The last time I went to the New York Public Library (NYPL) at Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd was in May 2001. My husband and I took a day bus trip from the Boston area to NYC. I had been to the city about 20 times previously, so there wasn’t much sightseeing to be done; my goal was to spend time in the Library www.nypl.org. Once we arrived in the city, we did a few quick things, had lunch, and then split at 1:00 to do our own thing. Our plan was to meet at the Library around 3:00. Of course, I trotted over there immediately. Imagine my surprise when I ran into a genealogist friend, Jim, a good friend at that. We acted surprised, but I don’t think either of us was really. He lives in NYC. After all, isn’t this where we genealogists hang out, at a library? Back then, we hadn’t discovered Google, and online genealogy material was just emerging big time. Libraries were hot!
My previous, and also my first trip to the Library was the year before. A girlfriend and I took a bus trip there, and I mentioned I wanted to stop in the Library to check out a book (no, you can’t really check them out, but I mean to look at one). The Library has closed stacks, so if you want a book, they have to retrieve it for you. Well, no problem, but I really got to test my patience….like one of the lion statues guarding the Library. “Patience" and "Fortitude" are quite well known. We waited a long time, then found out that the conveyor belt was broken, the lines at the counters were long with frustrated people, like me. I was so sure I was going to lose my friendship with my friend, a non-genealogist, but she was patient as well, and said we could wait a little longer. Here we were, in NYC, sitting in the reading room for three hours. When I got the book, they wouldn’t even let me copy it, as it was considered rare! However, I opted to let them copy it when they had time, and within a week, I had the book (abt. 50 pages), at an extremely low cost. I was finally happy. But, I didn’t suggest any other day trips with my friend, until last year. I know she hasn’t forgotten the Library, nor have I.
Update: In March 2012, a great, simply great video has been making the rounds on the internet. This was filmed at the New York Public Library, and I hope you watch and enjoy it.
My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.
For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.
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