Back in 1997, a copy of a 250-page document was purchased from a local bookstore. It was "NYC Market Analysis", published by four newspapers in 1943, "with photos, maps, data about each [city] neighborhood....it offers a unique window into New York [City] from another era.
"The Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center is making the 1943 profiles available to provide context for the 1940 Census records and to offer a research aid to historians and anyone else interested in learning more about New York from the 1940s..."
The Welcome to 1940s New York website displays a map of New York divided into the 116 neighborhoods that are covered in the 1943 Market Analysis.
Monday's New York Times highlights the project along with some neat then-and-now photos and Census stats.
The Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center website has more background, and Steven Romalewski, Director, CUNY Mapping Service, has blogged about the project.
I thank Steve for previewing this site at the State Data Center affiliates meeting last week.