Just How Much Do You Love The New York Public Library?


We’ve been feeling like the New York Public Library has been a little distant lately – but that’s all about to change. Our pals over at Gothamist have alerted us to a delightful way to show support for the NYPL – a little body-on-building PDA. Today, starting at 1:30pm, the group Urban Librarians Unite is holding a “hug the library” event, meant “to call attention to the potentially devastating budget cuts being proposed by the city.” Stop by to join hundreds of library lovers who plan to surround the NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and give it a big ol’ squeeze. Not feeling it? To get you in the hugging mood, we’ve assembled a little slideshow of some of our favorite vintage New York Public Library photographs, many of them from the NYPL’s own extensive digital gallery. Click through for some black and white inspiration, and let us know if you’ll be hugging or shrugging this afternoon.

If these ladies were always at the library, we’d go every day.

Photo: Aldred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images, Sep 01, 1944


2001, via NYPL Digital Gallery

A sectional view of the NYPL, 1911, via NYPL Digital Gallery

Meta newspaper-reading. [via]

Dapper dudes a’dusting. [via]

Thar she blows. 1914

Heaven. Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images. April 01, 1944

Slavonic Room, via NYPL Digital Gallery

The never-ending Central Building Stacks, via NYPL Digital Gallery

A lady inventor examining a doll. Or asking it what it thinks of Thoreau.

Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images. September 01, 1944

A troop of blind Boy Scouts visiting the Library for the Blind on 42nd Street, via NYPL Digital Gallery

The oldest branch of the NYPL, via NYPL Digital Gallery