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Posts from the General Research Division

Where Did Times New Roman Come From?

An interesting footnote to the development of Times New Roman trickles down to us in the present day. The original hardware for the typeface—the “punches” that helped create the molds for casting type—were created jointly by the Monotype Corporation and the Linotype Company, the two main manufacturers of automated typesetting machines and equipment at that time. Both companies subsequently made sets of the type 

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In the Absence of Sparrows: James Foley Remembered

Today the Academy of American Poets features Johnson's powerful poem "In the Absence of Sparrows," honoring his close friend, as part of its Poem-a-Day series.Read More ›

Margot Adler 1946-2014

Remembering Margot Adler, a writer in the Allen Room.Read More ›

Swan Song

My job has offered many satisfactions. It is my way of engaging with the world. Although it would be impossible to guess how many people I've encountered in my librarian capacity, I can only hope that I've managed to clear up even a bit of bewilderment and confusion.Read More ›

The True Delights of Penny Dreadfuls

What’s not to love about Showtime’s new gothic series Penny Dreadful? It features Doctor Frankenstein and his monster, Dracula’s Mina Harker, and Wilde’s Dorian Gray, along with séances, ancient Egyptian vampires, gunslingers, serial killers, and maybe even a werewolf, set against the mysterious backdrop of Victorian London. Read More ›

Godzilla: Monster, Metaphor, Pop Icon

When many of us think of Godzilla, we think of awkward dubbing and a man in a rubber suit running around crushing model cities while occasionally fighting along side or against other monsters. My first exposure to Godzilla came from watching re-runs of the adorable yet absolutely cringe-worthy Hanna-Barbera animated series as a child. But Godzilla represents far more than the child-friendly hero of the cartoon I fondly remember. Godzilla is an international film icon and his appeal goes beyond audiences' appetite for destruction.Read More ›

Uncovering the Truth: Helen Bernstein Book Award 2014

Each year since 1988, the Library has awarded Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism to a journalist for a work of in-depth, investigative reporting. Over 100 non-fiction books were nominated this year, all of them read, discussed and vetted by a Library Review Committee. These are the five amazing books the group chose as this years five finalists—all must-reads!Read More ›

Avant-Garde Periodicals Meet Digital Archives

As curator for small press materials I was excited to attend "Remediating the Avant Garde: Magazines and Digital Archives," a symposium at Princeton University, home of the Blue Mountain Project.Read More ›

Joe Miller's Groaners: Historical Joke Books in the Research Collections

In anticipation of April Fools’ Day, I’ve been digging around the research collection’s historical joke books, in search of a good joke. Pity the poor sod who goes searching for funny jokes inside a joke book, right? Well, historically speaking, I’m not alone in this endeavor, and people have long sought to collect jokes and to find them, which is why NYPL owns hundreds of joke books that span basically the history of civilization.Read More ›

Research Collections: Highlights from the Reading Room

My research colleagues and I can think of no better way to launch our new blog on the research collections than to begin with our readers. Our goal for the blog is to highlight the known and less well-known strengths of the research collections as well as the latest updates from our ongoing collection development and outreach activities. Read More ›

The Time Machine: Reading List 2013

Some years ago, while considering ideas for my next blog post, I thought I might compile a list of the books I had read during the previous year—not only to keep a record for myself (tending, as I do, to forget things), but to share my bookish enthusiasms and perhaps offer a few recommendations to anyone who might be interested. Then, before I knew it, another list came along, and then another, and now, in what seems the blink of an eye, it is four years later, and I am putting together yet another list of books read during the improbable year just passed. I don't think it is coincidental Read More ›

NYPL Receives Grant for Amateur Periodical Collection

New York Public Library has received a three-year grant from the Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press to process one of its hidden gems, the General Research Division's Amateur Periodical Collection. The grant will allow this significant collection to be catalogued for the first time, which will provide greater access as well as help identify items for digitization in the future.

The Library's collection contains nearly 3,000 titles, 

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Edith Wharton, A Writing Life: Marriage

In a writer's life, nothing is ever wasted. Every wrinkle in the fabric of experience can be transformed into fictional material. Although there is nothing directly autobiographical in the novels and stories of American novelist Edith Wharton (born Edith Jones), they reflect very distinctly both the shape of her life and the movements of her thought. In my previous post about her childhood, I left off with an unresolved question, one which would have been deeply troubling to Lucretia Jones, Edith's 

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Classroom Connections: 'Grace Aguilar's American Journey,' A Common Core-aligned Research Experience (Gr. 11-12)

By 1900, New York City and the United States were undergoing waves of dramatic, traumatic change. Industrialization, Reconstruction and a surge of immigrants from across the globe were remaking every aspect of life, from transportation to education, leisure, labor, race relations and the status of women. One response to the dislocations and turmoil of this era was the reform efforts that we now classify as the “Progressive Movement.”

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Classroom Connections: Lists for Lesson Planning (Gr. 6-12)

Aguilar Library, 1938 - Librarian w/ students. Want to know more about our current educational initiatives? See The ABC of Education: Why Libraries Matter by Maggie Jacobs, Director of Educational ProgramsWe have just shuttered the doors on our first Education Innovation @ NYPL Summer Institute. During this three week Institute, master teachers from NYC (and further afar) met curators from our Research 

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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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