A Little About The Oldest
Library in New York City,
the New York Society Library...
the New York Society Library
53 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075
Photo via: Beth Perkins. Courtesy of the New York Society Library
Opened in 1754, it is the city's oldest library and it was originally called, "the City Library" since it served as NYC's primary source for books for 100 years before the public library system was created in 1895. Today, the library is home to a collaborative community of avid writers and readers. With almost 300,000 volumes in fiction, literature, biography, history, social sciences, the arts, and travel the library puts a special focus on books with a historical look at New York City.
Art lines the walls of this beautiful library. Membership is not too steep in price, or even selective, one simply needs to pay and sign up. In order to check out books, one needs to be a member but technically the library opens its door to the public with some areas of the library available to sit and read. The friendly librarians will bring you the books upon request.
The library hosts a variety of writers workshops and educational programs, some for members only but a good amount open to the public as well. It is a treasure trove for the architecture, history and art buff.
from 1795-1840 the library was located at
16 Nassaus street in the spire of Trinity Church. Early notable folks who utilized the library-- George Washington, John Jay, Herman Melville and Willa Cather.