Visit the Library

Temporary Closure

In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library will pause research operations through February 1, 2022. If you have an appointment to do research before February 2, please contact us at to reschedule.

In the meantime, you can explore the Library's digital content including the Shelby White & Leon Levy Digital Library.

If you have a reference question that does not require an onsite visit, contact us at, and a librarian will answer your email in 2-4 weeks.


The Library’s collections extend from the 16th century to the present, and continue to be added to through donation, purchase, and active collecting by the Library’s staff. Subject strengths include the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early Republic periods; development of New York and the expanding nation; conditions of slavery and the abolitionist movement; the Civil War and Reconstruction; New York City charitable organizations and social services; and New York City architecture and the built environment. 

Before You Visit

Online Catalog

The majority of the Library's collections have been processed and catalogued, and may be found by searching the online catalog.

Visit Online Catalog


Sign up for the Library's collections request system

Register Now

Requesting Materials

Instructions for how to request Library materials

Read More

Collecting at the Library

Interested in making a gift? Here's what you need to know

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  • As part of New York City’s Key to NYC program, all visitors to the New-York Historical Society are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Upon entering the building researchers must show proof that they have received at least one vaccination dose with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization and a matching photo ID. Proof of vaccination may include a valid paper vaccination record, a photo of a valid vaccination record, the NYC COVID Safe App, or the New York State Excelsior Pass.   
  • All researchers must check in on the first floor before proceeding to the reading room on the second floor.
  • Masks must be worn at all times in the reading room and social distance maintained.
  • Research is by appointment only and limited to those who have identified collections unique to the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library.
  • Appointments must be made, and collection requests submitted, at least 5 business days before arrival.
  • All researchers must abide by the Library’s security and handling guidelines.

Your care and support help us to maintain our collections for future generations. Thank you for your cooperation.

Reproductions and Photocopying

The Library encourages researchers to use hand held cameras to capture images of Library collections for later reference. All photography must be done in accordance with the Library's photography guidelines. Photocopies made by the Library as well as photographs taken by researchers are intended for reference purposes only and may not be reproduced or sold in any form. Those desiring photographic reproductions of Library materials or permission to reproduce such images should contact the Department of Rights & Reproductions directly.