The New-York Historical Society Announces a Newly Digitized Collection of Unique Maps

The New-York Historical Society is pleased to announce that 89 maps created for the Tenement House Exhibition of 1900 are now available digitally through the Society’s website here.

The maps, hand-drawn and hand-colored, were created in 1899 under the leadership of Lawrence Veiller in conjunction with the Charity Organization Society of New York for display at the Tenement House Exhibition, held in Manhattan in February 1900. They depict neighborhoods throughout Manhattan, from the Battery to Harlem, in two series: “Strong-holds of poverty” and “Prevalence of disease.” Colored dots on the first series indicate the number of families requesting charitable assistance. On the second series, the dots represent instances of tuberculosis, typhoid fever, scarlet fever, and diphtheria. On both series, the population of each block is stamped at its center.

In donating the 89 maps to the New-York Historical Society in 1920, Veiller wrote, “I hope that it may be possible to display these at some time so that they may be available for persons who may wish to study them and refer to them in future years.”

Thanks to the N-YHS digitization program, these maps will now reach an audience far broader than Veiller could have imagined.

For more information about this project, please contact Nina Nazionale, Director of Library Operations and Curator of Printed Collections at nnazionale@nyhistory.org.