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.

Geo. P. Hall 'Success' Postcard

Back elevation from Bryant Park.

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

Irving Underhill card.

Photo postcard with the Empire State Building in the background.

Interior Views
Reading Room

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.

Children's Room

(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.

The New York Public Library at Lincoln Center

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.

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 Branch

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

The Valentine & Sons' card was mailed in 1908.

St. George Center

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

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.


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.

HOME     NY Carnegie Libraries, A-I     NY Public Libraries, A-B     Brooklyn     Queens Carnegie branches