8. Priceless Pieces in the NYPL Collection

The New York Public Library has innumerable treasures tucked away in its stacks. In addition to millions of volumes, the library also possesses priceless historical artifacts. Some of the library’s items can be seen in their rotating special exhibitions and you can request to see certain items if you are conducting research. Among the amazing pieces found at the library are literally thousands of Virginia Woolf‘s personal letters, e.e. cummings‘ typewriter, boxes of personal items that belong to writer Jack Kerouac (including his shoes, library card and prayer bells), Charles Dickens‘ writing desk, a handwritten poem from Emily Dickinson, George Washington’s recipe for beer, even pieces of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s skull!

On a recent Untapped Cities Insiders visit to the library while showing highlights of the Berg Collection, including an annotated copy of T.S Eliot’s The Waste Land and tiny pieces of paper containing writing from the Brontë siblings, curator Carolyn Vega explained that part of what makes these items so important is that it gives a glimpse into the creative process of some of the world’s most famous writers.

Many of the library’s fascinating artifacts can be seen on display in the library’s first permanent exhibition, the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures. There you can see items like the original Winnie the Pooh dolls, a copy of the Declaraction of Indepence, and more!