Plan Your Visit to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Grand building in the Beaux-Arts style with a large marble lion outside. Visible are long red banners with the words The Library Is Here for You and Get a Library Card! Discover the flagship building of The New York Public Library—one of the world’s great libraries.

A magnificent example of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture, this library has symbolized the democratic ideal of free and open access to knowledge since it opened to the public in 1911. Today, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building welcomes millions of visitors a year from across the world who find inspiration in its majestic public spaces, unparalleled research collections, and vibrant programs and exhibitions. Learn more about the building and its history.

This landmarked library houses NYPL’s world-renowned collections in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. It is one of the Library’s research centers, part of a network of 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. While the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is a working research library, we welcome the public to discover our free exhibitions, attend programs and events, and explore this historic building. Below you will find information about what to bring with you (and what to leave behind!), how to get there, what to see and do on your visit, and how to get started with research at the Library.

What You Need to Know

Visiting the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

What to Bring with You

Whether you’re a researcher or just visiting, we ask that you adhere to the following rules.

  • Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask.
  • Beverages, liquids, water bottles, and food are not permitted in the Library.
  • Large bags, luggage, and other oversized items must be checked at the 42nd Street entrance. Carts, large bags, bags on wheels, backpacks, or collections of bags that are larger than 24” x 16” x 10” are prohibited at the Library and cannot be deposited in the checkroom.
  • Umbrellas must be checked or placed inside your bag or in the protective plastic bags provided by the Library.
  • We also encourage you to check your coat or other outerwear.
  • You are welcome to photograph the historic interiors of this historic Beaux-Arts building but we ask that you remember that it is a working research library and that you refrain from using a flash and taking photos of researchers.
  • You must submit all books, bags, briefcases, and other containers for inspection upon exiting the building, including those that were checked during your visit.

Read our general regulations in full.

Accessibility

The New York Public Library strives to ensure that everyone has access to the full range of information, services, and programs that are offered at the Library. Learn more.

All public service units of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building are wheelchair accessible. A ramp entrance to the building is located at the 42nd Street entrance. All levels of the building are accessible by an elevator at the north end of the building.

If you require an additional accommodation onsite, please speak to a staff member. For more information or for an accommodation, please email accessibility@nypl.org. To learn more about the accessibility of NYPL websites and mobile applications, see our Web & Mobile Accessibility Policy.

Getting to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Library’s flagship location, is a landmark Beaux-Arts building, located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, which houses outstanding research collections in the humanities and social sciences. 

Address
476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street), New York, NY 10018. (Map)

Subway

  • B/D/F/M/7 train to 42 Street–Bryant Park/Fifth Avenue
  • 1/2/3/N/Q/R/W train to Times Square–42 Street
  • 4/5/6 train to Grand Central–42 Street

Bus
M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M7, M42, and M55 buses all stop outside or near the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

What's On for Visitors

Logo with the word Treasures in gold text on a navy background against a circle with the words The New York Public Library and The Polonsky Exhibition.Check Out Our Permanent Exhibition

The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures showcases some of the most extraordinary items from the 56 million in our collections, from the Declaration of Independence to James Baldwin's handwritten letters and the real Winnie-the-Pooh. You can reserve free timed tickets or, pending availability, get one in person on the day. Plus, experience the exhibition with the Treasures Audio Guide in English, español (Spanish), and in English with verbal descriptions! Free Wi-Fi available onsite.

ExhibitionsSee Our Exhibitions & Displays

Discover exhibitions and pop-up displays at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, and find out what else is on display across the Library.

 

Guided TourTake a Guided Tour

Sign up for tours at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

 

 

Detail from a library floorplanExplore the Building

Use this map to explore the library—but please note, some rooms are for research and quiet study only!

 

Programs & EventsDiscover Programs & Events

Find out what’s going on at the Schwarzman Building, including our flagship LIVE from NYPL events.

 

ShopShop the Library

Find eclectic items for bibliophiles and literature lovers of all ages. Become a Friend and receive a discount on every purchase—or bring your library card to the Library Shop on the first Saturday of the month to receive 10% off that day.

Library LionsMeet the Library Lions

Standing guard since 1911, the Library’s marble lions acquired their nicknames, Patience and Fortitude, in the 1930s.

 

Looking to Borrow Books?

Just across the street you will find our largest circulating library, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL), where you can get a library card and visit our dedicated centers for kids and teens; a rooftop terrace where you can grab a coffee and pastry at The Library Café by Amy’s Bread; the Pasculano Learning Center—the Library’s largest adult learning center; and the Thomas Yoseloff Business Center, which offers an array of free resources for those interested in personal finance and investing, small business, financial research, and career services.

A cavernous reading room with a painted mural on the ceiling, hanging lights, book-lined walls, and many reading tables with lamps on them.Get Started with Research at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

The landmarked Stephen A. Schwarzman Building houses NYPL’s world-renowned collections in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. Alongside the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the Thomas Yoseloff Business Center, it is one of the Library’s research centers, part of a network of 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

Please Note: Some of the Schwarzman Building’s reading rooms, including the Library’s historic Rose Main Reading Room, are open to the public for research and quiet study without an appointment while some collections require advance consultation with staff and/or an appointment to view.

To find out if you need to make an appointment for your research needs and more about how to view our collections, please explore our divisions and centers below. If you are not sure which division is right for your research, please contact Ask NYPL for assistance. Read the general regulations for our research centers.

Divisions & Centers

Please be sure to check that the division or room you wish to visit is open, and that, if required, you make an appointment before you visit. Divisions and centers marked with an asterisk (*) are currently open by appointment only. For rooms where walk-in service is available, you may still need to request materials in advance of your visit to ensure you can access them.

Find out more about onsite service at our research centers.

Any more specific questions? Contact us!

Support the Library

Donate

Government funding pays only a portion of the Library’s budget. We depend on support from individuals like you to provide our essential services. Please donate today. Become a Friend of the Library and receive discounts and other benefits. 

Connect with Us

Get updates about free programs, events, and resources—plus the latest research news.