The New Student's Reference Work/New York Public Library
New York Public Library was established in 1895 by the consolidation of Astor Library (q. v.) Lenox Library and the Tilden Trust, with which were later included New York Library and its 42 city libraries, endowed by the munificence of Andrew Carnegie. The new home of the consolidated institutions is the palatial building in Bryant Park, facing Fifth Avenue on the west and close to 42nd Street. The library, besides its other equipments, has shelf room for not far from two million volumes. This monumental institution, provided by the city and in part to be maintained by it, consists of a union, by agreement, with the several trustees of the specific libraries named, with their corporate endowments, together with other free libraries which have elected to be consolidated with it. The chief associated and affiliated institutions, in addition to Astor Library, embrace Lenox Library, founded in 1870 as a gift to the city by the late James Lenox, with many valuable paintings and objects of art which he had collected and inherited, and the Tilden Trust, comprising 20,000 volumes and two million dollars, deeded by will in 1884 by Samuel Jones Tilden for the establishment and endowment of a public library in New York City. With these institutions have been incorporated the city's Free Circulating Library and other similar free libraries, in addition to the scheme of branch libraries which the city obtained through the liberality of Mr. Carnegie by his gift of $5,200,000. To the Lenox bequest have been added several other substantial collections and property gifts, contributed by relatives of the original donor.