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Blog Posts by Subject: New York City History

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary, Summer 1803

Health and disease in early New York City.Read More ›

New York on the Front Line: The Black Tom Island Explosion, July 1916

On Sunday morning, July 30, 1916, at 2:08 a.m., one of the worst terrorist attacks in American history took place at Black Tom Island, New Jersey, a shipping facility located in New York Harbor. Read More ›

Stonewall in Pictures

The White House designation of Stonewall as a national monument prominently featured LGBT historical materials from our Manuscripts & Archives Division, available online in our Digital Collections. Read More ›

Genealogy Tips: Searching the Census by Address

Ever wondered who lived in your home before you? Or having trouble finding great-grandparents in old census records? If you are so inclined, and want to search the census by address, to see who lived in your American house many moons ago, this post explains how you can do that. Even better, all the information is available online for free. You will need an address... Read More ›

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary, June 24, 1802

One woman's account of a parade of Freemasons in early-nineteenth-century New York City.Read More ›

Weird Food Photos of the New York World's Fair

The 1939-1940 World's Fair in New York City was billed as an exhibition that showcased the "Dawn of a New Day." As such, there was plenty of technological innovation on display, but perhaps some of the most memorable images of the event are those featuring food. Check out some of the wackiest food photos from the New York Public Library Digital Collections for some delicious laughs.Read More ›

Desfile Puertorriqueño | Puerto Rican Day Parade

Every year on the eve of the second Sunday of the month of June New York City holds the National Puerto Rican day parade. This is a celebration that takes over the entire city, fills it with beautiful events, festivals that display the beauty of the Puerto Rican culture.Read More ›

Things to Do in New York City with Kids: Time Travel Edition

A look at forgotten pastimes as well as classic activities that children can enjoy today with guidebooks for families, past and present.Read More ›

All About Historic Building Preservation

May is Historic Preservation Month! Here are some recommended reads to get you into the building preservation mood no matter where your interests lie.Read More ›

From Suburb to City and Back Again: A Brief History of the NYC Commuter

Facing more incoming commuters than any other county, Manhattan’s population nearly doubles each day. Learn about the history and rise of commuter culture in New York City.Read More ›

The Material Realities of Slavery in Early New York

A look at the history of slavery in early New York, through the estate of the manor lord, Adolphus Philipse.Read More ›

Podcast #107: Robert A. Caro and Frank Rich on Power and Corruption

Robert A. Caro is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for his books The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate and The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, the latter of which was written at the New York Public Library's Allen Room. Read More ›

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary, March 31, 1800

The story of a a sensational murder in early-nineteenth-century New York, told through a young woman's diary.Read More ›

Emigrant City: A Collaborative Resource

Find your great-great-uncle or the former owner of your apartment building: We’ve built an interface for you to browse records after searching names, addresses, and other fields.Read More ›

Reflections on Irish and Italian Immigration, Animosity, and Eventual Understanding

In his book, An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York’s Irish and Italians, Paul Moses recounts the history of two long-established immigrant groups that were so often in conflict.Read More ›

The Harlem Burial Ground

Another African Burial Ground was officially “discovered” in New York City a few days ago. If this is news to most, it is not to preservationists, historians, and archivists who have been aware of the existence of the cemetery for years. Read More ›

The Diary of Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker, 1799-1806

Periodically, for the next year, we will write blog posts featuring a single entry, or a series of entries, from the Bleecker diary: a source from and about New York City in its formative era.Read More ›

Download Your Next Nonfiction Read: Author @ the Library in "E"

Are you looking for a good nonfiction read to download? Every month the Mid-Manhattan Library presents a series of Author @ the Library lectures featuring recent nonfiction books on a wide range of subjects, and many of these titles are available to borrow as e-books. Read More ›

Santa's New York Roots

How was the iconic image of Santa born? Several New Yorkers inspired the personality, appearance, and traditions of this holiday favorite.Read More ›

Staten Island History Collection at the St. George Library Center

The Staten Island History Collection is an outstanding source of information for researchers and the curious. Comprised of bound periodicals, the Staten Island Advance on microfilm, as well as an extensive array of books and photographs, the collection is the go-to source for those interested in Staten Island, past and present.Read More ›
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