Nassau County Photo Archives Center







The Nassau County Photo Archives Center , established in 2009, makes available historic photographs of Nassau County and Long island circa the 1870’s through the 1970’s. 

The mission of the Photo Archives Center is the preservation and publication of Nassau County’s collection of historic photographs.  In addition, we make available the opportunity for residents to engage in on site viewing, research, copying and printing of images.  Our mission is accomplished by continuous digitization of over 100,000 prints, glass plate and film negatives, postcards and slides to be presented on a future website. 

Our collection includes local images captured by important local photographers such as:  Rachel Hicks, John Drennan, William Pickering, Joseph Bert, George Brainard, Richard Averill Smith, and Henry Otto Korten.   In addition, we house a special collection by celebrated photographer  Mattie Edwards Hewitt.  From 1915-1940, she captured the landscape, architectural and interior images of Long Island’s “Gold Coast” estates. These unique images of another era are often the only visual record remaining after many of these mansions have recently been sold and demolished.  On a more personal level, we have family albums generously donated to Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums.

Combined this collection tells a pictorial story of the people, places, and events integral to the development of Long Island.  The story of rural farmland that would become the nation’s first suburb Levittown, to Bethpage where the first      Lunar Lander was built. Our images include every community and the various components of life.

We are presently involved in modernizing our system in a project called Nassau County Photo Archives Library Project.  This will provide creation of a website, continuous digitizing, and software to create a rational data base.  Presently access to the collection is accomplished by using our combined photo index, which will allow for viewing. 

 Our collection offers students a piece of the past they might never know was captured on film. An opportunity to view the countless details, the thousand words, about everyday life and behavior and enhance the understanding of the past in local communities. We invite teacher and students to visit, and view what might be of interest, and to download images.