Queens Public Library’s Queens Memory Project has embarked on an ambitious, new participatory digital archiving project—and we’re seeking your input.
The recently launched Queens Name Explorer map unlocks the history behind our borough’s named places—including streets, monuments, buildings and schools—in order to gain a deeper understanding of our shared, local history. Why were these places given their names? What’s the story behind the person whose name graces a street sign? Are they local figures or international figures? How are these people’s contributions remembered by the community? How are their contributions related to the joys and challenges we face in the present?
A recent broadcast from WCBS-TV, Channel 2 News featured Queens Memory Director, Natalie Milbrodt, as she explained the project’s timely mission and highlighted its searchable, interactive map, which currently lists over 700 named places. Hundreds more are set to go live over the next several months.
Some map entries are rich with biographical and photographic details, while others are still incomplete. This is where you come in! If you have photos or stories about the people honored with these named places, please consider making a submission today. If you know of a named place that is not yet on the map, let us know by clicking the blue “Add/Edit” button at the top right corner of the map and completing the submission form. You can also submit a new entry through this form.
Our goal is to publish as many entries as possible, and then work with volunteers to complete an “edit-a-thon” to finish remaining entries. The more people contribute their knowledge today, the more robust the site will be tomorrow—for us and for generations to come.
We are also tracking named street signs and other markers that are currently missing or damaged. This information will be shared with the Department of Transportation and the Offices of City Council Members, so that damaged signs can be restored and missing signs can be placed. If you want to report a damaged or missing sign, please use the “Add/Edit” button on the map to let us know.
If you have questions or want to learn more about this project, our team will be holding virtual office hours on Wednesday, January 4 at 11:30am. Register here to join us!
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