6. The Grolier Club Library (1884)
The Grolier Club was founded in 1884 by Robert Hoe, a printing press manufacturer and book collector, along with eight other of his fellow bibliophiles. The organization itself was named after Jean Grolier, the Treasurer-General of France and renowned French bibliophile. The nine men initiated the club to focus on the study, collection, and appreciation of books through publication and exhibitions open to the general public. The 100,000 volume collection of books in the library is devoted to bibliography and the “arts of the book.”
Today, the library is a great resource for scholars, researchers, and historians in book history as it hosts 60,000 volumes of book auction catalogues. Currently at the Second Floor Gallery Exhibition is “A Matter of Size: Miniature Bindings and Texts from the Collection of Patricia J. Pistner” from April 23 until May 18.
These exhibitions of books and prints have been free to the public since 1884. The Grolier Club Library is located on 47 East 60th Street, and only open to non-members by appointment for unique research related to the art of books. Next time you visit, see if you can find the secret bookcase door that swings out from the wall to reveal a spiral staircase leading to a mezzanine level!