One hundred years ago, during the Progressive Era, cities around the country established special libraries to educate citizens and leaders of the community about their local governments. The Municipal Library is one of the few still in existence. The Library is the most comprehensive source of information about New York City government available anywhere.

The Municipal Library’s collection includes authoritative, limited edition volumes documenting the beginnings of New York City including  I.N. Phelps Stokes’ The Iconography of Manhattan Island, and Valentine’s Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York. The images here are selects from various publications and provide greater context to the written texts.