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Public Libraries of New York City

Includes the New York Public Library and its branches; the Carnegie libraries of the city, excluding Queens; and the specialized branches of NYPL which predate the 21st Century. 

I have returned to my original practice of combining Carnegie libraries with those municipally funded on the same page.

Lenox Library

Founded in 1877: demolished in 1912, after its collection was rehoused as part of the Central Library's opening collection.

This Rotograph brand monochrome postcard was never mailed.

Lenox Library of New York City
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (Central Library)

This is the building most people think of as NYPL. 

Established 1895, it is one of America's cultural treasures.
Although the city received a large, 19th century Carnegie grant, the main building is not a Carnegie building. It was built on the site of the Croton Reservoir, 1902-1911. 
Several of my postcards were mailed well before the building was opened to the public.

New York (City) Public Library
Bryant Park view of NYPL

Geo. P. Hall 'Success' Postcard

Back elevation from Bryant Park.

1964 view of NYPL

1964 Dexter Press card, photographed on a warm sunny day.

Lion Statuary, NYPL
1920s view of NYPL

Irving Underhill card.

1930s view of NYPL

Photo postcard with the Empire State Building in the background.

Interior Views
Reading Room
NYPL reading room, classic interior view

Every city should have a temple of knowledge such as this.
NYPL has many changes in the works. Personally, I think this room should be sacrosanct, but those desk lights must have those green glass shades. The round ones are a touch silly looking, and round green shades aren't a lot better.

Detroit Publishing 'Phos-Tint' postcard.

Arents Collections

The strangest of the 23 special collections (at the time) of the NYPL, this is the Arents Collections of Books Relating to Tobacco and "Books in Parts."

Published in 1967 by Manhattan Post Card.

Arents Collection, interior view
Children's Room
Children's Room, NYPL

(L) Monochrome view of the children's room. Not very inviting looking, but I bet it was easy to clean and sanitize.
(R) Newer, color view of the Central Children's Room. The librarian has left her glasses on the table, perhaps before splashing water on her face and taking more Anacin.

Children's Room, NYPL
The New York Public Library at Lincoln Center
Abstract sculpture in front of NYPL at Lincoln Square

It appears that Dexter Press issued a 1964-1966 series of Lincoln Center postcards, mostly library interiors. This was a closed stack library, unusual by the 1960s.

Nun in reading room, NYPL at Lincoln Center

Yes, this is a studious nun. In the foreground are a box of call slips, and near the card's top edge, a service window.

Brooklyn, see Brooklyn Public Library page

The Bronx's branches are part of NYPL.

Queens, see Long Island Carnegie Libraries (branches) & LI Libraries for Jamaica (Main)
Staten Island
Port Richmond

Carnegie Library

A 1905 Carrere & Hastings design, this branch is still in use despite its size.

The Valentine & Sons' card was mailed in 1908.

Port Richmond, Staten I., New York, Carnegie Branch
St. George Center

Carnegie library building opened June 26, 1907. Attributed to architects Carrere and Hastings.

St. George Carnegie Branch, Staten Island, New York

Carnegie Library

Evidently the purchaser of this Valentine & Sons postcard was unimpressed by the acclaimed building, writing:

I think our Carnegie Library is prettier.

This monochrome card makes the building look more menacing yet.
And now it houses a lot of space for children, after a renovation. I'm happy to see this Carnegie-funded survivor still in use, as part of NYPL.


Carnegie Library

Stapleton Carnegie branch, NYPL

Carrere & Hastings designed branch library opened in 1907. Was closed 2010-2013, expanded, and still in use.

I. Stern postcard, never mailed.


Carnegie Library

I am uncertain from where I sourced this image.

The building was from a 1904 Carrere & Hastings design, and is still in use as a library.

Tottenville, Staten Island, Carnegie Branch Library

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