Help ‘Neighborhood Stories’ Come Alive
Everyone with a story to tell about Queens neighborhoods can share it through a new history project launched by the Queens Borough Public Library and the website Historypin.
Titled “Queens: Neighborhood Stories,” the initiative aims to create a free interactive record of photos, videos, oral accounts, stories and other information about communities across the borough from all time periods. The project is funded by the Metropolitan New York Library Council.
In the months to come, Queens Library and Historypin will work with local communities to gather and share all kinds of materials that will be posted online at www.historypin.com/neighborhood stories.
All of the information gathered will be overlaid on a Google Map of Queens. Visitors to the website can click on the various icons and view information such as photos of landmark buildings and the approximate date of when the images were taken.
The Times Newsweekly checked the website Monday, Feb. 3, and found a number of historic icons on a map of the Ridgewood area. One link, posted over the Ridgewood Times’ former office at 803 Cypress Ave., showed the paper’s printing presses as they appeared in 1911, three years after this publication debuted.
Other icons on the website’s map in the paper’s coverage area show a 1940 Arbor Day celebration at P.S. 88 in Ridgewood; the 1922 National Tennis Tournament at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills; flooding at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 51st Avenue in Elmhurst following a September 1933 hurricane; and the construction of the elevated 7 train tracks above Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights in July 1914.
Those wishing to contribute to the Neighborhood Stories project are invited to attend a workshop this Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Queens Library’s Court Square branch, located at 25-01 Jackson Ave. in Long Island City.
Residents are invited to bring their photos and other records for Queens Library staff to scan and digitize.
Contributors will receive a free flash drive containing digital copies of their historic materials.
“Queens Library’s digitization staff, equipment, policies and infrastructure can provide access and preservation for cultural heritage materials from all over the borough,” said Kelvin Watson, vice president of digital services and strategy at Queens Library. “Adding these materials to Neighborhood Stories on Historypin will instantly give them a worldwide exposure that is both exciting for researchers and an opportunity to raise awareness of the society and our own collections and services at Queens Library.”
In the months to come, Queens Library plans to hold similar history-gathering events with civic associations and other groups across the borough. Those interested are encouraged to contact Natalie Milbrodt, Queens Library’s digital content and strategy coordinator, by email at email@example.com for further details.