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Blog Posts by Subject: Image Collections

Harlem Library - Pictures from the Past

Recently we found some old and not so old photographs of the Harlem branch among our files and wanted to share. 

The first is from April 8, 1910 and is a photograph of our 2nd floor children's room with its beautiful marble frieze and fireplace (which at the time seemed to be functioning). This was taken not too long after the branch opened in July of 1909. 

The others are from a 1998 visit by Ossie 

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1,358 Portraits of an Iconic Ruler—Now Searchable Online

When librarians at the New York Public Library assembled a vast portrait image collection in the early part of the 20th century, they incorporated some 1,358 images of or closely related to the French emperor, military and political ruler Napoleon Bonaparte, known as Napoleon I (1769-1821). The portrait collection they amassed, Historical and Public Figures: A General Portrait File to the 1920s, or simply the “Portrait File,” is part of the Prints Collection of the Miriam and Ira D. 

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Changing the Changing City

Seeking further enlightenment into the city we call home, I recently took a class on the literary and cultural history of New York City. Among the many themes common to New York City novels we discussed was the portrayal of the city itself as a character with power to shape the lives of its citizens.

Many of us New Yorkers have felt this pressure in our own lives: we choose where to live based on our budgets, our hobbies, our family situation, and often our ethnic, linguistic or religious 

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Foodstuffs and Fiction

It always bugs me when characters in novels don’t consume any food or drink. Not that the whole novel has to be about that, mind you, but the occasional mention can do so much to create setting.

I recently read that Honoré de Balzac died at age 51 from caffeine overconsumption. I assumed that this must be overstating the case because I 

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The Pony Express: History and Myth

Nearly everything you thought you knew about the Pony Express is wrong. Well, perhaps not wrong, but exaggerated or romanticized. If you’re like me, you’re probably imagining men dressed in fringed leather uniform on horses, riding at break-neck speeds to carry important business and love letters hundreds of miles, perhaps while simultaneously shooting their Wincester rifles in the air. When not dashing across the prairie, the riders would be found roping cattle, drinking and playing cards in saloons, hunting buffalo, and dodging Black-Hatted Bandits and 

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Paris and Provence at Hudson Park

Hudson Park is hosting "Paris and Provence," art by West Village painter Elliott Gilbert, in its Reference Room Gallery through the end of February.

Abbaye de Sénanque

The work includes 15 canvases of Provence and some lesser-known areas of Paris, including Parc Monceau, a favorite place of Monet. One more view after the break.

Come by the library to see the full exhibit. For more information about Elliott Gilbert, go to http://elliottgilbert.com/   Arches of Montfort... Read More ›

A Train Ride Through Time: An Exhibit of New Year's Greetings from the Picture Collection

Journey through Time with the Picture CollectionEnter the doors of the Schwarzman Building from Fifth Avenue this week and you will find yourself, as usual at this time of year, in a jolly space with a giant Christmas tree adorned with all the trimmings of the season. But that's not the only marvel to behold.

A few weeks ago I happened to be wandering through the halls when the holiday decorations were being installed, and the festive spirit of the place, with its red ribbon and wreaths and pine and reflective gold and silver 

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Main Street, Tottenville, Staten Island, New York

Main Street, Tottenville, Staten Island, N.Y. [close view of shops and ad sign for Horton's Ice Cream, people in front of store under awning, old car in street]

Main Street is about a block away from the Tottenville Branch Library. The street looks very different today!

Image and Caption From NYPL Digital Gallery

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Staten Island Side of Tottenville Ferry

Team photos and the press

At first glance, this picture looks like it has seen better days. To a trained eye, it looks like a remarkable survival.

Which is it?

This picture of the Atlantic Base Ball Club in 1869, from the Albert G. Spalding Collection, is an albumen photographic print, mounted on thin paper board.

Two words come to mind, “fugitive materials.” Because of the albumen photographic printing process, the image will fade every time it is exposed to light. Imagine how many times this picture has been viewed since it was printed in 1869! The

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