The New York Public Library is featuring over 250 artifacts from its incredible research collections in the new exhibition Celebrating 100 Years, on view through March 4, 2012 at the Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

The exhibition — presented in honor of the Schwarzman Building’s 100th birthday — is organized by independent curator Thomas Mellins and shines a spotlight on items spanning thousands of years, representing the worlds of literature, dance, social activism, invention, exploration, religion, history, and innumerable other intellectual disciplines and creative pursuits. Artifacts belonging to literary giants such as William Shakespeare, Charlotte Brontë, and Jorge Luis Borges will complement historically important items related to a wide variety of issues and events, from the Age of Discovery, to the creation of the Soviet Union, World War II, the Civil Rights movement, and the AIDS crisis.

The exhibition is organized into four thematic sections: Observation, Contemplation, Society, and Creativity. Within each grouping, dramatic contrasts and juxtapositions are intended to create dialogues across time and space, and in so doing demonstrate the collections’ incredible range and their value as symbols of our collective memory.

A second gallery will highlight artifacts connected specifically to the Library’s history, from its founding and original collections to the construction of its Beaux-Arts building, which was dedicated by President William Howard Taft on May 23, 1911, to the ongoing work of the Library through the century.

Three related exhibitions — Recent Acquisitions: Prints and Photographs, Children’s Book Illustrators and Authors Come Alive, and A Century of Art — also explore the history of the Library and shows how, for more than a century, NYPL has provided ever-widening access to an ever-deepening body of knowledge.

Exhibition Hours and Information
Mondays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. (except in July and August)

Holiday closings: December 4, 24, 25, 26

Exhibition Tours
Free public tours of the exhibition are conducted Monday through Saturday at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. and Sunday (except in July and August) at 3:30 p.m.

All group tours, including school groups, must be scheduled in advance. To schedule a group tour, call 212.930.0650. Group tour fees are $7 per person ($5 for seniors). To schedule a tour for K-12 students, call 212.576.0037; there is no charge for full-time students.

Read more about Special Tours of the building and the Library's stacks.

Access a printable version of the exhibition brochure.




The New York Public Library's Annual Exhibitions Program is funded through the extraordinary leadership support of Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, and Jonathan Altman. Additional support is provided by the Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Inc., in memory of Ruth and Seymour Klein.

is the Lead Corporate Sponsor of the Centennial Exhibition Celebrating 100 Years and related programming. Additional support for the Library's Centennial Celebration has been made possible through an endowment established by family and friends of the late Richard B. Salomon, and by Bank of America, The Skeel Fund, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Asprey, Wells Fargo, Celeste Bartos, The Wall Street Journal, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Titan, WABC-TV/Channel 7, Penguin Classics, and Gotham Magazine.

Extended through March 4

  • Visit a free Centennial exhibition, Celebrating 100 Years, featuring 250 of the Library's most fascinating artifacts!

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