A Long way From the Hundred Acre Wood
Since 1987 Winnie the Pooh and his friends have been living a long way away from the Hundred acre Wood, or indeed England, after being gifted to the children’s library of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of The New York Public Library
Article by Justine Gosling
One of the world’s great libraries and a magnificent example of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture, located at Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets, the library has symbolised the democratic ideal of free and open access to knowledge since it opened to the public in 1911.
Free to enter and explore, this often-overlooked museum welcomes millions of visitors every year from across the world who find inspiration in its majestic public spaces, unparalleled research collections, and vibrant programs and exhibitions. With nearly 53 million items, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States and fourth largest in the world. Such is the prominence and grandeur of the building it has featured in many Hollywood blockbusters such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Ghostbusters” and Carrie Bradshaw’s almost-wedding to Mr Big in “Sex and the City.”
Below Bryant Park, directly west of the library, is 37 miles of book shelving. Examples of some the most valued artefacts in the libraries collections is a 1493 unique copy of Columbus’s letter announcing his discovery of the New World and original writings from English poet John Keats.
The highlights of the twice daily free tours include the elegant Rose Main Reading Room with 52-foot-tall ceilings displaying murals of vibrant skies and billowing clouds. The Berg Collection’s reading room houses Charles Dickens’ actual writing desk, as well as his unique letter opener with his cat Bob’s paw affixed to the handle. The calendar that sits on Dickens’ desk is still set to June 9, 1870, the date of his death, according to the NYPL. And of course for the child in us all there’s the Bear of enormous brain and all his friends….. Rabbit… Piglet….. Kanga……..Eeyore…
Free one-hour tours of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building begin at 11 AM and 2 PM on Monday through Saturdays, and at 2 PM on Sundays.
Enquiries: New York Public Library/ 476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA/ +1 917-275-6975/ New York Public Library