Behind-the-Scenes Video: Inside the Milstein Research Stacks
Get a look inside the two-level, subterranean, state-of-the-art preservation environment. Thanks to this space, the Library is able to preserve and safely store more books on site at the Schwarzman Building than ever before.
Fast Facts About the Milstein Stacks
Did you know?
- The Milstein Research Stacks allow the Library to safely preserve and store more than 4 million books and archival materials on site—more than ever before in the Library’s history.
- Construction for the Library’s two-level, underground storage facility began in the 1980s, during the renovation of Bryant Park.
- The first level became operational in 1991.
- The second of the two levels measures 55,700 square feet and was completed in 2016, thanks to the generous support of Abby S. Milstein—who currently serves as the Library's Chair of the Board of Trustees—and Howard P. Milstein.
- An electric conveyor system, affectionately called the book train, carries requested research items from underground to library staff throughout the building, all the way up to the Rose Main Reading Room on the top floor.
Our Collections Run Deep
Take a look into the Library's past and the construction of the Milstein Research Stacks. These images appeared as part of the Library’s exhibition Preserving a Masterpiece: From Soaring Ceilings to Subterranean Storage, held at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in 2016.
Construction of the Library’s two-level underground storage facility began in July 1988. The ground was excavated 30 feet deep for the new 120,000-square-foot storage space. There was only funding available to fully build out the top level with compact movable shelving, conveyor systems, and necessary preservation technology. The first level opened in 1991.
This cross-section rendering shows the Library’s stack extension beneath the great lawn of Bryant Park. The storage space includes conveyor systems, climate control and fire suppression systems, and compact movable shelving.
New! Free Audio Tour & Digital Guide
Take a self-guided tour on your mobile device to explore the history, architecture, and services offered at our Fifth Avenue locations—as well as what makes the Library a beacon of knowledge for all. Find it all on Bloomberg Connects, the free arts and culture app.
NYPL’s four research centers—the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Thomas Yoseloff Business Center—welcome scholars, writers, students, and all others.
Discover the flagship building of The New York Public Library—one of the world’s great libraries. Get the most out of your visit with these helpful tips.
Explore a wide array of extraordinary highlights from NYPL’s collections in this free exhibition at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.
The completion of the Milstein Stacks was a milestone in Library history, allowing it to better serve researchers and patrons of all kinds. Discover more major Library moments, from its founding in 1895 to today.
New Yorkers can access millions of books, e-books, digital resources, and more—all free with a New York Public Library card.
The New York Public Library depends on donors like you to support our essential services. Friends of the Library will be vital as we expand access to our resources, including job help, community outreach, and language learning materials. Make a membership gift now and enjoy benefits all year long.