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Understanding the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Over the past several weeks, we've heard a lot about the plight of refugees fleeing Syria and its neighboring countries for safer and more stable living conditions in Europe. Such a systemic, rapidly-changing issue can be hard comprehend, but we are confronted with images and stories that beg for our understanding.Read More ›

Online Research: Where to Start

The New York Public Library has a huge selection of online content to help with your research, whether it's finding a single article, tracing a family tree, writing a dissertation, or anything in between. Read More ›

Now Screening: New Electronic Resources, July 2015

Overview of National Geographic Virtual Library, Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers, and Indigenous Peoples: North America.Read More ›

How to Access Digital Resources For Children

The Library subscribes to digital resources for kids that incorporate reading, test taking, videos and games and meet local and national educational standards. Learn how to access them with a library card.Read More ›

Names Have Meaning: A Research Guide for Baby Names and Family Names

Like any word in the dictionary, a person’s name has meaning. The study of names is called onomastics or onomatology. Onomastics covers the naming of all things, including place names (toponyms) and personal names (anthroponyms). Given names, often called first names, and surnames, often called last names, usually derive from words with distinct origins.Read More ›

Researching New York City Neighborhoods

Redefined by the city’s growth, changing populations, and the plans of real estate developers, New York City neighborhoods are ever-evolving entities. They can be researched through our collections—useful materials include neighborhood and borough-specific histories, NYC guidebooks, city agency reports, local newspapers, clippings, statistical data, and maps.Read More ›

14 Words Even Bookworms Often Confuse

We've rounded up some tricky word pairs and their definitions, adding sentences to help you remember the distinctions. Join in the fun by commenting with your own mnemonic sentences that include these words.Read More ›

How To Find Photographs and Images in the Library and Beyond

A guide to photo and image collections in the library and others available online.Read More ›

Lawmen and Badmen: The Tin Star of the Old West

In the early American West, the lawman might be a U.S. marshal, appointed by the Attorney General, or he might be a local sheriff elected to office by the townfolk. The distinction often makes no difference in old Western movies, but is an optimum detail in the pursuit of genealogy and local history research in the Milstein Division, where reference librarians must wrangle between the local, county, state, and federal levels in order to rope in relevant resources for patron requests.Read More ›

Core Strength: American National Biography

American National Biography is a record of the men and women whose lives helped shape the United States—from Christopher Columbus to Addie Wyatt. The online version of ANB was released in 2000 and is updated every April and October with new entries and revisions to existing profiles.Read More ›

Reference Service in the Digital Age

Let Ask NYPL librarian that for you.Read More ›

The Eyes Have It: Lenses and Vision Health

If you're wearing glasses or contact lenses while reading this, take a look at these eye-opening resources.Read More ›

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 ›

Where in New York is Sesame Street?

Can I tell you how to get to Sesame Street? Well, I can try. You can get to the Sesame Street Subway Stop by the A, B, 1, or 2 trains, which if you check any MTA map, do not intersect at any current station.Read More ›

How to Find Historical Photos of New York City

Researchers commonly seek photographs of places in New York as they once existed in history. and WhatWasThere.Com have done admirable work in placing historic photos in their geographic context, however they represent but a fraction of available photos, and associated descriptive metadata can vary in accuracy and precision.Read More ›

How to Clean Things

How did you learn how to clean? I guess my parents taught me, and after a few years of chores it just became second nature. Don't mix ammonia and bleach. Sort laundry into light and dark colors. Sweep first before mopping. Make the bed!Read More ›

Reference Book List: A Selection of 'Classic' Artist Manuals

Although we may not know for sure that a certain artist consulted a certain manual, they provide important clues. In a way, these books tell a story about the history of art from the point of view of the practitioners.Read More ›

Branch Special Collections

Several branches throughout the three boroughs have special collections that focus on local history or are of special interest to their respective communities.Read More ›

Palaces of Consumption: The History of Department Stores

A.T. Stewart opened New York City’s first department store in 1846. New Yorkers flocked to the palazzo style “Marble Palace," on Broadway between Chambers and Reade Street to browse through a wide array of merchandise arranged by department.Read More ›

Stroke: Medical Information and Social Services

Gaining understanding into the nature and condition of our health, including concepts particular to one's illness can be the best tool in addressing and coping with any medical condition. Read More ›
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