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Posts from Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

A Black Tulip Comes to the Pforzheimer Collection

Here at the Pforzheimer Collection, our big acquisition of the year is a black tulip, one of the rarest items, in the Shelleyan world: Original Poetry by Victor and Cazire, 1810, Shelley's first book of verse. Lost to the public eye shortly after its publication and believed, till 1898, to have vanished altogether, only three other copies are known; one of them is imperfect. Even the Bodleian Library, holder of the best Shelley collection in the world, does not own it.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 ›

Recent Activity in the Raphael Lemkin Papers

To honor April as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, this post recounts recent efforts to bring more attention to the Polish philologist and international lawyer who coined the word genocide. The Raphael Lemkin papers have been safely held at NYPL since 1982. We expect more people will realize the significance of this collection as scholars, researchers, and the general public discover the life and achievement of Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959.)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 ›

Open Access Maps at NYPL

The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.*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 ›

Stuffed Animal Husbandry: Caring for Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends

The New York Public Library is the proud home of the REAL Winnie-the-Pooh, the actual toy teddy bear that once belonged to Christopher Robin Milne, son of A. A. Milne, and the basis for the character Christopher Robin in the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh stories.Read More ›

The Yiddish Broadway and Beyond

Given New York City’s major role in the Yiddish theater, it’s no surprise that The New York Public Library has a wonderful Yiddish theater collection. Here you’ll find posters, playbills, sheet music, published plays, photographs, manuscripts, memoirs, oral histories and recordings that tell the story of Yiddish theater and its legendary stars.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 ›

Skating Dreams: Twelve Kinds of Ice

Every winter when Bryant Park opens its skating rink and I see people walking into the Children's Center with skates hung over their shoulders I am taken back to the time I spent on the ice as a child.Read More ›

Roy Colmer, in Memoriam

The staff of the Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs were saddened to learn of the passing of Roy Colmer last week. Stephen C. Pinson, The Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Assistant Director for Art, Prints and Photographs, and The Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography, provided the following remembrance of Colmer's life and work.Read More ›

The Government Has Blood on Its Hands [One AIDS Death Every Half Hour]

Guest post by Avram Finkelstein.

While we prefer to think of art as a reflection of our culture that mirrors our higher selves—and it frequently is—art can also serve as a dividing line.

Without access to the education needed to pry open the class codes woven into the cannon of Western European art, it can be impenetrable. And without the economic mobility that allows us to visit the great galleries of the world, or the leisure time to go to a museum just a few train stops away, art can easily exceed our 

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A Prophecy Before Our Time: The Gay Men’s Health Project Clinic Opens in 1972, Part Two: A Wasted Opportunity

Guest post by Perry Brass.

Lenny Ebreo, Marc Rabinowitz, and I were thrilled about the forum that took place at Washington Square Methodist Church in 1972. Because of the forum, Lenny now had some connection with the New York City Department of Public Health, which after John Lindsey's administration had been re-organized around local community health centers. He began to fixate on the idea of community health. If we could get our community healthy, in mind and body, it would genuinely come together. He revealed a bombshell idea: we'd open our own gay health clinic in the 

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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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Khmer Dance Project Videos Available Online

One of the stunning new collections from the Jerome Robbins Dance Division now available in the Library’s Digital Collections is the Khmer Dance Project (KDP). Funded by a grant from the Anne Hendricks Bass Foundation, the KDP began in 2008 when the Center for Khmer Studies partnered with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division to interview and film the three generations of artists - including dancers, musicians and singers, as well as embroiderers and dressers - who kept dance alive during and in the wake of the Khmer Rouge regime. The New York Public Library offers streaming video of all 

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Review of "Exploring The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records" LIVE at NYPL

The line formed early outside of Edna Barnes Salomon Reading Room as this particular event in the Live from the NYPL series was the hottest ticket in town on a cold fall night. Who would have thought that a round table discussion regarding the collapse of quirky record 

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I Pledge Allegiance... Becoming a Citizen at The New York Public Library

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Color GuardHave you heard those words—the Pledge of Allegiance—recited recently, by a group of adults?

I hadn't, until I attended a naturalization ceremony at the Library. This past September 17, one of 180 special naturalization ceremonies held across the country to commemorate

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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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Researching Orphans in Genealogy

If you have an orphan in your family tree, you may have to go through additional steps to find relevant genealogical records for the orphaned or adopted ancestor. Orphans originating in New York City are not uncommon because of the city's history with the Orphan Train movement.

From the 1850s to the 1920s, the Orphan Train Movement was an organized effort to transport children from overcrowded cities, such as New York City, to foster homes across the country. An estimated 250,000 orphaned, abandoned, or 

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Flying a Drone Around the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

I have a friend who has a drone.

I realize that not many people can say that. It's akin to saying "I know a guy who knows a guy in New York City who once ate 300 sandwiches in a single sitting." Just within the realm of believability.

But I do. His name is Nate Bolt, and he lives in San Francisco. He was recently in New York for a conference, and wagering on the fact that he often travels with Lucy IV (as his drone is so lovingly named) (don't ask about Lucys I-III), I reached out to him about coming to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building to shoot 

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