“I’m kind of a renegade,” Brooklyn native Brian Merlis told the New York Times in 2000. “Even as a kid, I wondered what things had looked like in the past.”
Even by the time Merlis was interviewed in 2000, he had already spent more than $250,000 collecting old photographs and memorabilia from the bygone eras of many Brooklyn neighborhoods. He’d also lost a wife, who didn’t appreciate his obsession with the past.
Merlis has published a host of texts about Brooklyn over the years. Cramming each book loads of old photographs gleaned from attics and basements around the borough.
His books include: Brooklyn’s East New York and Cypress Hills; Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton; Brooklyn’s Gold Coast; Brooklyn’s Park Slope; Brooklyn: The Way It Was; Welcome Back to Brooklyn; Brooklyn Heights and Downtown; Subways of New York City; Brooklyn’s Williamsburgh: City Within a City; Welcome Back to Borough Park; Brooklyn’s Flatbush: Battlefield to Ebbets Field; and Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and New Utrecht.
Meris now wants to add a new book about the Clinton Hill and Wallabout neighborhoods to his library of texts. However, he needs your help.
Meris is looking for submissions of photographs from before 1975. He hopes to begin work on the text shortly.
To contact Mr. Meris, visit his contact information page on his website. The link is below.