The New York Society Library (NYSL) is the oldest cultural institution in New York City. It was founded in 1754 by the New York Society as a subscription library. During the time when New York was the capital of the United States, it was the de facto Library of Congress. Until the establishment of the New York Public Library in 1895, it functioned as the city's library as well. It has been patronized by a wide variety of literary and political figures, from George Washington to Wendy Wasserstein. Its special collections include books from the libraries of John Winthrop and Lorenzo Da Ponte.Using our international travel planner, New York City attractions like New York Society Library can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Since 1937, the library has been housed in the former John S. Rogers Mansion at 53 East 79th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the fifth location in its history. The stone Renaissance Revival building was one of the earliest recognized as a New York City landmark in 1967, and it was further listed on the National Register of Historic Places (as the John S. Rogers House) in 1983 in recognition of both its architecture and the library's historic role in the city.
The library's collection of 300,000 volumes includes audio recordings and periodicals, as well as books on a broad range of subjects. It is open for browsing and research by the general public; only members may borrow books or use the upper floors. The library is a non-profit organization supported primarily by its membership fees and endowment.
Tours To New York Society Library
New York Society Library Reviews
Although you must be a member of this library to check out books, they do host lectures and other events open to the public. It's a lovely grand building and the children's rooms are most welcoming..... more »
What a wonderful Saturday I had wandering into this Library filled with Antiquities and research books. I came in to the library,after seeing the show at the Metropolitan Museum at 82nd and Fifth... more »
its a really beautiful place to come to read and relax
Lovely children's collection. Quiet place to read.
Plan your trip to New York City
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in New York City
See all ›
See all ›
Parks in New York City
See all ›
Nearby attractions in New York City
Plans to New York Society Library by other users
54 days in New York City BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in New York City BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, teens, popular sights Preferences: December, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 46 days in New York City BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 55 days in New York City BY A USER FROM INDIA May, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular sights Preferences: May, relaxing, romantic, beaches Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in New York City BY A USER FROM INDIA January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in New York City BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium