Historic Brooklyn Photo Galleries

Browse historic photographs of your favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods and institutions, and explore related resources from the Brooklyn Collection and the Brooklyn Eagle.  These are curated galleries of images based on subject.  To search our full catalog of digitized images, visit the advanced search page of our classic catalog, choose "Photographs" as your material, and type in any keywords you're searching for (i.e. "Fulton Street", "clown", or  "dog").

Featured Gallery:

Central ConstructionCentral Construction: The Brooklyn Public Library's Central Library Flatbush wing, designed by Almirall in the Beaux Arts style and built in 1912-19, was removed. The Central Library opened in 1941.
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More Galleries

Brooklyn Bridge photo thumbnail | Call# BRID 0146Brooklyn Bridge: Opened in 1883, this 6016-foot-long suspension bridge spans the lower East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
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Brooklyn Daily EagleBrooklyn Daily Eagle
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Brooklyn Dodgers photo thumbnail | Call# DODG 0004Brooklyn Dodgers: This Brooklyn baseball team, originally known as the "Bridegrooms," was renamed the "Dodgers" in 1913.
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Brooklyn Heights photo thumbnail | Call# HERZ 0357Brooklyn Heights: Did you know that Brooklyn Heights was known as America's first suburb?
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Brooklyn Life: African AmericansBrooklyn Life: African Americans
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Brooklyn Navy YardBrooklyn Navy Yard: The birthplace of U.S. naval ships since the early 1800's, Brooklyn Navy Yard had once employed 70,000 shipbuilders during WWII.
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LibrariesBrooklyn Public Library
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Brownsville photo thumbnail | Call# NEIG 0294 Brownsville: This neighborhood's rich history reflects the many changes Brooklyn has undergone through the years.
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Bushwick photo thumbnail | Call# BPL 0438Bushwick: Once a Dutch town, now a neighborhood in change, Bushwick has always been an important part of Brooklyn history.
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Circus photo thumbnail | Call# LEWI 0015Circus: PT Barnum opened his "Greatest Show on Earth" right here in Brooklyn in 1871.
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Coney Island photo thumbnail | Call# FROG 0046Coney Island: The name of this seaside playground comes from the Dutch Konijn Eiland, which means "Rabbit Island."
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Flatbush photo thumbnail | Call# CHUR 0926Flatbush: This neighborhood is home to both Ebbets Field and Brooklyn College.
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Fort Greene photo thumbnail | Call# NEIG 1003Fort Greene: The unofficial cultural district of Brooklyn, Fort Greene was named after General Nathanael Greene who fought in the Battle of Brooklyn during the Revolutionary War.
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Gowanus photo thumbnail | Call# NEIG 1299Gowanus Canal: This commercial waterway was completed in 1869, contributing to the largest industrial boom in Brooklyn history.
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Grand Army Plaza photo thumbnail | Call# NEIG 1346 Grand Army Plaza: Grand Army Plaza, a beautiful Brooklyn Landmark, provides the grandest of park entryways.
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Holidays photo thumbnail | Call# NEIG 1346 Holidays
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Musical BrooklynMusical Brooklyn: From big band to bebop to hip hop, Brooklyn has always maintained a strong musical tradition.
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Notable Brooklyn African AmericansNotable Brooklyn African Americans
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Park SlopePark Slope: Park Slope takes its name from its location on the western slope of neighboring Prospect Park.
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Prospect ParkProspect Park: Prospect Park (often referred to as the "Brooklyn's Jewel") with its spectacular 585 acres of greenery has been the center of Brooklyn's urban escape and outdoor recreation since 1868.
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Reading around BrooklynReading around Brooklyn
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Red Hook photo thumbnail | Call# TRAN 0129Red Hook: One of the oldest villages to be established (1636) in Brooklyn, Red Hook was named for the area's red clay soil and the pointy edge that "hooks" into the East River.
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Subway Portraits photo thumbnail | Call# HERZ 0832Subway Portraits: What would you look like if someone took your picture on the Subway?
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Sunset Park Portraits photo thumbnail | Call# NEIG 2318Sunset Park : Highlights from the neighborhood that has the highest point in Brooklyn.
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Transportation photo thumbnail | Call# THOM 0083Transportation: From bikes to boats to horse-drawn buggys, check out how Brooklynites have traveled around town through the years. How do you get around?
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WilliamsburgWilliamsburg: A neighorhood in constant transformation, Williamsburg tells a complex story of settlements and displacements in Brooklyn.
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Women's HistoryWomen’s History: Early images celebrating women’s lives and accomplishments
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Order Prints
Want to display one of these images in your home or include a historic photograph in a school report? You can purchase a print of any photo in the Brooklyn Collection.

Contact the Brooklyn Collection

  • To share information or ask a question about photographs in the catalog, please contact the Brooklyn Collection.
  • To submit a reference question to the Brooklyn Collection, please use the Library's Ask A Librarian form.


Funding for the digitization of the Brooklyn Collection images was provided by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, while BPL continues to support the on-going cataloguing work.