The Queens Library and Queens College want you to share your photographs, newspaper clippings and stories as they continue to archive and record the history of the “World’s Borough” as part of the Queens Memory Project.
Started in 2010 through a grant from the Metropolitan New York Library Council, a team began to interview current residents about their Queens memories and in 2011 created a website to host all of the materials they received.
According to Joanne King, communications director for Queens Library, the Queens Memory Project has hosted 40 outreach events, collected 286 oral stories from 23 countries of origin and has made more than 1,800 images and audio recordings available to the public on its website.
The website includes an expansive collection of photos and audio organized by people, places, years and more. Specific collections paint a bigger picture by coupling photographs with audio about topics such as “Bayside, Queens: WWII Homefront History.”
The collection includes photographs of soldiers, Fort Totten and interviews with a Bayside resident who remembers hiding under her school desk as air raids were conducted and scores of soldiers walking along Bell Boulevard.
Other collections document the damage homeowners sustained from Hurricane Sandy as well as recovery efforts after the superstorm. The project also showcases the diversity of the borough, highlighting a Hindi Ratha Yatra celebration and culinary traditions from immigrants.
The project has scheduled events at Queens libraries to ask people to bring in their family photos, documents and other memorabilia. Members of the project will digitize these items and give participants a free flash drive with digital copies of their materials.
The Queens Memory Project will be at the following locations:
- Queens Library at Woodhaven on Monday, Sept. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.
- Queens Library at St. Albans on Monday, Sept. 21 and Thursday, Sept. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m.