The Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy is located in the The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The Milstein Division collects materials documenting American History on the national, state and local level, Genealogy, Heraldry, Personal and Family Names, and Flags. The Milstein Division bears the responsibility for maintaining the excellence of a body of materials that has traditionally been one of the strengths of The Research Libraries. The Astor Library's holdings of United States history on the national, state and local level were enriched by the acquisition of the George Bancroft Collection, purchased by the Lenox Library. Later significant additions were the Ford, Emmet and Myers Collections. Complementary holdings in the Rare Books and Manuscripts & Archives Division, the Print Collection and other divisions of The Research Libraries enhance the resources of The Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy.
As one of the nation's largest publicly accessible and non-membership genealogical collections, the Milstein Division is a national resource. Cited in most family history handbooks, the Milstein Division is a mecca to researchers from throughout the United States. Mail reference inquiries are received from both the Old World and the New. Unlike many other genealogical and local history collections, the Milstein Division acquires materials beyond the local region. Holdings in United States town, city, county and state histories are national in scope. Genealogical materials are international in scope, including foreign language materials in roman alphabets.
The Milstein Division's book and serial collections are supplemented by materials in other formats. Visual resources include photographic and negative collections, primarily of New York City views, and over 300,000 postcards documenting United States local views. A local history ephemera collection of pamphlets, leaflets, etc., provides primary study materials for the cultural, social, and religious history of the United States. The Milstein Division also collects political campaign ephemera, including broadsides, pamphlets, and candidate position papers. Vertical files and genealogical charts further enhance the holdings of The Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy.