New York Public Library

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New York Public Library,

free library supported by private endowments and gifts and by the city and state of New York. It is the one of largest libraries in the world. The library was created by a 1895 law consolidating older reference libraries established by bequests of John Jacob AstorAstor, John Jacob,
1822–90, American financier, b. New York City, educated at Columbia and Göttingen universities and at Harvard law school; son of William Backhouse Astor (1792–1875).
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 (1848) and James LenoxLenox, James
, 1800–1880, American bibliophile and philanthropist, b. New York City. Lenox was a founder of the Presbyterian Hospital, New York City. He amassed a fine collection of paintings and books that, as the Lenox Library, became part of the New York Public Library
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 (1876), with the Tilden Trust. In 1897 New York City agreed to build and equip a central building on the site of the Croton reservoir on Fifth Ave. between 40th and 42d St. The building, designed by J. M. Carrère and Thomas Hastings, was completed in 1911. The branch system absorbed several independently endowed circulating libraries, and 39 branches were built with money donated by Andrew Carnegie in 1901.

In addition to the main building, collections are also housed at a second midtown branch, an annex for newspapers and patents, and 82 branch libraries. A circulating and reference branch devoted entirely to the performing arts is located at Lincoln Center for the Performing ArtsLincoln Center for the Performing Arts,
in central Manhattan, New York City, between 62d and 66th streets W of Broadway. Lincoln Center is both a complex of buildings and the arts organizations that reside there.
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, and the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the finest collections of its kind in the world. The enormous and fully computerized Science, Industry, and Business Library, located at Madison Avenue and 34th Street in midtown, opened in 1996. The largest project undertaken by the library since 1911, it features a variety of traditional and ultramodern facilities and resources. In 1999 the library opened its Center for Scholars and Writers in a suite at the main building. Directed by historian Peter Gay, the Center draws on library collections to foster creative writing and thinking, advance scholarship, and sponsor public events, and appoints 15 participating fellows annually.

The research library contains more than 10,000,000 volumes. The library has especially fine collections on Americana, art, economics, folklore, music, black history and literature, New York City, Jewish history, and Semitic languages. It has an excellent newspaper collection and is an important collector and holder of prints, manuscripts, first editions, and rare books, including the Berg collection of English and American literature.

Bibliography

See histories by H. M. Lydenberg (1923, repr. 1972) and P. Dain (1972).

References in periodicals archive ?
The theater's renovation included a facelift for its longtime home, the 158-year-old Astor Library Building, whose faAs.
Valerie Ann Wilson along with her two daughters, Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg and Kimberly Wilson Wetty, Co-Presidents & Co-Owners, hosted a 30th year anniversary and book launch event on February 2nd at the Astor Library of The St.
John Jacob's one great civic endowment was the $400,000 he left for the construction of the Astor Library and the establishment of its book collection, the largest at the time.
Other adaptive reuse and restoration projects in New York include: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Equitable Building, the Astor Library, the conversion of the Arnold Constable Store into the new Mid-Manhattan Library, the 207th Street IND Subway Station.
She spent 21 years at New York Public Library, until her conscience made her controversial, with significant sojourns before at the Los Angeles Public Library, the Government Printing Office, the Astor Library, and after at war agencies and the Brookings Institution.
The Astor Library included such great medical works as the extremely rare first edition of physician William Harvey's landmark treatise on the circulation of the blood (1628) and anatomist William Hunter's work on the stages of pregnancy (1774).
Originally the building, which was built in the 1850s, served as the Astor Library.
Originally serving as the private Astor Library, the building became the first in the original New York Public Library system upon its 1895 merger with the Lennox Library and Tilden Trust.