The new New York Public Library public domain scans website seems to have sorted out its launch difficulties. Visitors can now sort-of enjoy everything from enormous numbers of complete sets of old cigarette cards to old photography of New York City.

I say ‘sort-of’ because I found that every test item I tried was capped at 720px, and the hi-res versions are only obtainable on payment. The site’s image URL path is also hidden from Google, so one can’t use Google Images to find just the free hi-res versions, if there are any.

Overall, despite its very large scope and quality selection, the huge paywall means that it’s hardly the most exemplary presentation of public domain material.

cards

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