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, directories, maps, books, and more. New York Heritage is a collaborative project of several Empire State Library Network members, including Southeastern.

Department of Small Interventions

Recognizing the power of incremental change, Dept of Small Interventions (DoSI) launches place-based projects to amplify cultural assets, galvanize collaborations, and build social infrastructure. The organic participatory approach integrates creative placemaking into community development and planning goals. Projects to date include Urban Archive Newburgh, Frederick Douglass in Newburgh, Building Shells Project, Newburgh Arts & Cultural Inventory, and Reimagine Lake Street Corridor.

Contact: Naomi Hersson-Ringskog dosmallinterventions@gmail.com 202.413.4262

Ben Smyth
My Archive - Spring 2019 Selections Announced!

Drum roll, please! The results are in from My Archive: our citywide project that tells the story of NYC through crowd-sourced photographs of New Yorkers. 

my archive spring 2019 selections - banner

With over 150 submissions, your enthusiasm made it impossible to just pick 20 images to add to our permanent archival collection of photographs as we initially announced back in February. Instead, our team decided to add every photograph that could be mapped to our platform. We also selected 25 photographs and stories to highlight that we felt reflect the diverse experiences of the city - like the one below!

"This picture was taken Thanksgiving weekend, 1985. In the time before cellphones and instant access, a group of college friends independently, coincidentally, descended upon the city to visit a mutual friend. Six months later, I moved into the very same building and began my career as a New Yorker." - Philip Mondello

"This picture was taken Thanksgiving weekend, 1985. In the time before cellphones and instant access, a group of college friends independently, coincidentally, descended upon the city to visit a mutual friend. Six months later, I moved into the very same building and began my career as a New Yorker." - Philip Mondello

My Archive is a quirky marriage of historical archives, storytelling, and your friend's 1970s Afro!

For the full My Archive roundup, click here to view them in the Urban Archive app or see below for image highlights.

Before we close this round, we want to thank our partners and everyone who participated. Our team is endlessly inspired by the stories of people and places that not only make New York City so special but home for so many of us. You can read about some of our favorite research findings and the notes that we collected along the way here.

We already can't wait for the next round - My Archive 2.0 - set for this June. Until then, stay tuned for updates and be in touch if you read a My Archive Story that touches you just as so many of them did for us.

Ben Smyth