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Online Exhibitions


Since 1996, the Library has created websites inspired by some of the physical exhibitions presented at its research centers, as well as a number of web-only presentations based on its collections.

  • Biblion: Frankenstein and the Afterlife of Shelley's Circle

    What makes a monster? What is it like living on the margins of society? Is technology inherently good or bad? These questions guided Mary Shelley 200 years ago as she wrote her classic novel Frankenstein—they remain just as relevant today. Explore the connections between Shelley’s time and our own, seeing how the classics resonate throughout society and the breadth of NYPL’s offerings. Interact with the online version of this exhibition or download the Biblion: Frankenstein app for iPad.

  • Biblion: World's Fair

    Enter the World of Tomorrow through one of the Library's richest and most heavily used archival collections: the official corporate records of the 1939–40 New York World's Fair. The Fair has something for everyone, from technological innovation and classical music, to pop culture and a portrait of the world dealing with the crises of war and economic hardship. Interact with the online version of this exhibition or download the Biblion: World's Fair app for iPad.

  • Daring Methods: The Prints of Mary Cassatt

    Spanning twenty years of Cassatt’s career as a printmaker, from 1878 to 1898, this exhibition documents her first tentative steps in the medium and culminates with her highly accomplished and technically dazzling color prints.


  • Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward

     In conjunction with the exhibition Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward, being held at the Library for the Performing Arts through August 18, 2012, is an online companion exhibition.

  • Lunch Hour NYC

    Lunch Hour NYC looks back at more than a century of New York lunches, when the city’s early power brokers invented what was yet to be called “power lunch,” local charities established a 3-cent school lunch, and visitors with guidebooks thronged Times Square to eat lunch at the Automat. Drawing on materials from throughout the Library, the exhibition explores the ways in which New York City—work-obsessed, time-obsessed, and in love with ingenious new ways to make money—reinvented lunch in its own image..

  • Shelley’s Ghost: The Afterlife of a Poet

    For the first time ever, selections from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein manuscript will be available for public viewing in the United States in this exciting exhibition, which is being shown in collaboration with the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in England. This exhibition will highlight the literary and cultural legacy of P.B. and Mary Shelley, and that of her parents, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft.

  • The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World Image

    The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World

    Over the course of nearly 20 centuries, millions of East Africans crossed the Indian Ocean and its several seas and adjoining bodies of water in their journey to distant lands, from Arabia and Iraq to India and Sri Lanka. They Africanized the Indian Ocean world and helped shape the societies they entered and made their own. The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World traces their truly unique and fascinating story of struggles and achievements across a variety of societies, cultures, religions, languages and times.

  • Celebrating 100 Years Image

    Celebrating 100 Years

    One hundred years ago, The New York Public Library opened its landmark building,now known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, dedicated to preserving its varied collections and making them accessible to the public. Over time, the Library has radically expanded its holdings, but its founding goals are as central today as they were in 1911. Library curators past and present have been guided by the philosophy that all knowledge is worth preserving. This major exhibition of more than 250 thought-provoking items from NYPL’s vast collections celebrates how the Library has encouraged millions of individuals to gain access to a universe of information during the past 100 years.

  • African & African Diasporan Transformations in the 20th Century Image

    Africana Age: African & African Diasporan Transformations in the 20th Century

    By the end of the 19th century, Africans and peoples of African descent—except the Ethiopians, the Haitians and the Liberians—were living under some form of European colonial domination. The history of Africa and its Diaspora was dismissed as insignificant at best, inexistent at worse. Black cultures were ridiculed, stereotyped, and scorned. But over the course of the last 100 years black peoples the world over launched epic struggles for freedom, civil rights, and independence. Africana Age retraces this turbulent history of challenges, tragedies, and triumphs.

  • Radioactive Image


    A companion website to the exhibition Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout, which tells the story of Lauren Redniss, an artist, writer and former Cullman Center fellow, who drew on the vast collections of The New York Public Library to create a new work of art. The Library collaborated with a talented group of students at Parsons the New School for Design who, with Redniss as their guide, created an innovative website showcasing a dazzling array of new works inspired by the visual and narrative universe of Radioactive