Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

The New York Public Library will be closed September 5 through September 7 in observance of Labor Day.

Blog Posts by Subject: Anthropology

Zora Neale Hurston and the Depression-Era Federal Writers' Project

In 1933, the US government established the first of many New Deal projects and initiatives. Four years later, in September 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston was published in New York. The connection between the two? While many readers know of the novel's seminal status (it has been one of the most lauded—and

... Read More ›

Researching Sex, Sexuality and Sexology

Sexology, the interdisciplinary scientific study of sex has been an integral component to the study of humanity. If you are currently researching any topics relating to the areas of sexology, sexuality or sex, consider visiting The New York Public Library's research collections! Whether you find sexology to be 

... Read More ›

The Jews of Shanghai: Uncovering the Archives and Stories

"Life was difficult in Shanghai, but infinitely better than anything they had left behind. From lower-middle-class comfort, the Tobias family was reduced to poverty but not to starvation. There was always food, always something to eat, always shelter even when the Jewish community was ghettoized shortly after Pearl Harbor. Thus even under terribly difficult conditions Moses Tobias was able to take care of his family but under the Nazis the conditions of the Jews were far worse than merely 'terribly difficult.'

"Shanghai was a multiethnic city and the 

... Read More ›

Playboy: A Seductive Periodical or Champion of Sexual Liberalism?

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is intended for mature readers onlyRecognize the icon above? Perhaps you may not realize this but Playboy the publication, historically speaking, has been a leading magazine devoted to freedom of expression and human rights (to a certain extent). Founded in 1953 in Chicago by Hugh Hefner, Playboy has often been perceived as a "taboo" 

... Read More ›

Terence McKenna and the Logos

Terence Kemp McKenna, by Entropath, Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes naked Sometimes mad Now the scholar Now the fool Thus they appear on earth: The free men. — Hindu verse from Avadhoota Gita

Terence McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000), America's most beloved psychonaut, bard, ethnobotanist, folk hero, and freewheeling philosopher, rose to fame in the 

... Read More ›

A Secret Commonwealth: The Otherworld in Nonfiction

Most people have experienced brushes with the Otherworld, that liminal place where dimensions overlap and reality shimmers, shivers, and breaks apart: seeing ghosts, dreaming "true" dreams, meeting that strange and uncannily helpful "person" at just the right moment... These situations are more common than we collectively admit — but attitudes are shifting. According to the Institute of Noetic Sciences, "The paranormal is no longer a fringe subject. Need proof? Only 32 percent of Americans report no 

... Read More ›

How Many Anthropologists Can You Name?

Margaret Mead was something of an anthropology superstar. After all, how many other anthropologists can you name? Her birthday is December 18 and she lived in the Village at 72 Perry Street and

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

The Fause Knight Upon the Road: A Little Bit About British Folk Music

Until the advent of recorded sound, the indigenous music of England, Scotland, and Wales was passed down through the generations by word of mouth.

The most well known forms are sea shanties, which are mostly call and response songs (a type of work song often sung acapella, used to coordinate movement during tasks like sailing, harvesting crops, or waulking wool); 

... Read More ›

New York Foundation Records: Franz Boas' Project 26

Franz Boas (1858-1942) , often referred to as the "Father of Modern Anthropology," was a prominent German scholar who emigrated to the United States in 1885 and taught at Columbia University from 1896 until his retirement in 1936. It was under his influence that Columbia established its Department of Anthropology in 1902 and that the four fields concept of anthropology — integrating the disciplines of cultural/social anthropology, linguistics, biological 

... Read More ›

Christmas Island: Yes, It's True!

You’ve never heard of it!?  It is not part of your imagination. Go ahead, look at a globe, or Google it.  

The island really exists and drifts alone in the Indian Ocean uninhabited by humans until the 17th century.  Unfortunately Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus do not live there and it’s not even close to the South Pole.  But in the spirit of the holidays, I wanted to explore our research collections of Christmas Island from the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Discovered on 

... Read More ›

Chat with a librarian now