New York Heritage is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and anyone else who is interested in learning more about the people, places and institutions of New York State. The collections in New York Heritage represent a broad range of historical, scholarly, and cultural materials held in libraries, museums, and archives throughout the state. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, directories, maps, books, and more.

New York Heritage is a collaborative project of seven Empire State Library Network members: Capital District Library Council, Central New York Library Resources Council, Long Island Library Resources Council, Northern New York Library Network, Rochester Regional Library 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.




By 2009, each of the nine councils of Empire State Library Network (ESLN) had created and maintained its own regional digital collections site for member libraries and other organizations. These included Tools of History, CNY Heritage, WNY Legacy, CDLC Digital Collections, Long Island Memories, North Country Digital History, Digital Metro, Finger Lakes and Genesee River Valley (FLAG) Heritage and Hudson River Valley Heritage.

These nine digital collections sites were harvested and searchable with a multi-site server product hosted at www.newyorkheritage.org. That product has been discontinued since 2012, but seven of the councils have consolidated into a single digital collections site, www.nyheritage.org, built on a hosted instance of OCLC’s CONTENTdm.

In 2017, New York Heritage Digital Collections began rolling out a new version of the website that features more contextual information on the institutions and collections that comprise the digital repository.




Specific copyright requirements for each entry are included with the descriptive material that accompanies each image.

General Copyright Statement and Conditions of Use

The contents of this item is made publicly available by the archives, libraries, and museums for use in research, teaching, and private study. For these purposes, you may reproduce a single copy (print or download) of materials from this website without prior permission. Please use the following credit line: "[Title and date of image], courtesy [name of contributing repository], obtained from nyheritage.org."

All items may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Usage of some items may also be subject to additional restrictions imposed by the copyright owner and/or the owning institution. Thus transmission or reproduction of more than a single research or teaching copy of a protected item requires the permission of the copyright owner and/or the owning institution.

Please contact the owning institution for available information regarding copyright status of a particular digital item.

The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections often makes it difficult to determine the copyright status of an item. Whenever possible, New York Heritage and the owning institution provide available information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the catalog records, collection finding aids, and other metadata associated with digital items.

The owning institutions provide the aforementioned information as a service to aid users in determining the copyright status of an item. Ultimately, however, it is the user's responsibility to use an item according to the terms governing its use.

The owning institutions are eager to hear from any copyright owners who are not properly identified so that appropriate information may be provided to researchers and teachers in the future.

Conditions of Use

By their use of these digital items, users agree to follow these conditions of use:

  • for purposes of research, teaching and private study, users may reproduce (print or download), in accordance with fair use, materials or link to materials from this website without prior permission, on the condition they give proper credit to the owning institution
  • please use the following credit line: "[Title and date of image], courtesy [name of contributing repository], obtained from nyheritage.org."
  • materials may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior written permission from the copyright owner and owning institution
  • materials may not be re-published in print or electronic form without prior written permission from the copyright owner and owning institution
  • materials may not be mounted on an additional server for public use, or for use by a set of subscribers without prior written permission from the copyright owner and owning institution


Technical Details

The items in New York Heritage have been scanned by hundreds of people over more than a decade, so technical details about the digital assets vary by institution.   New York Heritage does provide best practices guides for its participants:

Digital Imaging Basics

Image Resolution Guidelines

Scanning Guide


Resources for Contributors

Please click here for additional guides and resources for participating institutions and contributors, including metadata guidelines, copyright resources, CONTENTdm help sheets, and more.

Please click here for marketing materials and logos you can use to promote your own collections on New York Heritage.



How to Join

Please contact your local council's digitization specialist to ask how your institution can become a participating institution in New York Heritage.