Research Guides

Lifelong Peer Learning Program (LP2)

The New York Public Library

In New York City, we are fortunate to have a public library that rivals any in the world, with an extensive collection including books, e-books, audiobooks, access to databases, archival collections both physical and digital, and more. If you don't have an NYPL card, you can apply for one electronically at this link. Any person who lives, works, attends school, or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible for a card.


NYPL Resources

NYPL offers extensive electronic database access, most of which is available remotely. (Some resources require patrons to be onsite; a few require patrons to be onsite at specific branches.) A full list of and links to NYPL's databases can be found here.

To check if NYPL holds a particular journal, you can search for the title here.

If you're not sure where to start looking for articles in NYPL's holdings, there is a research guide that offers ideas on where to begin


NYPL offers e-books in several different ways.

Popular fiction and nonfiction can be checked out and used with the OverDrive or Libby apps or viewed in a web browser; this collection is accessible and searchable here.

Scholarly books and e-books are found in the NYPL's research catalog; e-books are found in the library's database subscriptions.

Other research books can be located with the Digital Research Books Beta tool; these books are free to download and keep.





NYPL's archival holdings are a lifetime's worth of study in themselves. You can read handwritten manuscripts from Thomas Jefferson or James Baldwin, go through Dorothea Lange's WPA photographs or Diana Davies's documentation of the early gay rights movement, look at the diaries of Civil War soldiers on both sides of the conflict, or peruse advertising posters from the 1890s.

Research visits to the various archives are arranged by contacting the library division that holds the material you want to see. 

A vast amount of material has been digitized and is available remotely. There are several portals that offer access to the digital collections.





As of June 2021, the research libraries of NYPL remain closed to visitors. Check the NYPL's updates for current information.

The New York Public Library has four specialized research branches, each with special collections and subject-expert staff. Research consultations are available by appointment.

The research libraries also have extensive online collections, including archives, photographs, prints, and more, that are viewable offsite. 

As of June 2021, some NYPL branch libraries are open for limited services and/or grab-and-go book pickup. Check the library's service updates for current information.

NYPL branch libraries hold and circulate books, of course, but also provide expanded on-site database access, interlibrary loan, and reference assistance. Find a branch and check its services at this link.


Other Public Libraries

Other libraries in the metropolitan area have large collections and many resources. 

Like NYPL, Brooklyn Public Library offers a card to any NYS resident. Library membership is also available to those out of state with a $50 membership fee. Apply for a card online

The Queens Public Library is also open to anyone who lives, works, goes to school, or pays property taxes in NYS. Apply for a card online.

The New Jersey State Library, located in Trenton, NJ, and affiliated with Thomas Edison State University, offers free membership to anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in New Jersey.