It only takes one glance at a photo of Front Street in the 1890s to see how much Memphis has changed… and how so many things have remained the same! This collection, revamped and unveiled for the Bicentennial, includes images of Memphis streets from the late-19th century to the late-20th century. Thanks to advances in digital technology, we embarked on a massive project to assign geographic coordinates to each image found in the collection. Today, you can browse the images using a map-based feature, zooming in on particular neighborhoods. The Memphis Streetscapes Collection inspired the subsequent Memphis Then & Now exhibit, and the project continues today in the form of our DIG MEMPHIS Mysteries game, where we’re asking the public for help locating accurate coordinates. Explore the collection and enjoy a trip through historic Memphis!
Explore 200 years of Memphis history with this interactive timeline. See how the city and its residents persevered through the hardships of disease and floods, battled the injustices of slavery and discrimination, and celebrated achievements in business and the arts. Memphis’ past comes alive through photographs, documents, music, and videos, all illustrating the evolution of the city that we call home.
Have you ever wondered just how much a familiar street has changed over time or looked at an old building and speculated about what changes it may have undergone? Inspired by images found in our digital archives, we have gone out and recreated photographs from Memphis’ past to illustrate how the city has transformed. Use the digital slider to examine old and new images, comparing Memphis of the past to Memphis today. The Memphis Then & Now project is ongoing, so check back for new images in the future!
There’s always something new happening at the Libraries! Join us as we celebrate the Memphis Bicentennial and shed light on the two hundred year history of the city of Memphis. The Library will be hosting programs showcasing some of our unique, historical material and sharing stories from our city’s past. Check here to see what events are coming up next!