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Blog Posts by Subject: Historical Newspapers

Conducting Genealogical Research Using Newspapers

Historical newspapers are useful tools for history and genealogy research. They can be searched for ancestors’ death notices/obituaries, personal announcements and celebrations, community involvement, social news and gossip, lodge and club news, employment ads, real estate transactions, legal notices, casualty lists, military news, criminal activity, and much more.Read More ›

Play Strike! Exploring NYC Playgrounds Through Historical Newspapers

At the turn of the 20th century, children’s lifestyles were not quite what they are today. Child labor laws were not declared constitutional until 1938 and children largely socialized with their adult co-workers in dance halls, gambling dens, and gin mills. It was this children-as-adults culture that sparked the play movement, removing children from the “physical and moral dangers of the street” to playgrounds, under the direction of trained play leaders.Read More ›

Researching Past Weather Information for New York City

For those researchers who need to look up past weather information for New York City, one way to do so is to use a historical newspaper database, such as ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) with Index (1851-1993) which is accessible at any New York Public Library location.

In this case, since it is not weather forecast information that one is interested in, but 

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How to Search The New York Times

Over the years working at the reference desk, I get this question a lot: "Do you have the New York Times on [given date]?" I reply, "YES! Which formats are you interested in seeing? We have some bound copies, microfilms and digital resources." It is one of the most popular primary sources that patrons often want to see.

Whatever the patrons are researching, the NYT is quite useful for a variety of subjects: genealogy, history, social sciences, etc.; the newspaper covered and still covers many international, national, regional and local issues. We 

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Celebrate National Doughnut Day

The first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day.

Usually I am skeptical of nonsensical food holidays. Did the cinnamon-sugar lobby come up with this? The lard council?

Still, National Doughnut Day grabbed my attention. So I checked Chase's Calendar and the sources cited in the Wikipedia article.

It's time to CELEBRATE!

The first Doughnut Day was in 1938, organized by the Salvation Army in Chicago to 

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Extra! Extra! Read All About the Newsboys Strike of 1899

This year the musical Newsies got nominated for eight Tony Awards. The popularity of the Disney Broadway show based on the Disney film has led many of our younger patrons to ask about the newsboys and the strike they led in 1899 on which the film and play  are based.

If you are interested in learning more about the strike 

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Women's and Gender Studies: A Research Guide

March is Women's History Month. This year, the theme of Women's History Month is Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This blog post will explore how one can conduct research in women's and gender studies and history.

The research collections of The 

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Islam in Europe: A Resource Guide at NYPL

According to the BBC News, "Islam is widely considered Europe's fastest growing religion, with immigration and above average birth rates leading to a rapid increase in the Muslim population." There are currently over 15 million Muslims (Sunni and Shiite) living in Europe and Islam is currently the second largest religion in the world after Christianity.

This blog post will focus on NYPL’s rich collection on the history of Islam in Europe: past and present; the historical, political, cultural, and 

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Weddings and Marriages at NYPL: A Research Guide

Courtesy of New Line Cinemas/HBO Productions: Sex and the City at NYPLIn Sex and the City: The Movie, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) ascends the iconic marble steps of The New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street wearing a stunning Vivienne 

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The Face of Intellectual Beauty: The New York Review of Books at 48

First published on February 1st, 1963, The New York Review of Books has been hailed to be one of the world's leading intellectual literary magazines. Known for its sharp and critical insights, commentaries and book reviews on culture, literature and current affairs, The NYRB has had much success in gaining attention from and written contributions by eminent scholars, intellectuals and writers such as Margaret Atwood,

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Comics at NYPL: A Research Guide

This week the New York Comic Con is in town! From October 13 through 16, the New York Comic Con will be held in the Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan. This annual convention is dedicated to comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, toys, video games, movies, and television!

At NYPL, we also celebrate comics and comic books. From the first issue of Captain America to

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Researching and Finding Historical Newspapers in NYPL

In NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, we have an extensive historical collection of regional, local, and international newspapers from Colonial America to Imperial Japan. This blog post will explore how one 

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"The Biggest Library in the World Opens Today": NYPL in the Yiddish Press

You probably already know that the New York Public Library's flagship building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street will celebrate its centennial on May 23. There will be galas, games, lectures, and all kinds of activities for young and old. But what about opening day in 1911? There was less gaming, probably, and no smartphone apps to help you locate treasures. Nevertheless, according to newspaper accounts, it was a grand event for New York and the entire country, attended not only 

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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took place 100 years ago today, was a tragic incident in New York City's history but also a turning point in the early labor movement.

One hundred and forty-six workers died, mostly young women from immigrant families. The fire was deadly because of the height of the building, the amount of fabric and flammable material inside, the lack of proper fire escapes, and exits that were locked to prevent workers from taking breaks. Many fell or jumped to their deaths. The tragedy brought greater awareness to sweatshop conditions, which led to 

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Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism 2011

Ryan Haley, Billy Parrott, Erminio D'Onofrio, Karen VanWestering, Jennifer Craft, and Maira Liriano with the 2011 Bernstein Award finalistsThe Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism was established in 1987, through a gift from Joseph Frank Bernstein to the New York Public Library, in honor of journalist Helen Bernstein (now Helen Bernstein Fealy). The gift was in two parts and the idea was to focus on Helen’s love and appreciation of the crucial role that journalism and 

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Thanksgiving Ragamuffin Parade

When searching for Thanksgiving images in our Digital Gallery, you might be surprised to find a set of about 20 images of Thanksgiving "ragamuffins."  Who are these young beggars and what do they have to do with Thanksgiving?

Before Halloween was the holiday known for dressing up in costume and begging for candy (this practice did not become common until the 1940's and 

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Endurance Racing: First Leg, the Bunion Derby

Vacationers traveling in the United States usually do so by car, plane or train, but in 1928 (and again in 1929), approximately 200 runners signed on for the challenge of crossing the country coast-to-coast on foot. These were the runners in the Transcontinental Footrace, jokingly called the “Bunion Derby” by the newspapers. The race was used to advertise everything from foot products to the new Route-66 highway to Madison Square Garden, and was managed by a sports promoter of questionable character named C.C. Pyle, whose legal troubles added an additional bit of entertainment 

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Velocipede Mania!

While riding the subway over the past weeks I couldn’t help but notice the posters promoting the month of May as the month of the bike. Since 1990, May has been officially designated as Bike Month NYC, celebrating cyclists, bicycles and generally, all things bike, by sponsoring bike tours, rallys, and other events. Every May I see thousands of bicyclists pedaling through my neighborhood in the Five-Boro Bike Tour (which sold out rapidly this year) and every year I’m 

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Free Produce Societies

Last week, while doing some research on abolitionism in one of our best historical newspaper databases, I came across some references to organizations called Free Produce Societies. As I had previously never come across these groups, I decided to do some further research. Free Produce Associations were formed in the early decades of the 19th century by radical abolitionists, generally Quakers and free blacks, who hoped to disengage themselves from participating in a culture they found to be both un-Christian and un-American. Through 

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