Spotlight Collection

The White Plains Collection

This month, New York Heritage Digital Collections proudly spotlights digital selections from the White Plains Collection from the White Plains Public Library.

From the collection description:

The White Plains Collection is comprised of materials relevant to the history of White Plains, New York. This digital collection contains 322 items including photographs and documents spanning the late 19th to late 20th centuries. They document civic life, street scenes, and the dramatic change in the character of White Plains through suburban development and urban renewal. Also included are items from Community History Day, when people brought in materials related to their families, churches, personal interests, or work and added them to the collection. This digital collection is hosted by our partners at Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York.

About the repository and source collection:

From the Library's website...

"The White Plains Public Library is a prime site for community memory and holds a rich set of materials in the White Plains Collection. The collection includes books, photographs, maps, oral histories, pamphlets, clippings, and ephemera that help us understand the past in White Plains and build a richer context for our own time. The landscape, appearance, and population of White Plains changed drastically since the late 19th century, when the earliest of our photographs date from. Mainly through suburban development and urban renewal, White Plains went from a village along the New York and Harlem Railroad to the political and economic center of Westchester County.

Although the collection focuses on White Plains, the library also holds material relevant to surrounding communities and Westchester County as a whole. The White Plains Collections contains many fascinating and informative photographs of buildings, people, events, and landscapes. While there are some photographs included in our general collection, many are part of special collections like the John Rosch Collection, featured here. Rosch owned a photography studio in White Plains and was the first City Historian. This collection contains photographs attributable to him as well as photographs he collected or reprinted. Coverage is generally from the 1870s to the mid-1940s. Rosch was interested in the history of White Plains as well as civic life, and this is reflected in his coverage of dedications and parades.

The White Plains Collection is here for people to use. We assist people--regardless of their level of experience--with historical and genealogical research. We encourage you to contact the Librarian for White Plains History and browse our website for help with your research.


The White Plains Public Library is a member of the Metropolitan New York Library Council, a member of the Empire State Library Network.