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Posts from the General Research Division

Evelyn Waugh and His "Most Offensive Work"

While in Hollywood consulting on a potential film adaptation of Brideshead that never materialized, Waugh observed American West Coast culture up close. His reaction was... not flattering.Read More ›

Understanding the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Over the past several weeks, we've heard a lot about the plight of refugees fleeing Syria and its neighboring countries for safer and more stable living conditions in Europe. Such a systemic, rapidly-changing issue can be hard comprehend, but we are confronted with images and stories that beg for our understanding.Read More ›

Louisa May Alcott, In Her Own Words

On September 30, 1868, the first volume of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was published. The New York Public Library has many, many copies of Little Women and its sequels.Read More ›

The Palimpsest of Justice: Law, Narrative, and the Romantic Self

From 1750 to 1830, the legal landscape of Great Britain was significantly transformed. An accusatory form of trial gave way to an adversarial format—which was echoed in the periodical wars of the romantic press. Read More ›

Despotic Characters: Researching Shorthand at the New York Public Library

Through multiple gifts over the years, The New York Public Library has gathered an outstanding and extensive collection of shorthand material. These items can help answer such wide-ranging questions as: What was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius like? Why are some of the lines in Shakespeare’s King Lear so weird? and How can I take faster notes in my classes and work meetings?Read More ›

The Case of the False Quixote

I recently came across a third volume of Don Quixote. Cervantistas among you know that this novel, the full title of which is El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, consists of two parts only. What’s more, the author listed is not Cervantes, but “the Licentiate Alonzo Fernandez de Avellaneda.” So what exactly is going on here?Read More ›

Erasures in Literature

Erasure is a form of literature, often poetry, created by selectively erasing words from an existing text to produce a new work. An event on April 25 will showcase examples and give you a chance to create your own.Read More ›

Juana Vargas "La Macarrona:" A Flamenco Treasure

The footage of Juana Vargas "La Macarrona" (1870-1947), filmed in 1917 by Léonide Massine and held in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the Library for the Performing Arts, is one of the Library's most important, and little-known, flamenco treasures. As a member of the Wertheim study, I was honored to be invited to write a blog post about the Library's significant holdings related to flamenco. Read More ›

Jerome Robbins Dance Division Annual Report FY14 Available

The Dance Division has continued its work, assuring its place in the world, as a global, international archive, the world's largest of its kind dedicated to dance, by collecting, preserving and making accessible materials about the many varieties of dance in the world. Read More ›

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 ›
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