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Posts from Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

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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Why We Fight: The E-Resources

While the Library's collections related to HIV and AIDS in both the Manuscripts Division and the General Research Division are especially rich, the Library also provides access to electronic resources that supplement the print holdings.Read More ›

Hands-On Art History: The Treasures of the Pamphlet Files

Since the NYPL Art & Architecture Pamphlet Files have recently been updated, it is a good time to revisit this great resource. These files contain ephemeral material relating to over 4,200 art galleries, museums, auction houses and art events that are for the most part from the New York City area but also with substantial files from all over the United States, Europe, Central and South America. There is material from the late 19th century to the present, including many items that may well be the only 

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Romantic Interests: Peacock's Science of Cookery

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866), novelist, poet, trade company official, steam engine expert and gourmet—a Renaissance man of the Romantic age—once convinced his friend and fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a passionate vegetarian, to cave in to meat-eating.Read More ›

Researching Japanese Culture and History

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a series of research workshops organized by the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC) held at Harvard. It was a great experience to learn about the latest digital tools, services and resources available for Japanese studies in the humanities and social sciences.

Throughout the conference, I met many East Asian Studies librarians, specialists and teaching faculty from

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Brain Pickings @ the NYPL

I'm sure my boss wouldn't want to know how often I check Brain Pickings's 20+ daily Twitter posts but I never imagined I would actually meet Maria Popova, the "curator of interestingness." Lucky for me she's a fan of the NYPL and was more than willing to collaborate with the Library Shop on a series of "best of" lists. And so four lists were born: Wisdom on the Written Word, Furry Friends, I <3 NY, and 

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Train Travel Menus

When it comes to romantic ways to travel across the United States, the train gets short shrift. Cars, even Greyhound buses, are the usual setting for burgeoning love affairs, quiet introspection, and hunger for new beginnings. This September, however, train travel gets its due when video artist Doug Aitken celebrates the modest Amtrak with his latest project, Station to Station. Aitken will take an Amtrak train and transform it into a moving kinetic light sculpture (this is not your mother's Northeast Corridor), with stops in major cities along 

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From Sanitary Fairs to "The Settlement": Early Charity Cookbooks

One hundred and fifty years ago, as the Civil War raged, the United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) was busy raising money to improve conditions for Union soldiers. Early on in the war, people realized that, in addition to the terrible loss of life during the battles, an appalling number of casualties occurred because of poor sanitation and inadequate medical care. One very successful method of fundraising by the USSC was "Sanitary Fairs"—exhibitions and festivals held throughout the Northern states. Merchandise for sale at the fairs might include clothing, toys, tobacco, 

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X-Ray Vision: Not Just For Superheroes

It's time to be blinded with SCIENCE...

We do some pretty cool things in the Barbara Goldsmith Conservation Laboratory, but one of the coolest happened recently when we used x-rays—or rather X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), to be exact—to help us identify colored pigments on some very rare fragments of prints from the 15th Century known as stencils.

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Transmissions from the Timothy Leary Papers: Greatest Hits

There are so many worthwhile topics to highlight in the Timothy Leary papers that I don't have time to cover in this blog. Should I delve into his notes on prostate cancer? The "Leary circle? Tom Robbins' lovely stationary? The Adventures with Briscoe Country, Jr. and other cameos? The wives, the children, Hotel Catalina, his Alcor 

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Meet the Scholar: Melissa Forstrom

Melissa ForstromMuseums. They are great. From Museum of Mathematics to Museum of Glass, there's so much to see and to learn about these topics in our shared history. Whenever I visit a new town or country, I am always eager to check out their local or national museums; they offer a glimpse of their cultural histories, identities and accomplishments.

However, some exhibitions can also showcase contested and controversial materials. Take for example the

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Playing With Matches: Jewish Deli Ephemera

Hot pastrami. Three decker sandwiches with chopped liver, corned beef, tomatoes and bermuda onion. Hungarian beef goulash with noodles. Stuffed derma with kasha. These artery-clogging delicacies are no longer available at the Stage Delicatessen, which closed late last year after 75 years as a New York City landmark. The Stage was one of the relatively few remaining "Jewish-style" (but decidedly unkosher) delicatessens in New York.

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