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.


See histories by H. M. Lydenberg (1923, repr. 1972) and P. Dain (1972); documentary by F. Wiseman (2017).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
That renovated library--The New York Public Library's central circulating library--will reopen in 2020 as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library.
(The two of them helped save the New York Public Library, Bryant Park and, eventually, 42nd Street.)
While all books are officially on loan from the New York Public Library, guests are not required to hold a library card to read them during their stay.
The Coexist Foundation has donated a unique lighting show to the facade of the New York Public Library during the display of the exhibition.
The New York Times Company announced today that it will donate its extensive archives dating back to 1851 to The New York Public Library.
and that's just in the first 70 boxes that she's given over to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
"Despite interest from the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth the manuscripts were sold to an American buyer who deposited them in the New York Public Library.
Selected as one of the 2006 New York Public Library's Best Books for the Teen Age, this biography traces Amelia Earhart's life from her childhood through her disappearance in 1937.
As he observes his partner during the design and construction of The New York Public Library, he notes the transformations, frustrations, and joyful rewards of the artist's connection with his work.
The Bronx Library Center is the first branch of the New York Public Library to be LEED certified and the first public building in New York City to receive LEED certification, according to a news release from Dattner Architects.
Both structures, like the Beinecke and the Morgan and the British Library and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (old and new) and the New York Public Library and the Deutsche Bucherei in Leipzig, stood in the exhibition as emptied monuments, relics of an era that believed in the instantiation of knowledge and its collective pursuit, only to see both--knowledge and collectivity--dispersed into an endless flow of dematerialized code.
Two are at Brown University, one at the New York Public Library and two others are held by colleges in England and Ireland.

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