The Eugene L. Armbruster Collection is a collection of 5,800 photographs of Long Island taken during the period 1890-1930 by Eugene Armbruster (1865-1943), a German-born, New York-based photographer, illustrator, writer, and historian. The photographs have been sorted by size, given an item number, and placed in 18 photo albums by staff at the New York Public Library. The majority of the photographs were taken during the 1920's in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, although there are a few photos of Brooklyn and Queens as well. The backs of the photos have Armbruster's annotations referring to the subject, location, and date of the photograph. In many cases there are extensive annotations of the history and occupants of buildings, churches, and dwellings. Information from the back of each photograph was used by NYPL staff to create a two-volume index guide to the collection.
This guide to the Eugene L. Armbruster Collection was produced cooperatively by staff members of the Conservation Division and the United States History, Local History, and Genealogy Division of the New York Public Library during 1988-89. Information from the back of each photograph was entered into a computer database, indexed, and printed, and the guide was divided into two volumes. Volume 1 consists of background information and two indexes to the collection, one by family name (see page 1) and one by village (see page 73). Volume 2 is a list of the photographs in the order in which they are filed, with notes concerning their subject matter. Nine fields of information have been gathered from each photograph: 1) the item number of the photo; 2) the number of the volume in which the photo is stored; 3) the village where the photo was taken; 4) the township in which the village is located; 5) the month and 6) the year in which the photo was taken; 7) a family name associated with the picture; 8) a descriptor of the photo's subject matter; 9) additional notes.