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Posts from Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Independence Day Booths: Fourth of July Feasting in 19th Century New York

Ready for Fourth of July barbeques? Of course you’ll be having some pickled oysters, egg nog, and lobster, right? If you think these are some interesting cuisine choices for Independence Day festivities, 19th century New Yorkers would disagree.Read More ›

The Olive Branch and the Declaration of Independence

Was the Declaration of Independence really necessary? Or was it widely understood by the end of 1775 that the American colonies were already engaged in a war for independence? The key to answering these questions about July 4, 1776 begins with the events of July 5, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress approved the Olive Branch Petition.Read More ›

Romantic Interests: Sex, Lies and Poetry Redux, Part 1

When the dissolute, spendthrift son of George III ascended the throne, he wished to rid himself of his wife, Caroline, from whom he had long been estranged, and instituted divorce proceedings against her in the House of Lords. The "trial" lasted for eleven weeks during the summer and autumn of 1820.Read More ›

George Chalmers and the History Wars of the American Revolutionary Era

George Chalmers was a sore loser. Born in Scotland in 1742, Chalmers came to Maryland in 1763 and practiced as an attorney until 1775. Hostilities between Britain and its colonies drove the ardent loyalist to leave North America for London. In England, Chalmers began amassing documents and writing histories about colonial North America and British imperial policy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.Read More ›

Recent Acquisitions in the Jewish Division: June 2015

The following titles on our Recent Acquisitions Display are just a few of our new books, which are available at the reference desk in the Dorot Jewish Division. Catalog entries for the books can be found by clicking on their covers.Read More ›

The Mythology of Bruno Schulz

How did a Jewish writer, who wrote exclusively in Polish and who died in the Holocaust, become practically a cult figure of mid-­20th century literature?Read More ›

Celebrating Jewish LGBT Pride

In honor of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Pride Month in June, the Dorot Jewish Division recognizes the achievements of LGBT Jews in history and in the Library’s collection. Here are some key moments and figures.Read More ›

Names Have Meaning: A Research Guide for Baby Names and Family Names

Like any word in the dictionary, a person’s name has meaning. The study of names is called onomastics or onomatology. Onomastics covers the naming of all things, including place names (toponyms) and personal names (anthroponyms). Given names, often called first names, and surnames, often called last names, usually derive from words with distinct origins.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 Great War and Modern Mapping: WWI in the Map Division

Among the hundreds of maps from the Great War, you'll find commercial maps produced for sale to the general public, pictorial propaganda maps, newspaper maps intended to illustrate the unfolding conflict, and military maps produced for a variety of purposes including training, planning offensive and defensive operations, troop dispositions and more. The languages printed on the map mirror the international range of the conflict.Read More ›

Researching New York City Neighborhoods

Redefined by the city’s growth, changing populations, and the plans of real estate developers, New York City neighborhoods are ever-evolving entities. They can be researched through our collections—useful materials include neighborhood and borough-specific histories, NYC guidebooks, city agency reports, local newspapers, clippings, statistical data, and maps.Read More ›

Interpretations of Timothy O’Sullivan’s "Ancient Ruins"

This incredibly stunning image depicts ancient architectural structures embedded within a cave of a large cliff. The image is often on view in art museums, even though the image was first created for a topographical survey. It is fully embedded with photography’s complex relationship to science and art.Read More ›

Growing Up Chinese-American: Books for Young Readers

When I was growing up in the ’70s there was very little in the way of books that reflected who I was—a first generation Chinese-American girl living in New York City. I read everything I could get my hands on, but I could never see myself in the books from school or in the library.Read More ›

People of the (Online) Book: Jewish Texts Online

Here’s a brief guide to Jewish books online, including reference works, religious texts and literature. Read More ›

Subway Construction: Then and Now

Recent photos, compared side by side with photographs of the construction of New York’s first subway, which opened in 1904, provide stark contrasts. They are evidence of an industry drastically changed: the methods of construction used, the condition and expressions of the workers, and the scale of the projects differ in striking ways.Read More ›

Recent Acquisitions in the Jewish Division: May 2015

The following titles are just a few of our new books, all available at the reference desk in Room 111.Read More ›

Ask the Author: Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming comes to Books at Noon next Wednesday, May 6 to discuss his latest work, Not My Father's Son. We asked him six questions about what he likes to read.Read More ›

Remembering Our Ancestors: Maps and Genealogy Resources for Armenian-Americans

As an Armenian-American keenly aware of the devotion to lost homeland of my ethnic compatriots, I’ve always been on the lookout for Armenians among the researchers from many large ethnic groups who have found their way to the Map Division. April 24 is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, and one way to honor those who were not able to find refuge is to learn all we can about them and celebrate our link to them.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 ›

Remembering (the Hardly Trivial) Sam Houston: Rare Texana at the Library

April 21 is the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. As any grade school student in the Lone Star State will proudly tell you, the leader of the Texan forces was Samuel “Sam” Houston, a.k.a. the President of the Republic of Texas. He is well-represented in NYPL's collection of Texana.Read More ›
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