New York Public Library

Tom Gomez

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

The Humanities and Social Science Library of New York Public Library, more widely known as the library system’s “Main Branch” or simply as New York Public Library, is the flagship building in the system and a prominent historic landmark in Midtown Manhattan (at the two-block section of Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets). The branch, opened in 1911, is one of four research libraries in the library system.

The famous main reading room of the library (Room 315) is a majestic 78 feet (23.8 m) wide by 297 feet (90.5 m) long, with 52 feet (15.8 m) high ceilings. The room is lined with thousands of reference books on open shelves along the floor level and along the balcony, lit by massive windows and grand chandeliers, and furnished with sturdy wood tables, comfortable chairs, and brass lamps.

It is also equipped with computers providing access to library collections and the Internet as well as docking facilities for laptops. Readers study books brought to them from the library’s closed stacks. There are special rooms for notable authors and scholars, many of whom have done important research and writing at the Library. But the Library has always been about more than scholars, during the Great Depression, many ordinary people, out of work, used the Library to improve their lot in life (as they still do).

The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

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Related shots can be found at: NewYork and USA.

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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