About New York Heritage

New York Heritage is the collaborative digitization program of the Empire State Library Network. 



The mission of NYH is to provide end-users with universal access to the unique collections that reflect New York State regional cultural heritage.



  • Identify and include unique collections that reflect the historical significance of the South Central region of NYS.
  • Train contributors to develop the skills to select and contribute to NYH.
  • Provide standards that create consistency in descriptions and allow for searching across collections.
  • Promote NYH as a valuable resource for students, educators and the general public.
  • Identify organizational partners in the South Central region of New York State.




By 2009, each of the nine councils of the Empire State Library Network had created and maintained its own regional digital collections site for member libraries and other organizations. These included Tools of History, CNY Heritage, WNY Legacy, CDLC Digital Collections, Long Island Memories, North Country Digital History, Digital Metro, Finger Lakes and Genesee River Valley (FLAG) Heritage and Hudson River Valley Heritage.


These nine digital collections sites were harvested and searchable with a multi-site server product hosted at www.newyorkheritage.org. That product was discontinued since 2012; however six of the councils have since consolidated into a single digital collections site, www.nyheritage.org, built on a hosted instance of OCLC's CONTENTdm. In addition, several dozen collections from the Digital Metro project were duplicated and added to New York Heritage in May of 2013.

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