Stephen A. Schwarzman Building: Visitor Guide
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.
The landmarked library houses NYPL’s world-renowned collections in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. It is one of the Library's four research centers, part of a network including 88 neighborhood branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
How to Get Here
What to Do
The New York Public Library’s research divisions welcome scholars, writers, students, and all others.
Attend author talks, workshops, classes, and more.
Discover the Library’s celebrated collections through our free exhibitions.
Take a free, docent-led tour of the building. Tours take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. All group tours must be scheduled in advance.
Go behind the scenes with a free, self-guided audio tour. The tour is available in English and Spanish and runs 30–45 minutes. Pick up an audio tour device from the visitor’s desk in Astor Hall.
Explore NYPL’s history and collections with our free film, Inside The New York Public Library, that plays on the hour and half hour.
Standing guard since 1911, the Library’s marble lions acquired their nicknames, Patience and Fortitude, in the 1930s.
Visit the Children’s Center to see the real stuffed animals that inspired the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
Find books and more for word lovers and writers of all ages. Become a Friend of the Library and save 10% on all purchases.
The menu at Amy’s Bread rotates daily and features an array of hand-made pastries, unique sandwiches, healthy salads, decadent sweets, and more.
Plan your visit to The New York Public Library and other nearby attractions using the free Destination Midtown app, an essential guide to midtown Manhattan.
Explore the Library's Collections
Free library cards are available to anyone who lives, works, attends school, or pays property taxes in the state of New York. Temporary cards are also available for visiting researchers.
Find books, music, movies, and more. Browse bestsellers, award winners, and recently added titles.
Search journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. Access popular resources such as Freegal Music, TumbleBooks, BookFlix, and more.
Explore more than 800,000 items from the Library’s vast collections online, including historic photographs, manuscripts, maps, sheet music, and videos.
Support the Library
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.
Keep in touch with NYPL for top book recommendations, events, and exhibitions.