40 years ago, several New York City newspapers went on a three-month strike, including the New York Times. Sensing an opportunity to document life in the City's parks, then-Commissioner Gordon Davis recruited eight photographers from the New York Times and sent them to the various parks dotted around New York City.

The photographers were Neal Boenzi, Joyce Dopkeen (the first female staff photographer hired by the Times), D. Gorton, Eddie Hausner, Paul Hosefros, Robert Klein, Larry Morris, and Gary Settle. Together, they returned nearly 3,000 images, which until recently, ended up being left in a box gathering dust.

It wasn't until a conservancy official was cleaning out an office late last year that the 2,924 colour photos were discovered. Now, 65 of those nearly 3000 images are being put on display at the Arsenal Gallery in New York's Central Park. The exhibition, which runs from 3 May - 14 June, has been curated by Parks’ Director of Art & Antiquities Jonathan Kuhn and provides a fantastic insight into life in New York in the 1970s.

Smartphones, Instagram and Snapchat weren't a thing back then. Instead, New Yorkers had to find their own ways of having fun. In the images, we see people roasting whole pigs over coals, cats on bicycles and large crowds gathering together. However, they also show how the City was going through a financial crisis, with things like outdoor pools being emptied and shut down, to the dismay of young children.

None of the photos are posed or staged, instead, they offer a completely uncurated view of New York City. We've selected 12 of our favourite images to display here. Not all eight photographers are represented, and one is unknown, but they all have something in common and that is a clear look back in history. Where would we be without cameras, hey?

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 1

Kids on Jungle Gym

Kids on Jungle Gym, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, 1978

Photograph by: Gary Settle

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 2

Pig Roast

Pig Roast, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, 1978

Photograph by: Neal Boenzi

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 3

Woman at Unisphere

Woman at Unisphere, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, 1978

Photograph by: Gary Settle

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 4

Family Salvages Picnic Table

Family Salvages Picnic Table, Unidentified Park, 1978

Photograph by: Ed Hausner

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 5

Group of Boys

Group of Boys, Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1978

Photograph by: Paul Hosefros

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 6

Handball

Handball, Seven Gables Playground, Queens, 1978

Photograph by: Paul Hosefros

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 7

Park Revellers

Park Revellers, Orchard Beach, Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx, 1978

Photograph by: Joyce Dopkeen

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 8

Girls on Splintered Boardwalk

Girls on Splintered Boardwalk, South Beach, Staten Island, 1978

Photograph by: Neal Boenzi

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 9

Boy at Abandoned Diving Area

Boy at Abandoned Diving Area, Red Hook Pool, Brooklyn, 1978

Photograph by: Paul Hosefro

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 10

Tender Vittles, Cats on Parade

Tender Vittles, Cats on Parade, Central Park Mall, Manhattan, 1978

Photograph by: D. Gorton

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 11

Fiesta Folklorica

Fiesta Folklorica, Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, Manhattan, 1978

Photograph by: Unknown

NYC Parks Photo Archive, 1978Lost and Found - The missing NYC Parks photos image 12

Resting Girl

Resting Girl, Red Hook Pool, Brooklyn, 1978

Photograph by: Paul Hosefros