6. One of the Oldest Libraries in the US is in the New-York Historical Society
N-YHS Archives. Image via N-YHS
The Klingenstein Library in the New-York Historical Society is one of the oldest and distinguished in the United States, with more than 3 million books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, broadsides, music sheets manuscripts, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings. Among these documents is one of the best collections of 18th century newspapers in the country, and a vast collection of Civil War materials, including Ulysses S. Grant‘s terms of surrender to Robert E. Lee.
Another distinguished title of this library is that it is one of only twenty libraries in the country qualified to be a member of the Independent Research Libraries Association. It continues to receive important research materials, and holds the archives to many organizations. In 2013, the library was a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Inside the library you will also find one of the last remaining skylights inside the building. The galleries used to be lit by skylights from above. During World War II, these windows were covered, as were many large windows in New York City, and the curators were actually armed!