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About the Print Collection

The New York Public Library's Print Collection encompasses over 200,000 original prints, ranging from woodcuts, engravings, etchings, lithographs and screen prints to digital prints, and covers the history of the art in the West from the 15th century to the present and Japanese prints from the 10th century to the present. A particular strength of the collection is the Avery collection, assembled by collector and philanthropist Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), which comprises etchings by Avery's late 19th-century French, European and American contemporaries. Additional areas of concentration include the Library's holdings of 19th- and 20th-century American prints -- with a particular focus on New York artists -- 18th- and 19th-century Japanese color woodcuts, British caricature and a collection of old masters. In part stimulated by S.P. Avery's passionate accumulation of the works of his contemporaries, the Print Collection continues to acquire contemporary prints, the focus of which is international in scope.

More information on the Print Collection

Digitized images from the Print Collection

About the Photography Collection

The Photography Collection was created in 1980 when images from other NYPL departments and branches were brought together to form a new division that now comprises more than 500,000 photographs by 6,000 photographers. The Photography Collection encompasses the broadest range of the medium, including images made for commercial, industrial, and scientific application as well as images for the press and other print media, the vernacular of amateur snapshot photography, and original works intended for exhibition and/or the art market. The collection includes examples of almost every photographic process, from the daguerreotype to digital imagery, and is especially strong in photographically illustrated books, travel and topographical photography, stereoscopic views, and portraiture. Other strengths include works from the first years of photography, American photography from the 1930s and 40s, limited edition portfolios, and works by New York-based photographers working in the 1970s and 80s.

More information on the Photography Collection

Digitized images from the Photography Collection

Hours and Contact Information

Materials are available for consultation through the Prints and Photographs Study Room (308) with a card of admission, Tuesday through Saturday from 1-6pm. Users are not required to make advance appointments for print materials, but may do so if they wish by writing to prnref@nypl.org. Use of the photography collection requires a prior appointment by writing phgref@nypl.org.