Home / Collections

Digital Exhibitions

The following highlights from the city's collections reveal the diversity of stories these artifacts can illuminate.  Each exhibit includes an overview, suggested further reading, and information about the selected artifacts.  Unless noted otherwise, they have been created by the Archaeology Department of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and will be refreshed periodically.

  • 205121_282.1_C

    Clay Smoking Pipes

    Smoking was a popular pastime in colonial New York that was enjoyed by everyone-- men, women, and children. As clay tobacco pipes were relatively inexpensive, fragile, and easily replaced, remnants of these artifacts are now found in 17th-19th-century ...

    View page

    11.30.2017

    View page
  • Cow_Femur_A

    Colonial Creatures: Identifying Animal Bones at New York City’s Historical Sites

    Animals have played an important role in the lives of New Yorkers for centuries. Like today, people living during the Colonial and Post-Colonial Eras depended on animals for both food and companionship and the remains of these creatures, called ...

    View page

    11.29.2017

    View page
  • WSC_GrahamCt_DogBurial_Skeleton

    Animals Among Us

    The city's archaeological collections include many animal bones and shells which can tell us a great deal about what people once ate, what the past environment was like, and even what animals were highly valued.  The following artifacts include: ...

    View page

    09.22.2016

    View page
  • South Ferry Terminal - Whitehall Slip

    Food and Drink in Colonial New York

    The archaeological artifacts in this exhibit illuminate personal and collective stories about food and drink in Colonial and 19th century New York City.  They were found in Whitehall Slip, adjacent to Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, in what was once ...

    View page

    Columbia University, "Historical Archaeology in the Modern World"

    08.19.2016

    View page
  • WSC_CollegePoint_3_5

    Life Before New Amsterdam

    The prehistory of New York City was a vibrant and complex period which archaeologists are still striving to understand.  For almost 14,000 years, Native Americans adapted to changing environments, from the cold of the Ice Age followed by gradual ...

    View page

    Dr. Eugene Boesch

    08.11.2016

    View page
  • CHP_1990_N35W10U13_PearlwareHouse

    Architecture through Artifacts

    As New York City has been part of global trade since the city’s inception in the early 17th century, studying the objects people kept in their homes can reveal important shifts in this trade.   The ceramics ...

    View page

    07.22.2016

    View page
  • Van Cortland Mansion Type Collection

    Health and Beauty in the 19th century

    Archaeology can reveal very personal information about the lives of the people in the past through the objects that they once used. These artifacts were all found near the Van Cortlandt Manor in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and ...

    View page

    05.20.2016

    View page
  • South Ferry Terminal - Battery Wall

    Historic Toys

    The following selection of toys date from the late 18th- early 20th centuries and include miniature tea sets and marbles.  They were found during archaeological excavations in City Hall Park, Battery Park, and Van Cortlandt Manor.  ...

    View page

    05.20.2016

    View page