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The Morgan Library and Museum

Borough Guides

Top 10 Best Libraries in Manhattan NYC

Though all five boroughs have fantastic and unique libraries, you’ll find NYC’s best libraries in Manhattan. Here are our top 10 favorite ones.

1. The Morgan Library and Museum

The Morgan Library and Museum

Location & Neighborhood:225 Madison Ave – Murray Hill
Closest Train Station:The Grand Central – 42nd St
Hours:Saturday        10:30AM–5PM

Sunday          10:30AM–5PM

Monday          Closed

Tuesday         Closed

Wednesday   10:30AM–5PM

Thursday       10:30AM–5PM

Friday            10:30AM–7PM

Don’t Miss:Original Michelangelo drawings

This is the private library of industrialist titan J.P. Morgan. It’s a private collection and museum that cannot be missed. Here, you’ll find original music manuscripts, Americana such as John Steinbeck’s original manuscripts and more. The building’s stunning architecture alone makes the library worth visiting.

2. Stephen A. Schwarzman Building – New York Public Library

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building - New York Public Library

Location & Neighborhood:Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street – Midtown
Closest Train Station:5 Av OR 42nd St-Bryant Park
Hours:Monday 10 AM–6 PM

Tuesday 10 AM–8 PM

Wednesday 10 AM–8 PM

Thursday 10 AM–6 PM

Friday       10 AM–6 PM

Saturday 10 AM–6 PM

Sunday 1 PM–5 PM

Don’t Miss:Rose Main Reading Room

This is the flagship location of the New York Public Library system. The building houses numerous collections of historical works, American and English literature, research literature, photographs, and more. The library’s Rose Main Reading Room is an iconic, grand reading hall perfect for immersing oneself in the library’s one of a kind literature.

3. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture – NYPL

diverse students studying in library

Location & Neighborhood:515 Malcolm X Boulevard – Harlem
Closest Train Station:135th St
Hours:Monday 10 AM–5 PM

Tuesday 10 AM–5 PM

Wednesday 10 AM–5 PM

Thursday 10 AM–5 PM

Friday       10 AM–5 PM

Saturday 10 AM–5 PM


Don’t Miss:Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures or Conversations in Black Freedom Studies

This is one of NYPL’s most renowned research facilities. Containing one of the largest collections of Black Literature, the Schomburg Center is a world leading cultural institution. They are entirely devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.

4. Jefferson Market Library – New York Public Library

jefferson market library

Location & Neighborhood:425 6th Ave – Greenwich Village
Closest Train Station:Christopher St Station OR 14 St
Hours:Temporarily closed – Check website for updates
Don’t Miss:The New York Collection; downstairs in the Reference Room

Jefferson Market Library is another branch of the New York Public Library system. The building is a National Historic Landmark, with impressive Gothic architecture reminiscent of a mini-castle. The building is currently undergoing improvements, and it will be exciting to see what the future brings for the library.

5. The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library – NYPL


Location & Neighborhood:40 West 20th Street – Flatiron District
Closest Train Station:23 St
Hours:Monday 10 AM–5 PM

Tuesday 12 PM–7 PM

Wednesday 10 AM–5 PM

Thursday 12 PM–7 PM

Friday             10 AM–5 PM

Saturday 10 AM–5 PM


Don’t Miss:Group workshops and events

Heiskell Library is a vast collection of accessible reading material in the Flatiron District. They provide free reading materials to patrons who are blind, visually impaired, or are otherwise unable to read standard print. The formats include braille, apps, players, talking books, and more. Be sure to check out the group workshops.

6. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

NYPL Performing Arts

Location & Neighborhood:40 Lincoln Center Plaza – Upper West Side
Closest Train Station:59 St – Columbus Circle or 72 St
Hours:Monday 10:30 AM–6 PM

Tuesday 10:30 AM–6 PM

Wednesday 10:30 AM–6 PM

Thursday 10:30 AM–6 PM

Friday             10:30 AM–6 PM

Saturday 10:30 AM–6 PM


Don’t Miss:Theatre on Film and Tape Archive

As part of the NYPL system, the Library for the Performing Arts houses one of the world’s most wide-ranging and large-scale research collections of theater, film, dance, music, and recorded sound materials. There are a variety of collections circulating for the public, as well as special collections reserved for those who create a Special Collections Account.

7. Poets House


Location & Neighborhood:10 River Terrace – Battery Park City
Closest Train Station:Chambers St or World Trade Center
Hours:Monday CLOSED

Tuesday 11:00 AM–7 PM

Wednesday 11:00 AM–7 PM

Thursday 11:00 AM–7 PM

Friday     11:00 AM–7 PM

Saturday 11:00 AM–5 PM


Don’t Miss:Poets House Showcase

“Poets House is a comfortable, accessible place for poetry—a library and meeting place which invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry.   Poets House seeks to document the wealth and diversity of modern poetry, to stimulate dialogue on issues of poetry in culture, and to cultivate a wider audience for the art.” – Mission Statement pulled from organization’s website   Poets House is guided by their commitment to inclusivity and diversity. They seek to utilize the power of poetry to “promote a deeper conversation between individuals, communities, and cultures.”

8. New York Academy of Medicine

ny academy of medicine

Location & Neighborhood:1216 5th Ave – East Harlem
Closest Train Station:103 St
Hours:Monday 9:00 AM–5 PM

Tuesday 9:00 AM–5 PM

Wednesday 9:00 AM–5 PM

Thursday 9:00 AM–5 PM

Friday     9:00 AM–5 PM

Saturday CLOSED


Don’t Miss:2022 Event Series

The New York Academy of Medicine’s library houses one of the most extensive, significant, and important collections of medicine and public health research information in the world. They seek to safeguard the heritage of medicine to inform the future of health. The materials include anatomical atlases, cardiology, cookery, dermatology, health, historical medicine of NYC, neurology and much more.

9. New York Society Library

new york society library

Location & Neighborhood:53 East 79th Street – Upper East Side
Closest Train Station:77 St
Hours:Monday 9:00 AM–5 PM

Tuesday 9:00 AM–7 PM

Wednesday 9:00 AM–7 PM

Thursday 9:00 AM–7 PM

Friday       9:00 AM–5 PM

Saturday   11:00 AM–5 PM

Sunday    11:00 AM–5 PM

Don’t Miss:The Organization’s Staff Recommendations

The New York Society Library has a growing collection of nearly 300,000 volumes that reflect the locals’ interests over the years. The library has an extensive array of fiction and literature, as well as biographies, history, social sciences, the arts, travel, and books about the city.

10. National Archives at New York City

national archives building

Location & Neighborhood:One Bowling Green, Room 328 – Financial District
Closest Train Station:Bowling Green or Wall Street Station
Hours:Monday 10:00 AM–5 PM

Tuesday 10:00 AM–5 PM

Wednesday 10:00 AM–5 PM

Thursday 10:00 AM–5 PM

Friday       10:00 AM–5 PM

Saturday CLOSED


Don’t Miss:The Research Room

The National Archives at NYC hold permanent records created by Federal agencies and courts in NJ, NY, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These archives hold everything from founding documents to family history, genealogy, and more. Many New Yorkers are able to tie their personal family history and roots back to the origin when they visit the research room.

The Best Manhattan Movers

metropolis moving truck

If you’re dreaming about what it would be like to live in Manhattan with all of these amazing libraries and research institutions in such close proximity, you’ll need a team of professional, reliable movers to get you there. Get a quote today and you’ll be on your way to living the life you envision for yourself in Manhattan.

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