Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Posts from the General Research Division

Shakespeare in the Rose Main Reading Room

Most of the collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman building are closed-stacked, i.e., we bring them to you. But on the 3rd floor, the Rose Main Reading Room maintains open, very open stacks of about 30,000 volumes on every subject, not just the humanities and social sciences which is our collection strength.

Here is a picture of the Shakespeare section, on the short shelves at the north-east corner. In addition to the complete works, it holds critical editions, 

... Read More ›

Not Your Grandmother's Hamlet

That is, the kick-off to Shakespeare Week—April 15 to 20 here at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Schizophrenia, nomadism, Lacan (oh the joys of serendipity—I just ordered his Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Profession), Deleuze, all the quite-cut edge philosophers and concepts. 

... Read More ›

Shakespeare and Teens: "The Juliet Club"

Well, it's April and time for Shakespeare Week. And once again, to read a great novel—The Juliet Club, by Wertheim writer Suzanne Harper.  Here is the

... Read More ›

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

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

Back to Bradbury

"I wouldn't want the nursery locked up," said Peter coldly. "Ever."

"Matter of fact, we're thinking of turning the whole house off for about a month. Live sort of a carefree one-for-all existence."

"That sounds dreadful! Would I have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it? And brush my own teeth and comb my hair and give myself a bath?"

"It would be fun for a change, don't you think?"

"No, it would be horrid. . ."

Ray Bradbury, "The 

... Read More ›

The Call of Cthulhu Turns 85: H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos

Weird Tales, February 1928. The Call of Cthulhu's first appearance in print.The short stories of H.P. Lovecraft have always been personal favorites of mine. Ever since I read "The Call of Cthulhu" for the first time as a teenager, I have been hooked on Lovecraft's particular brand of supernatural fiction and the sense of cosmic horror his characters evoke.

February marked the 85th 

... Read More ›

Bookstore Mystique: Martin Boyd, Joyce Cary, and Elizabeth Bowen

There was a time — in what has come to seem more and more a mythical past — when books were everywhere. Along the relatively short stretch of Fifth Avenue between the New York Public Library and Central Park were three magnificent bookstores: Doubleday, Brentano's, and the most architecturally stunning of them all, Scribner's. Around the corner on 47th Street was

... Read More ›

The Art of Anna Bella Geiger

Harper Montgomery, a writer in the Wertheim Study, has curated a fascinating exhibition at Hunter College, going until May 4. At 68th and Lexington, it is a smallish (read: do-able) delight — Open Work in Latin America, New York & Beyond: Conceptualism Reconsidered, 1967-1978.

It features prints, artists' books, photography and videos, photocopies, all sorts of experimental treats, including Ed 

... Read More ›

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" 

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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,

... Read More ›

R.I.P. Ed Koch

I'll miss him, for he was such a quintessential New York, and a terrific ambassador for the City. I met my colleague MN in the hallway (no, not at the hydration station, formerly water cooler) and we chatted about him. She had seen a picture flash by of his tombstone, apparently all set up to go, and reported it was very simple and elegant. I asked if it had an

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

English Nature Writers: Charles Waterton

Charles Waterton by Charles Willson Peale oil on canvas, 1824 ©National Portrait Gallery, London. Creative Commons BY-NC-NDMost recently discovered, just last week, is Charles Waterton (1782–1865). I've not read enough to evaluate him as a writer (of which all authors tremble in dread), but he certainly led an interesting life. Of a very ancient Catholic family including St. Thomas More and Margaret of Scotland among his ancestors, he became interested in nature in 1804 

... Read More ›

English Nature Writers: Richard Jefferies

"Why, we must have been blind all our lives; here were the most wonderful things possible going on under our very noses, but we saw them not." —Walther Besant.

Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), though a novelist, is more known as a nature writer. His childhood was spent on a farm in Wiltshire (now a museum), during which he began his observation and awareness of nature and people within it. At the age of 9, he was already an adept at tracking and hunting, and perhaps not surprisingly, left school at the 

... Read More ›

English Nature Writers: Gilbert White

I'm a literary Anglophile. There — I've confessed and we can move on. One of their really cool genres is nature writing. They do it in such a quiet and smooth style, as if they've lived in field and woods all their lives. (Dah!)

Perhaps the most famous, or at least the most referred to, is

... Read More ›

Clinging to Books: Reading List 2012

During my vacation from the library, between Christmas and New Year's Day, I learned a remarkable lesson. You can get along very well without NEWS. For a full week, I entered a blissfully news-free vacuum. No NPR; no relentless checking of Google News; no Sunday New York Times beyond Arts and Leisure and the Book Review. I didn't care if it was the twenty-first century or the fifteenth. Without that drumbeat of doom in my head all the time, I could focus on what was really important: family, friends, dining, museums, and music.

Since winter is my favorite time 

... Read More ›

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

... Read More ›

Haiku Redux

Fang and I were very, very lucky during the hurricane. We were out of power for only 24 hours, during which I wrote the three haiku below: "On the Advantages of the Absence of Electricity."

Haiku is one of the more accessible poetic forms (have you ever tried writing a sestina?), at least for the likes of me. There are, of course, books galore of and about them, but a short and sweet

... Read More ›
Previous Page 2 of 13 Next