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Celebrating Lou Reed: 1942–2013


Lou Reed closeup
Photo credit: Julian Schnabel

In honor of the recent acquisition of the Lou Reed Archive, and the 75th anniversary of Reed's birthday, the Library is featuring highlights from the collection in displays at two locations, plus hosting public programs that bring to life Reed's legacy.

Lou Reed was a founding member of the legendary Velvet Underground, as well as a solo recording artist, playwright, poet, and photographer. He is recognized as one the finest songwriters in history and is considered among the most profound influences on modern rock music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and was the recipient of numerous other awards.

Collection Displays

Discover highlights from the Library's newly acquired Lou Reed Archive documenting Reed's more than 50-year career—including original song lyrics, photographs, and personal ephemera—at two locations from March 2–20.


LPA displayStephen A. Schwarzman Building

Visit our Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street location.

Library for the Performing Arts

Visit our performing arts library located at Lincoln Center.



Public Programs

The Raven & the Poetry of Lou Reed

Library for the Performing Arts, Bruno Walter Auditorium 
MAR 13 | 7 PM
See Reed's reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" along with live recitations of Reed's original poetry. Space is limited. Registration required. Livestream available.


Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum
MAR 15 | 6–10 PM
Experience Reed's conceptual installation and soundscape, led by his original collaborator, Stewart Hurwood. Space is limited. Guests must register for an hourly time slot. Ticket required for entry.

Press Release

Learn more about the Library's acquisition of Lou Reed's archive


Reed on playing outside the box


Reed on the early days of the Underground


10 Great Books on Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground, and 1960s Counterculture