An Indian village of the Manhattans, prior to the occupation of the Dutch
The images in this digital presentation offer an extensive array of visual documentation-in portraits, scenes, and views-of the people, places, and events that shaped the new American nation. They represent a holding of 10,240 visual items that is part of even larger collection of some 30,000 items assembled by the New York physician Thomas Addis Emmet (1828-1919), and donated to the Library in 1896 by trustee John Stewart Kennedy. Emmet developed a passionate interest in American history after a boyhood visit to Philadelphia, when he first saw the original Declaration of Independence, and went on to collect, for some fifty years, drawings, engravings, maps, and manuscripts relating to the American Revolution and the early history of the United States. Like other 19th-century collectors, Emmet presented his pictorial Americana as "extra-illustrations," binding them, in his case, into classic American history texts to illustrate relevant passages and to enrich the texts visually and intellectually. In the same way, he also assembled images and manuscripts to document the published proceedings of the Albany Congress and the Continental Congress. Other portions of the Emmet Collection not offered in this digital presentation are manuscripts, in the Manuscripts and Archives Division, and maps, in the Map Division. Digitized content at The New York Public Library is drawn from a broad range of original historical resources, including materials that may contain offensive language or stereotypes. Such materials should be viewed in the context of the time and place in which they were created. All historical media are presented as specific, original artifacts, without further enhancement to their appearance or quality, as a record of the era in which they were produced. See more information on the NYPL site. The New York Public Library comprises simultaneously a set of scholarly research collections and a network of community libraries, and its intellectual and cultural range is both global and local, while singularly attuned to New York City. That combination lends to the Library an extraordinary richness. It is special also in being historically a privately managed, nonprofit corporation with a public mission, operating with both private and public financing in a century-old, still evolving private-public partnership. Last year, over 16 million New Yorkers visited the library, and over 25 million used its website. The NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 640,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including not just photographs but illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and more. Digital projects and partnerships at NYPL are managed by the Digital Experience Group, a 21-person team of programmers, designers and producers dedicated to expanding and enhancing all points of computer and Web-mediated interaction with the library's collections, services and staff.
In May 1624, the first settlers in New Netherland arrived on Noten Eylandt (Nut or Nutten Island, now Governors Island) aboard the ship New Netherland. Dutch West India Company wanted to protect the entrance to the Hudson River and sponsored 30 families to move from Nut Island to Manhattan Island, where a citadel to contain Fort Amsterdam was being laid out. By the end of 1625, the site had been staked out and by 1628, a small fort was built with walls containing a mixture of clay and sand. The fort also served as the center of trading activity. In the 1630s and 1640s, New Amsterdam had a population of about 270 people. Settlers built mills and in 1642 a stone church was built within the fort. New Amsterdam received municipal rights on February 2, 1653. On August 27, 1664, while England and the Dutch Republic were at peace, four English frigates sailed into New Amsterdam's harbor and demanded New Netherland's surrender. This was swiftly followed by the Second Anglo-Dutch War and in 1665, New Amsterdam was reincorporated under English law as New York City, named after the Duke of York (later King James II). He was the brother of the English King Charles II, who had been granted the lands. In July 1673, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch briefly and quickly occupied New York City and renamed it New Orange. In 1674, the city was relinquished to the English and the name reverted to "New York".