53 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075
The New York Society Library, the oldest in the city, was founded in 1754 by the New York Society, a civic-minded group formed in the belief that the availability of books would help the city to prosper. A subscription library, it now contains nearly three hundred thousand volumes -- the result of the tastes of its members over almost the last quarter millennium.
Although this is primarily a library for the general reader, it has considerable potential for research. Holdings may be searched using either the Library's card catalogs or its catalog. Members may borrow books and have the use of several reading and study rooms on the upper floors; they can also browse in the stacks. Non-members are invited without charge to use the ground floor for reading and reference.
The Library is a not-for-profit corporation supported by its membership fees, by income from its endowment (built largely from bequests), and by contributions, which are tax-deductible.