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A history of New York City in 870,000 photographs

Eugene de Salignac / Department of Bridges, Plant & Structures -New York City Municipal Archives via AP

July 29, 1908: Workers dig in the street along the sidewalk on the north side of Delancey Street.

New York City Municipal Archives via AP

Circa 1983-1988: 172 Norfolk Street, which is now the Angel Orensanz Foundation.

870,000 images of New York City and its municipal operations are being made available to the public on the Internet for the first time, The Associated Press reports .

The photos, some of which date back to the mid-1800s, come from the city's Municipal Archives collection, and they feature all manner of city oversight - from stately ports and bridges to grisly gangland killings. 

Search the New York City Department of Records online gallery

It also features the results of an ambitious plan to photograph every building in the city in the mid-1980s. An earlier set of pictures of every city building taken between 1939 to 1941 has yet to be digitized.

Video: Take a look at the newest addition to the Manhattan skyline

Taken mostly by anonymous municipal workers, some of the images have appeared in publications but most were accessible only by visiting the archive offices in lower Manhattan over the past few years. Read the full story.

Eugene de Salignac / Department of Bridges, Plant & Structures - New York City Municipal Archives via AP

October 7, 1914: Painters are suspended from wires on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Works Progress Administration - Federal Writer's Project via New York City Municipal Archives via AP

A man hands a program to baseball legend Babe Ruth, center, as he is joined by his second wife Clare, center left, and singer Kate Smith, front left, in the grandstand during Game 1 of the 1936 World Series at the Polo Grounds in New York on September 30, 1936.

Borough President Manhattan - New York City Municipal Archives via AP

May 18, 1940: A man standing on 6th Ave. and 40th St reads a newspaper with the headline: "Nazi Army Now 75 Miles From Paris."

Detective Charles A. Carlstrom / NYPD Evidence Collection - New York City Municipal Archives via AP

1918: Police work a homicide after children found the body of Gaspare Candella stuffed in a burlap-covered drum out in the middle of a Brooklyn field.