Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 3 - what's better than books?

On Day 3, that was yesterday, I headed into Manhattan to the New York Public Library Astor Tilden and Lenox Foundation. The main Research libraries are now called the
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Patience and Fortitude still gaze out from their majestic height over the city. 

But yesterday, I entered through the Bryant Park doors along 42nd Street. First stop was the main reading room on the third floor where I asked about their incunabula. 
Of course, I have to apply to access the collection and it sounds as though it isn't accessed often, and it's a BIG collection. I have an appointment next week to start looking at their incunabula and research resources for bibles.  The librarian I worked with was great. He had worked with the rare book collection for 20 years and was now in the main reference room. He spouted Billings call numbers and made me feel right at home. That's the system I learned to love while researching my MA Thesis. Here's the wikipedia entry for Billings
It's so strange to see the main catalog room devoid of catalog drawers. The NUC drawers are gone also, but the NUC is still there, on the balcony. I only have to ask for a volume if I want one. (hint to students, learn where this great tool is). After apply to use two different rare book collections, I needed lunch.  

I heard a fascinating talk in Bryant Park. The former NYPD commissioner spoke about collaboration and how the city changed under his watch as both head of the Transit Police and the NYC police.William Bratton and Zach Tumin, Collaborate or Perish! Reaching Across Boundaries in a Networked World. Hosted by Laurie Puhn, bestselling author of Fight Less, Love MoreI must admit it's wonderful to sit in Bryant Park and feel safe and comfortable.

After filling my brain with collaborative ideas, I wandered back into NYPL to check out their exhibit of Lunch Hour places. The Automat was great as was the entire exhibit. 
I decided to look for my great uncle who was a prominent judge in the Bronx from 1904 until the late 1920s. While I found his biographical sketch, I didn't have more info to explore. Of course, the librarians suggested online resources. Eventually, I be able to dig at more materials. While that branch of the family may not have deep roots in NYC (his father came to NY in 1889), others do.

Four hours and I was exhausted, so I walked to the subway and headed home. 
Oh yes, I also met a lovely lady from Chabad, who made certain I had Shabbat candles to bring light and peace into my home.

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