Welcome to New York Heritage Digital Collections! Discover photographs, letters, diaries, maps, directories, artifacts, oral histories and more that present a glimpse into the history and culture of what is today New York State. These items have been contributed by over 430 libraries, museums, archives, and cultural institutions.

NYS Map displaying the councils coverage of the counties.


New York Heritage is a collaborative project of eight of the nine Empire State Library Network library councils: Capital District Library Council, Central New York Library Resources Council, Long Island Library Resources Council, Northern New York Library Network, Rochester Regional Library Council, Southeastern New York Library Resources Council, South Central Regional Library Council, and Western New York Library Resources Council.

New York Heritage is always looking for new collections and contributors. If interested in becoming a project participant, please contact your local council representative.

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The materials presented here are selected by the contributing institutions. They originate from many cultures and time periods and bear witness to historical events. As a result, some materials contain outdated, offensive, discriminatory, and violent views and opinions. Primary sources are a reflection of their time and may be visually disturbing or have language that is potentially harmful. They are presented here for the purpose of providing access to the historical record. Their presence on this site does not constitute any endorsement of the viewpoints or sentiments expressed within them by ESLN or contributing institutions.

Additionally, the language used to describe items in the collections directly influences how the past is perceived. Contributing institutions may re-use language provided by creators or former owners of the materials when writing resource descriptions. This can provide important context, but can also reflect biases and prejudices. Some descriptions may contain language that is no longer acceptable. It may be offensive or insensitive. Describing collections is an ever-changing process. ESLN and contributing institutions are committed to the respectful description of all groups of people and topics represented in these collections. Descriptions are updated with appropriate language when possible.