9. Be Part of the Collections

Brooklyn Is exhibit
Photo by Gregg Richards

The Center for Brooklyn History is bursting with artifacts that tell the story of Brooklyn. In the current exhibition, Brooklyn Is…, photographs and maps from the collection are used to create “a portrait of the borough that reveals the joys, contradictions, differences, and similarities of this complicated place.” The maps range from a hand-drawn map of the borrow which dates to 1820 to a 1970s subway map designed by Massimo Vignelli. You can even become part of the exhibit by sharing your own photo and memory of Brooklyn, which may be shared on a giant interactive screen in the Great Hall.

Each section of the exhibit, which begins outside with a ticker-tape-like sign filled with facts about the borough, has its own narrator. These Brooklynites are a diverse group that includes people like Jenny Zhang, a Williamsburg-based writer, poet, and essayist who moved from Shanghai when she was four, Lucien Zayan, a French transplant who runs the Invisible Dog Art Center in Boerum Hill, and LJ Vogel, a trans man and one of the organizers of Gay Ridge. Brooklyn Is… gives a taste of the vast collection of CBH.