Join the Bigelow Society

Black and white photo of John Bigelow, from the Brady-Handy Photograph Collection
John Bigelow

Become a member of the Library’s Bigelow Society, giving you access to special Library events and programs.

The Bigelow Society is named for John Bigelow, who became the first President of The New York Public Library when in 1895, the Samuel Tilden Trust merged with the private Astor and Lenox libraries to form The New York Public Library as we know it today. Mr. Bigelow held a steadfast commitment to the idea of a free library, and, in this spirit, we recognize the generosity and vision of donors who help to secure the Library’s future by making planned gifts. There is no minimum gift to become a member of the Bigelow Society; simply inform the Library that you have:

  • Named the Library as a beneficiary in your Will, Living Trust or estate plan.
  • Made a gift to the Library for which you receive lifetime income in return.
  • Named the Library as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, other financial accounts, or an insurance policy.

As a member of the Bigelow Society, you will receive:

  • Invitations to exclusive events, curator-led tours, and author talks
  • Subscriptions to Library donor publications (your gift will be acknowledged in these publications and the Library's Annual Report unless you prefer to remain anonymous)

Please feel free to contact us with any questions at 212.930.0652 or