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    To celebrate centennial, Albany life photographed for future generations


    Librarian Richard Russo introduced Albany at 100, a photo collection which records Albany’s current life for historical purpose, to community members at Albany Library. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    A hundred years from now, if someone is curious to know how Albany looks like in 2008, he could easily find an abundance of images he needs at Albany Library. A local photographer has taken several hundred photos documenting life in Albany at the city’s centennial, and the library has added them into its historical photo collection recently.

    Through the photos, the future generations would be able to see panoramic views and landmarks of the city, how its streets and houses look like, and also lively scenes of high schoolers playing saxophone, kids rejoicing at Little League Parade, college students scooting to catch bus at University Village, etc.

    “We want to get the real flavor of the town, ” said Dorothy Brown, a local resident who volunteered to take the photos for the library.

    Brown is a member of the Albany Historical Society and an amateur photographer. She liked the idea — preserving present life in Albany for future generations— when it was first pitched by Librarian Richard Russo at a meeting last fall.

    The two worked together and produced about 800 photos documenting various places, people, and events in Albany in the past year.

    “By taking the photos we created a legacy that future generation will be able to look at and enjoy, ” Russo said.

    2008 is the 100th year that Albany was established as a city, which gives historical significance to the photos, Russo added.

    About 250 of the photos will be added into the historical collection of the library. They will also be posted on the web site of the library, adding to the collection of 600 digitalized historical photos there. (click here to see the historical photos.)

    18 photos have been framed and put up in the library lobby, with money donated by Friends of the Albany Library.

    Dorothy Brown said that the photography experience helped her to look with fresh eyes at the city she has lived for two decades.

    “It’s amazing how you take for granted things you see everyday. This gives me a chance to really notice where I live and how charming it is,” Brown said.

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