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New York Public Library: Topics in Chronicling America

The New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States. This guide provides access to materials related the “New York Public Library” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"General view of New York's thirty-million dollar library." May 23, 1911. The Washington Times (Washington, DC), Image 12. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

After 10 years under construction, the New York Public Library opened its doors in May, 1911. Situated at Fifth Ave and 42nd St, the facility’s amenities included chauffeur service and a cobbler to add “the obligatory, soft-stepping rubber heels on the shoes of library employees in the interest of quiet. Equipped to house up to 4 million books on 75 miles of shelves, it has become known as “one of the most beautiful structures in the world devoted entirely to books." Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1895 The Astor Library, Lenox Library and Tilden Trust consolidate to form the New York Public Library.
1897 The architectural firm, Carerre and Hastings, is selected to construct the building.
May 23, 1911 New York’s Library opens on fifth avenue. Over 50,000 people, Along with President William Taft, Andrew Carnegie, and other notable public figures, attend the dedication ceremony.