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Online Exhibitions


Since 1996, the Library has created websites inspired by some of the physical exhibitions presented at its research centers, as well as a number of web-only presentations based on its collections.

  • Scandal and Success Image

    Candide at 250: Scandal and Success

    On the Road with Candide uses The New York Public Library’s on-site exhibition Candide at 250: Scandal and Success as a jumping-off point for a unique online journey … inviting the involvement of students, scholars, artists, and more.

  • Immigrant City

    In 1609, the people of the Lenapes and other Native American groups in our area would have seen the sails of Henry Hudson's ship as it made its way up the river that today bears his name. Little could they know that less than half a century later visitors would be commenting on the variety of languages spoken in the settlement that would become New York City. Since then, our city has continued to welcome people from all over the world who continue to shape it into a vibrant, exciting place to live.

  • Mapping New York's Shoreline, 1609-2009

    September 2009 marks 400 years since Henry Hudson sailed into New York Harbor and up the Hudson River, almost to what is now Albany, performing detailed reconnaissance of the Hudson Valley region. Other explorers passed by the outwardly hidden harbor but did not linger long enough to fully realize the commercial, nautical, strategic, or colonial value of the region. Once the explorers returned to Europe, their strategic information was passed on to authorities. Some data was kept secret, but much was handed over to map makers, engraved on copper, printed on handmade paper, distributed to individuals and coffee-houses (the news centers of the day), and pored over by dreamers, investors, and potential settlers in the “new land.”

  • 1969: The Year of Gay Liberation

    The year 1969 marked a major turning point in the politics of sexuality in America. Same-sex relationships were discreetly tolerated in 19th-century America in the form of romantic friendships, but the 20th century brought increasing legal and medical regulation of homosexuality, which was considered a dangerous illness. This change in attitude was accompanied by pockets of resistance, spaces that gays and lesbians carved out for their erotic self-expression.

  • The Forgotten Story Image

    The Abolition of the Slave Trade: The Forgotten Story

    The abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was a long, arduous, and tortuous process that spanned almost nine decades. Ultimately, a conjunction of economic, political, social, and moral factors contributed to the slow extinction of the legal slave trade and the end of the illegal introductions that, in several countries, had taken its place. Explore this forgotten story with the help of essays, books, articles, maps, and illustrations.

  • Treasures of The New York Public Library

    Watch as curators, librarians, and special guests, like chef Lidia Bastianich and pianist Margaret Leng Tan, share their passion for the treasures of our remarkable collections. Travel the Spuyten Duyvil Creek in 1777, hear music recorded 100 years ago on wax cylinders, marvel at rare 1920s Japanese comics and other pop ephemera, enter the turnstile at the 1939-40 New York World's Fair, hit the road with the Beats, and witness how photographers have engaged the world from the 19th century up to the present-day work of photojournalist Stephen Dupont.

  • Historical Postcards of New York City from the Picture Collection at Mid-Manhattan Library

    Five hundred postcards depicting views of all five New York City boroughs in the late 19th and early 20th century from the Picture Collection's holdings of more than 25,000 postcards have been added to the NYPL Digital Gallery.  The postcards provide a colorful visual record of the city and document the beginnings of the postcard publishing phenomenon in the United States. Both the front and back of each postcard can be viewed.

  • Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era

    Before Victoria, drawn from the Pforzheimer, Berg, and Print Collections of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, brings together literary and cultural history. This exhibition explores the transformation of British society through the lives of a number of remarkable women, some well-known today and some almost completely forgotten.

  • Milton Avery: The Flying Pig and Other Winged Creatures

    Milton Avery (1885-1965) was one of the foremost modernist American painters, recognized for his uniquely spare style combining figurative realism and lyrical abstraction while utilizing an extraordinary sense of color. In addition to painting, Avery produced nearly sixty drypoints, lithographs, and woodcuts in sporadic periods from 1933 to 1963. In 1946, at the instigation of his friend, painter Mark Rothko, Avery created his only illustrations: a set of eight witty and colorful gouache paintings for a children's book entitled Paul, which remained unpublished during the artist's lifetime.

  • "In thy map securely saile": Maps, Atlases, Charts, and Globes from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection

    Focusing on the New World as it was viewed by the British in the 17th and 18th centuries, this online exhibition examines the ways in which maps and charts were used to provide information on natural resources and settlements in the New World and to reflect the expansion of the British empire across the globe.

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