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We Preserve Knowledge


This post is part of a series where we review what has happened at The New York Public Library in 2017.

We preserve knowledge

The New York Public Library’s world-renowned collections have served as a deep well of information to all users for more than a century. Today, the Library continues to build upon our ongoing commitment to preserving the past through new important acquisitions and increased digital access.

“Some of the family history is already being lost with the next generation. I want to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
—Jennifer, family genealogist, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Manhattan

Notable Acquisitions
Over the past year, the Library has made remarkable additions to its research collections, ensuring their continued prominence and relevance for future generations. This spring, the Library’s Music Division acquired the personal archives of music icon Lou Reed, which was celebrated with special pop-up displays and a series of events at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and the Library for the Performing Arts. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture acquired the papers of writer James Baldwin and the archives of jazz legend Sonny Rollins. To celebrate these and other important acquisitions, the Library opened a new exhibition this fall at the Schwarzman Building, What’s New? Recent Acquisitions, which runs through February 2018 and features other highlights, such as the set design for the musical In the Heights.

Digital Collections
Along with broadening our collections, we are also committed to assuring their preservation and expanding online access to both our research and circulating collections. This year, we completed a major effort to digitize more than 68,000 pages of Early American manuscripts, thanks to support from The Polonsky Foundation, making them available to researchers from around the world. Meanwhile, we continued to reach new audiences with our free e-reader app SimplyE, including through the Subway Library campaign, a major partnership with the MTA that brought free library e-books to commuters.


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