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

The New York Public Library will be closed on Sunday, April 20.

Blog Posts by Subject: Encyclopedias

On the Trivial Pursuit of Useless Information

I don't have a very good memory of the fiction books I read and enjoyed as a child. What I do remember is an obsession with encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, the

... Read More ›

A Helluva Town: The Origins of New York’s Hellish Place Names

"New York, New York, a helluva town. The Bronx is up but the Battery's down." —On the Town

With at least three "Hell" based place names within its boundaries—Hell Gate, Hell's Kitchen, and Hell's Hundred Acres—New York City is indeed a helluva town. But in spite of name and reputation, these places are now far from infernal.

Hell Gate  Hell Gate is the oldest place name of these three.  Dating back to New Amsterdam's Dutch colonial period, Hell Gate ... Read More ›

Love is All You Need: A Book and Movie List for the Romantic in You

Are you ready for Valentine's Day?  I am.  My house is decorated with every kind of heart imaginable to mankind, I have my valentine baking pan ready and my chocolate lollipop molds ready to be filled, but my favorite part of Valentine's day is reading about the holiday and losing myself in a romantic poem, novel or movie.  Recommendations will follow; first a little history from the Worldbook online.

Some trace the beginning of Valentine's Day observance 

... Read More ›

Electronic Resources for our Young Researchers

The New York Public Library has loads of resources available just for kids. From storytelling to searching, nothing is left to the imagination when using our resources. 

BookFlix- plays the narration while highlighting the words of the story across the screen (PreK-3) Kids Search - an easy-to-use database for students; search by keyword or by topic to find the most useful information (K-8) ... Read More ›

Ask NYPL: How Was X-Ray Invented?

Did you know you can ask NYPL librarians questions via text message? You can ask anything, from the mundane and everyday ("what are your hours?") to the perplexing riddle keeping you up at night! The Virtual Reference Team (aka Ask NYPL) offers text reference, which is a great way to receive an almost immediate answer without missing a beat. Text questions are answered quickly unless the question mystifies the expert reference librarians of Ask NYPL, but a response will always be 

... Read More ›

The Joy of Reference

A few weeks ago I was invited to a bridal shower, and by the time I got around to looking up the registry almost everything had already been fulfilled. I don't love registries anyway, and because I'm a librarian I figured I can always get away with giving people books for any and every occasion. Right? I thought a nice cookbook would be the perfect gift, and then remembered I had already done this a few years ago, giving another friend

... Read More ›

A Quick Guide to Culinary Research

While I've taught a number of classes about how one would begin culinary research at the New York Public Library, I understand that people can't always make it to midtown in the middle of the day, nor does everyone live in New York. For those reasons and more, I've put together a brief tutorial on how to begin culinary research at a library and I will attempt to make this as universally applicable to other libraries as possible. 

Cookery is the Word

Perhaps the most important trick when looking up cookbooks in a library catalog is to use the term 

... Read More ›

Best of Reference 2010: Thrifty Reference

Knowledge is power, and in hard times, finding the best information can be even more important. These books, websites, and electronic resources, available through your local library, can save you both time and money! 

Selected and presented by librarians from all three NYC library systems, Best of Reference is sponsored by The New York Library Association's Reference and Adult Services Section.

Coupon Clipping   Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend Anthony S. Mercatante and James R Dow, eds. ... Read More ›