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Branch Special Collections


Several branches throughout the three boroughs have special collections that focus on local history or are of special interest to their respective communities.


Nautical Collection

 5082777Fishing map of City Island waters. Image ID: 5082777City Island Library
320 City Island Avenue (between Bay & Fordham Sts.)
Bronx, NY 10464
(718) 885-1703

Open since 1911 and in its current location in its current location since 1970 the branch has a 1000 plus volume Nautical collection. The branch has books on such varied topics such as famous shipwrecks, pirates, naval history. According to a New York Times article from 2011 "The library has long served as a port for the many recreational sailors who wind up docking at City Island while journeying."

The Latino and Puerto Rican Cultural Collection

Bronx Library Center
310 East Kingsbridge Road (at Briggs Avenue)
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 579-4244

The Bronx Library Center is home to a rare Hispanic/Latino Heritage collection. This collection comprises of materials on the Puerto Rican/Latino experience and is for reference use only. The collection is housed in a room decorated with Puerto Rican/Latin Art. Outside the room on the 4th Floor, one can find a circulating collection of books on the Puerto Rican/Latino experience. Be sure to check out the library's events page for special exhibits and programs.

The Italian American Cultural Collection

Belmont Library and Enrico Fermi Cultural Center
610 E. 186th Street (at Hughes Ave.)
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 933-6410

Located in the "Little Italy of the Bronx," the branch has a collection of titles about the Italian and Italian American Culture.


Lower East Side Heritage Collection

 100928Seward Park, exterior view from above Image ID: 100928Seward Park Library
192 East Broadway (at Jefferson St.)
New York, NY 10002-5597
(212) 477-6770

The collection consists of non-circulating Lower East Side related books and materials. The branch also hosts a free film series that screens documentary, short, and feature-length films shot on location in lower Manhattan. You can learn more about the collection and future events on their Facebook page.

The New York Collection

Jefferson Market Branch
425 Avenue of the Americas (at 10th St.)
New York, NY 10011-8454
(212) 243-4334

The library has an archive of photographs and other material on the history of the Jefferson Market Library and Courthouse. In the lower level reading room you can also find a collection of books on New York City history with a focus on Greenwich Village. This year the branch hosted Your Village, Your Story: Greenwich Village Oral History Project. The stories collected will be part of the branch's circulating collection and be available online as well.

Staten Island

Staten Island Historical Collection

 1253110St. George Branch Library Staten Island, View North-east of Central Ave. - Hyatt St. Image ID: 1253110St. George Library Center
5 Central Avenue (near Borough Hall)
Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 442-8560

The library's reference collection houses titles ranging from Staten Island folklore, to patroons (landholders with manorial privileges) to wildlife and fauna. Patron have used the collection to conduct research on genealogy, the history of the community, environmental aspects and the general history of Staten Island.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Researching former Staten Island resident ...

I am researching for a major literary project a gentleman who lived in St. George from 1921 to 1951. His name was Ray Claflin Bridgman and he was a lecturer at NYU in Manhattan. He was also a member of the all-American volunteer aviators who fought as fighter pilots for France with the Lafayette Escadrille. He committed suicide in November 1951 by walking off a Staten Island ferry. Would your library have research material i could use in this project? Do you have copies of the Staten Island Advance for these years--1921-1951? Thank you.

Staten Island History Collection

Apologies if this has been answered, but I wanted to inform you that we do indeed have microfilm of the Staten Island Advance from 1921 through the present. Visit St. George Library Center's webpage using the "Find Us" menu on the top right and click on "Staten Island History Collection" in order to use the bibliography. I've included a direct link as well:

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