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Blog Posts by Subject: New York City History

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 ›

December Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

This month, come hear authors discuss their recent nonfiction books on a wide variety of subjects that promise to engage and inspire you!Read More ›

96th Street Library Celebrates 110 Years!

Last month, the 96th Street Library celebrated its 110th birthday. In that spirit, the staff at the 96th Street Branch would like to thank our community for supporting the Library throughout its history. Read More ›

New York: A Reading List from Open Book Night

A wide variety of titles, including memoirs, essays, classic and contemporary fiction, history, and poetry connected to New York. Read More ›

Blue Pencil in the Blue Room: City Tabloids, Old Laws, and the Painted Ladies

This past month in New York City, political issues have surrounded the Painted Ladies of Times Square like googly-eyed tourists with cameras on selfie sticks. The uproar fittingly abides the municipal brouhaha over the last 100 years that has possessed the behavioral pressure cooker of Times Square. 'Twas ever thus.Read More ›

The Digital Villager: Summertime, 1945

August 2, 1945: The high temperature in New York City was 84 degrees, and the second World War was drawing to a close. Where were Greenwich Villagers going to wile away the hot evening hours? Why, Little Shrimp, The Golden Eagle, and Dick the Oyster Man, of course!Read More ›

August Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

If the mention of social media, art, birding, presidential politics, houseplants and Sinatra are enough to get your attention, this month's programs at Mid-Manhattan Library are sure to interest you. Read More ›

Sea Blazers and Early Scriveners: The First Guidebooks to New York City

The first guidebooks to New York City were written by the navigators, explorers, crewmen, trail-makers, and settlers who sailed west from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean in the 16th and 17th centuries. Read More ›

Occupying Ellis Island: Protests In the Years Between Immigration Station and National Park

Ellis Island is powerfully symbolic in American culture. For many it marks the beginning of their American identity. For Native Americans and African Americans, it became a powerful place to stage a protest in the 1970s.Read More ›

Historic Central Park Maps

The Library's collection includes a diverse range of cartographic material including well-known topographic surveys depicting the landscape before the park’s construction as well as numerous maps published after its completion with indexes that list amenities and places of interest.Read More ›

Independence Day Booths: Fourth of July Feasting in 19th Century New York

Ready for Fourth of July barbeques? Of course you’ll be having some pickled oysters, egg nog, and lobster, right? If you think these are some interesting cuisine choices for Independence Day festivities, 19th century New Yorkers would disagree.Read More ›

Neighborhood Nostalgia: Bushwick, Brooklyn Photos

Remember how the neighborhood used to look? Well, for a very happy #TBT, we're indulging in some neighborhood nostalgia for Bushwick, Brooklyn.Read More ›

Researching New York City Neighborhoods

Redefined by the city’s growth, changing populations, and the plans of real estate developers, New York City neighborhoods are ever-evolving entities. They can be researched through our collections—useful materials include neighborhood and borough-specific histories, NYC guidebooks, city agency reports, local newspapers, clippings, statistical data, and maps.Read More ›

Subway Construction: Then and Now

Recent photos, compared side by side with photographs of the construction of New York’s first subway, which opened in 1904, provide stark contrasts. They are evidence of an industry drastically changed: the methods of construction used, the condition and expressions of the workers, and the scale of the projects differ in striking ways.Read More ›

May Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Dance in unexpected places... walking through literary New York... New York's incredible abandoned spaces... photographing fashion's trendsetters... recipes in literature... unusual hiking destinations... coming of age in postwar America... the art and science of what we eat... southern Italy's most celebrated gardens... urban transformation in Chelsea... the influence of our infrastructure...Read More ›
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