"You want to photograph me eating chicken?"
"Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message."
"I work at this library. And before that, I was coming here for twenty years. It’s my favorite place in the world. As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world. Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library. As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library. When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe. Now read that back to me."
This HONY post garnered so much attention to the NYPL debate that the NYPL reached out to clarify a few important points:
*The man says “I work at this Library.” Ends up, he doesn’t “work” for the library in the sense of being an employee. He is probably doing his work at the library (millions do each year!). We fear the confusion might make people think he is offering his opinion as an employee.
*The vast majority of research books will remain on the site (in far superior storage conditions)
*None of the public spaces he and others enjoy will change, and we’ll be returning a circulating collection to this main library (it had one for its first 70 years).
*This plan will be greatly expanding access to the library. The renovation will allow all New Yorkers–scholars, students, educators, immigrants, job-seekers– to take advantage of this beautiful building and its world-class collections.
Obviously the issue is more complex than soundbites from either side, so feel free to educate yourself further and form your own opinion:
Going to a Fire, 1910-1915
“Photo shows horse drawn fire vehicle at intersection of West 43rd Street and Broadway, New York City”
The Library of Congress, who own the original lantern slide prints, describe them as text “superimposed on humorous photograph, and the whole shown in a fancy carved frame.” These images were created by Scott & Van Altena (John D Scott and Edward Van Altena), who were considered some of the leading slide makers of the era.
Should you wish to brush up on your lantern slide trivia, here’s one article and here’s another one available through archive.org, which is a great site that provides open access to complete books and articles. Should you feel like learning leisurely, the website is capable of reading the texts aloud, albeit somewhat robotically.
Here’s a little more information on the box bed, which was recurrently popular for hundreds of years. Most interestingly, in my opinion, box-beds were built somewhat shorter during the 16th and 17th centuries because “lying down was associated with death, and therefore sleeping was done in a half-upright position.”
Original Caption: A box-bed is a bed enclosed in furniture that looks like a cupboard, half-opened or not.The box-bed is closed on all sides by panels of wood. One enters it by removing curtains, opening a door hinge or sliding doors on one or two slides. In front of the box-bed was often a large oaken chest, with the same length as the bed. This was the ‘seat of honour,’ and served also as a step for climbing into the bed. It was also used to store clothing, underwear and bedding the rest of the time