Conducting Research

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is a closed-stack research library. We strongly encourage you to request materials at least 24 hours ahead of your visit.  To begin your research:

  • If you aren't already a New York Public Library cardholder, obtain your library card. Library cards can be obtained by anyone, including residents from outside of New York.
  • Consult the online catalog of the New York Public Library.
  • Note the location on the catalog record. The catalog includes collections held at all New York Public Library locations, so materials in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building will have the location Schwarzman Building followed by the name of a particular division. General Research materials have the designation Schwarzman Building-Main Reading Room.


  • Materials designated as OFFSITE may be requested via the Electronic Request Form found in the item's catalog record (best option). You may also request offsite items via email. Materials will arrive within 1–2 business days. Off site request sample image

For more detailed information on research strategies and our collections, you may wish to consult our subject and research guides, which survey both print and electronic resources, as well as recommended reference titles.

For questions about requesting materials, please contact our telephone reference service at 917-ASK-NYPL (917-275-6975) or ask us a question.