Say you want to listen to every Broadway show tune ever recorded. Maybe you’re looking for ancient news clippings about Cole Porter. Perhaps, you’d love to hear how the great choreographer Jerome Robbins used New York City as a source of inspiration for his work.
Where would you go to learn more?
Learning about the works and history of the performing arts can be found in a New York City library. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is a stark looking building wearing a modern costume of glass, chrome and concrete. Conveniently tucked next to the Metropolitan Opera House and the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, this NYPL holds a treasure trove beyond the wealth normally found in books. The library is known for its wide ranging collections of non-book materials, including historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters, photographs, and music in all its incarnations. The materials can be reviewed free of charge. Special collections of rare and fragile library specimens must be examined on site.
If you’d like to visit a library where listening to song and score is de riguer, then this is library is a showstopper. Feel free to do a soft shoe shuffle into the lobby and tell the head librarian, “I didn’t come to read. I came to listen.” Rodgers and Hammerstein would approve.
111 Amsterdam Avenue, between West 64th and West 65th Streets
On the plaza level, between Metropolitan Opera House and Lincoln Center Theater.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Website
Sunday Closed; Monday and Thursday 10:30 am - 8:00 pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10:30 am - 6:00 pm
The key to understanding people and the world around us begins with education. One way to learn about the world is by developing a love of books. Each month, we profile a library. Large, small, urban, rural, post-modern, quaint or neo-classic; do you have a library that you love? Tell us about it. This month, Patricia Vaccarino writes about the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Libraries We Love: This Library Can Sing and Dance