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Posts by Raymond Pun

From New York to Shanghai: A New Journey to the East

Blogging for NYPL has been such a rewarding experience: sharing resources, programs and services to the digital community and beyond. In the past three years or so, I've blogged about some unconventional topics like Linsanity to the more serious ones like The Jews of Shanghai.

Researching on these topics introduced me to a variety of digital and print resources that I would 

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How to Search The New York Times

Over the years working at the reference desk, I get this question a lot: "Do you have the New York Times on [given date]?" I reply, "YES! Which formats are you interested in seeing? We have some bound copies, microfilms and digital resources." It is one of the most popular primary sources that patrons often want to see.

Whatever the patrons are researching, the NYT is quite useful for a variety of subjects: genealogy, history, social sciences, etc.; the newspaper covered and still covers many international, national, regional and local issues. We 

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VEEP! A Review

One of my favorite shows on HBO, VEEP, just wrapped up its second season this summer.

In case you didn't know, this show follows around the fictional Vice President (VP) of the United States: Selina Meyer, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who also played Elaine Benes in the television sitcom

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Researching Japanese Culture and History

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a series of research workshops organized by the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC) held at Harvard. It was a great experience to learn about the latest digital tools, services and resources available for Japanese studies in the humanities and social sciences.

Throughout the conference, I met many East Asian Studies librarians, specialists and teaching faculty from

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Meet the Scholar: Melissa Forstrom

Melissa ForstromMuseums. They are great. From Museum of Mathematics to Museum of Glass, there's so much to see and to learn about these topics in our shared history. Whenever I visit a new town or country, I am always eager to check out their local or national museums; they offer a glimpse of their cultural histories, identities and accomplishments.

However, some exhibitions can also showcase contested and controversial materials. Take for example the

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Meet the Scholar: Nerina Rustomji

Nerina Rustomji and her book, "The Garden and the Fire: Heaven and Hell in Islamic Culture."About 6 years ago, I was taking an undergraduate class on the history of the Modern Middle East taught by Professor Nerina Rustomji of St. John's University. The class opened my eyes to the complexity of the region. She challenged us to look differently at the historic and ongoing conflicts in the area and America's intricate relationships with Middle Eastern countries before September 11th. 

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Researching Sex, Sexuality and Sexology

Sexology, the interdisciplinary scientific study of sex has been an integral component to the study of humanity. If you are currently researching any topics relating to the areas of sexology, sexuality or sex, consider visiting The New York Public Library's research collections! Whether you find sexology to be 

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Memorial Day: Commemorating and Remembering Our Veterans and Those Who Serve

May 27th is Memorial Day. Did you know that this U.S. federal holiday goes as far back as the American Civil War in the 1860s?

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, occurs ever year on the last Monday of the month of May and is the day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

For the past two centuries, the U.S. has been involved in many wars domestically and aboard. Many service men and women have put aside their jobs, families and lives to defend our country and principals of freedom during 

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Modern-Day Slavery: Stories about Human Sex Trafficking and Comfort Women

During World War II, when the Japanese invaded and occupied Shanghai, Nanjing and other coastal cities of eastern China, they looted, intimidated, and massacred millions of people to prove their imperial strength and mercilessness. Many children and women were raped and killed during the invasion; towns were burned to crisp and lives were forever changed and destroyed.

Five years ago, my parents told me that my grandmother had endured such a horrific event when she was in Fuzhou, the 

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Where the Hell is Hell? A Look at the Underworld

The Ancient Greeks believed it. Christians believe it. So do Muslims, Zoroastrians,

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Catching the 7 Line: The International Express to NYPL!

7 Train by Scott Beale on FlickrApril is Immigrant Heritage Month. In New York City, April 17th to 24th is Immigrant Heritage Week. In honor of both celebrations of Immigrant Heritage, this blog will focus on the multiculturalism of the 7 train.

If you live in Queens, New York, and you work in midtown like me, there might be a possibility that you often take the MTA train to work, particularly the

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The Jews of Shanghai: Uncovering the Archives and Stories

"Life was difficult in Shanghai, but infinitely better than anything they had left behind. From lower-middle-class comfort, the Tobias family was reduced to poverty but not to starvation. There was always food, always something to eat, always shelter even when the Jewish community was ghettoized shortly after Pearl Harbor. Thus even under terribly difficult conditions Moses Tobias was able to take care of his family but under the Nazis the conditions of the Jews were far worse than merely 'terribly difficult.'

"Shanghai was a multiethnic city and the 

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Playboy: A Seductive Periodical or Champion of Sexual Liberalism?

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is intended for mature readers onlyRecognize the icon above? Perhaps you may not realize this but Playboy the publication, historically speaking, has been a leading magazine devoted to freedom of expression and human rights (to a certain extent). Founded in 1953 in Chicago by Hugh Hefner, Playboy has often been perceived as a "taboo" 

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Anti-Valentine? Join the Club!

If you are like me, then the one thing you would like about Valentine's Day is the day after: chocolates on sale!

Godiva, Ferrara, chocolate truffles, M&Ms, you name it — all those brand name sweets at 50% off or on a buy-one-get-one-free basis totally makes up for this senseless tradition.

Though the only people actually winning from this scheme are your dentists and candy makers, who's really counting your cavities when the most-ridiculous "holiday" of the year just ended?! (In my humble opinion...)

Don't get me wrong, I am not 

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Happy Birthday Grand Central Terminal!

Did you know that Grand Central Station (also known as Grand Central Terminal) recently turned 100?

Opened in 1871 on 42nd Street between Park and Lexington avenues, the station was renovated and reopened in February 1913. Grand Central is one of the largest train connecters to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) 4, 5, 6,

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2013: The Year of the Snake

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In the Chinese zodiac, the snake is equivalent to the Taurus in Western tradition. February 10th, 2013 to January 30th, 2014 will mark the Year of the Snake.

In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the snake is the sixth animal and symbolizes grace and calmness — it is introspective, cunning, and modest, but also mysterious, deceptive, and possessive. Those born in 2013, 2001, 1989 

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Just Who Was DeWitt Wallace, Anyway?

DeWitt Wallace Periodicals Reading Room

In the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, there is a reading room with high wooden carved ceiling called the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Reading Room. You may have seen the historical room decorated with large murals reflecting major publishers of periodicals, newspapers and books at the turn of the century by

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Thinking about Grad School? NYPL Can Help!

As the year is coming to an end, many of us are already planning for new and exciting changes in the upcoming year. Some people may consider different vacation spots, career changes or even returning to school. If you are part of the group interested in going to graduate school, we can help!

So first you should ask yourself why you are going back to school and whether it is something worth your investment in time and money. Additionally, you may want to ask yourself:

Can I afford to go to graduate school on a full-time basis? Should I go to graduate ... Read More ›

Chinese American Food: Stories of Odds and Ends

Did you know that some of your favorite dishes from a Chinese take out restaurant have interesting stories behind them? The origin of their names, the ingredients used and how they were conceived and transformed in America all make fascinating tales in food history.

Since the 19th century, Chinese immigrants opened restaurants throughout the American frontier. These dishes preserved and reflected the different Chinese cultural and regional identities. Initially they were not accepted or liked by Americans because they were perceived as foreign. However, many dishes 

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The Summer Olympics: History and Resources

The 2012 Summer Olympics, officially called The Games of the XXX Olympiad kicks off on July 27th in London, United Kingdom!

For about two weeks, the world will be watching their top athletes compete for medals of honor in a multi-sport event.  These sports range from

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