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Posts from Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

From the Archives of the Century: The Century Foundation & NYC, Part II

My previous post detailed the Twentieth Century Fund’s relationship with New York City issues and its first task force on New York City’s economic troubles in the 1970s, the Task Force on Prospects and Priorities of New York City.Read More ›

NYPL Labs and Map Division host first library Net Artist Residency

NYPL Labs is pleased to announce the Library's first-ever Net Artist Residency, in partnership with local hardware startup Electric Objects.Read More ›

Margot Adler 1946-2014

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

United States v. "The Spirit of '76"

During World War I, the making of movies—even seemingly pro-American films—could be a dangerous proposition, given the wartime hysteria so prevalent on the U.S. home front. Case in point:Read More ›

How to Find Historical Photos of New York City

Researchers commonly seek photographs of places in New York as they once existed in history. HistoryPin.com and WhatWasThere.Com have done admirable work in placing historic photos in their geographic context, however they represent but a fraction of available photos, and associated descriptive metadata can vary in accuracy and precision.Read More ›

July is International Zine Month

It's International Zine Month (July 21 is Zine Library Day!) and they are everywhere... Read More ›

John Quinn's Art Collection

When few American collectors or museums were investing in the European avant garde, New York lawyer John Quinn (1870–1924) built an art collection primarily comprised of Modernist works. Through social connections and advice from trusted consultants, Quinn became discerning connoisseur and patron of new art.Read More ›

Bustles, Bear Grease, & Burnt Brandy: 19th Century Self-Improvement Manuals in the Art & Architecture Collection

Rapidly evolving developments in printing technology and paper manufacture during the 19th century were a democratizing process which lowered costs and made books of all kinds accessible to a wider audience. In that context it is interesting that, even early on, one of the most popular genres of these inexpensive books was self-improvement. The selection that follows is the barest tip of the iceberg of what is available in the Art & Architecture 

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Peeling Off The Painted Layers of NYC Walls: Experiments With The Google Street View Archive

As a web developer who works on a screen and an illustrator that works on paper, I have always admired those who could paint big—often on impossibly large and inconveniently placed walls—only to be erased in a matter of weeks or days. The ephemeral nature of street art is what makes it simultaneously appealing and frustrating as a viewer. However, Google Maps recently rolled out a feature allowing users to go back in 

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From the Archives of the Century: The Century Foundation & NYC, Part I

In 2012, the Manuscripts and Archives Division acquired the records of the Century Foundation, a non-partisan research institute based in New York City previously known as the Twentieth Century Fund and originally founded as the Cooperative League. Since its founding, the Century Foundation (TCF) has supported the creation and dissemination of progressive policy ideas through the funding of books, position papers, pamphlets, task forces, and conferences that address current issues faced in the United States economy and democracy. The Century Foundation records document the governance of the Read More ›

Bloomsday in the Berg Collection

James Joyce's Ulysses is a novel unique in the history of English literature, perhaps all literature, in that it has a day dedicated to its celebration all over the world. The day is named for Leopold Bloom, one of the novel's three chief characters.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 ›

Documenting Tiananmen Square

Twenty-five years ago, the world watched Beijing's Tiananmen Square, as demonstrations by Chinese citizens rallying for democracy drew the attention of Chinese military, with deadly results. Read More ›

Culinary Delights in Lady Anne Percy’s Receipt Book

Around 1650, a teenage Lady Anne Percy compiled a collection of receipts now held in the NYPL's Manuscripts and Archives Division as part of its Whitney cookery collection. "Whitney MS 2" includes over four hundred medical and cookery recipes from friends, family, and contemporary printed cookbooks. Read More ›

Picturing Walt Whitman

The life and work of Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 - March 26, 1892) are prodigiously documented in the Oscar Lion Collection, held in the New York Public Library's Rare Books Division. Read More ›

Sherlock Holmes at the Library

With the recent appearance of several movies and television series based on the stories of Sherlock Holmes, the popularity of the enigmatic detective does not appear to be slowing down one bit.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 ›

Historical Maps in Minecraft

At a recent internal hacking event here, NYPL Labs developer Paul Beaudoin recruited me into an interesting project: transforming one of the library's 20,000 digitized historical maps into the three-dimensional world of the building game Minecraft.

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