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    Join us from 10-11 a.m. EST for live reading recommendations on Twitter @NYPLRecommends!


    In Memory of Prince

    We are saddened by the news of the passing of iconic musician and performer Prince.  Here are a few of our favorites available on CD at the Library.

    Exceptional New Young Readers

    A few exceptional young readers for kids in 3rd through 5th grade.

    And the Winner Is ... Pulitzer 2016

    This year's winners and finalists in the category of Letters, Drama, and Music.

    The Panama Papers: Fictional Characters We Suspect May Have Offshore Accounts

    Unless you've been living under a rock this month, you've surely heard about The Panama Papers, the biggest secret data leak in history. Here are a few fictional characters we are pretty sure would be implicated.

    Gwen is reading The V-Word: True Stories about First-Time Sex, edited by Amber Keyser.

    Lynn is about to go on VACATION, wooo! And she's planning to take Before the Fall by Noah Hawley.

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    Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora.

    Each episode highlights a letter from popular collections housed in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

    Today’s episode features a letter from writer, anthropologist, and folklorist, Zora Neale Hurston to her friend, “Bill.”

    Today’s correspondence is recited by Renée Watson, author of several books for young readers, including Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills and This Side of Home, a YA novel about a young teen dealing with her gentrifying neighborhood. Renée’s poetry and fiction often centers around the lived experiences of black girls and women and explores themes of home, identity, and resilience. She grew up reading Maya Angelou, Lucille Clifton, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston and often returns to their works for inspiration.

    *Special Note: All text is represented as originally written by the correspondent.  

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    Next door neighbors Bree and Lara used to be BFFs... until about a year ago. Lara is not exactly sure what caused the friendship to break up, but when it did, it split the adjacent households irrevocably. Lara's little sister, Sydney, and Bree's little brother, Liam, used to be friends as well. But now no one is friends with each other. Where one yard ends, the other begins, and the two family's paths cross rarely.

    So Lara starts making online friends, namely... Christian. They have a flirtatious, congenial and fun online romance for awhile. Then, one day everything changes. Out of the blue, Christian lets her know that he is done with her. More specifically, he tells her that the world would be better off without her. She tries to plead with him, beg him to tell her what happened. Her message gets returned; Christian is no longer accepting correspondence from the girl.

    Shortly thereafter, Sydney bangs on the bathroom door. As usual, Lara is taking way too long in the shower, and she is likely using up all of the hot water. Annoyed, she yells at her sister to hurry up. No response. This is a bit odd. Usually, Lara yells back at her to chill and wait her turn. Concerned, Sydney tells her mother what is going on. A girl with a psychiatric history who locks herself in the bathroom and who is not responding to banging or shouting on the other side of the door. Not a good equation.

    Who is this Christian Dewitt? The police interview the family, their friends and their neighbors. Someone is going to get to the bottom of this. Cyber bullying has to stop because people could end up dead.

    Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman, 2015

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  • 04/22/16--09:23: The Art Museum Underground
  • Every day, millions of commuters use the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority to get around. Most of us are in such a rush that we rarely ever notice the art that lives in this underground museum. Our subway and commuter rail stations, bridges, and tunnels are home to more than three hundred works of art.

    When constructing some of the first train stations in 1902, the planners (Heins & LaFarge) were concerned with commuters entering underground tunnels made of steel and concrete. Besides trying to invite the public into a subterranean transportation, they were also highly influenced at the time by the City Beautiful Movement. These initial stations contained colored mosaics, glass, and terracotta tiles that emphasized the steel and concrete.

    City Hall Subway Station, New York. Image ID: 836139

    In the 1980s the MTA initiated Art for Transit, sparked by the Percent for Art program, which mandated that one percent of public building construction costs are to be used for public art. The program, now known as MTA Arts & Design, was created to oversee all elements of design within the system, including transit facilities, bus depots, and subway stations. Their goal is to commission public art to enhance the commuter experience with site-specific works of art by well-known and emerging artists alike.

    City Hall Station. Image ID: 1113718

    Since its beginning more than three decades ago, the program has restored and rescued artisanal works of the past and worked alongside artists, architects, and designers. Each work that is chosen and created connects the community and the station together. All materials used for these projects echo those of the original stations: mosaics, ceramic tiles, bronze, steel, and glass (durable material to withstand the test of time).

    Times Square NYC subway 013
    Times Square Mosaic, via Wikimedia Commons
    Simeti Image5 (7704413460)
    Bensonhurst Gardens by Francesco Simeti, via Wikimedia Commons

    To read and learn more about the wonderful art works on display, you may want to consult the following books:Along the Way: MTA Arts for Transit and New York's Underground Art Museum: MTA Arts & Design.

    You can also go to the MTA's website and choose your daily mode of transportation, including, for instance: the New York City Transit; Metro-North Railroad; the Long Island Rail Road; Bridges & Tunnels; or New York City Transit Buses. Once you make your choice you can view the different artworks located along the different routes.

    Follow their Instagram feed for daily inspiration, or download the app to browse while underground.

    The Revelers I
    The Revelers by Jane Dickson, via edenpictures on Flickr

    Arts & Design commissions artists through a competitive process. Periodically, they’ll issue a “Call for Artists,” through their website for anyone who may want to be considered for a specific project. Artists, illustrators, and photographers who would like to be reviewed for current or future projects may also e-mail Arts & Design for consideration. They also hold auditions each May for their Music Under New York program.

    59 Street Columbus Circle art vc
    Whirls and twirls by Sol LeWitt, via Wikimedia Commons

    The MTA Arts & Design has grown to encompass Music Under New York,Graphic Posters, Poetry in Motion, Digital Art, the photographic Lightbox Project, and special events.
    Borough Hall "BH" Initials reproduction 4x4 Tile, for sale at the Transit Museum store

    What is your favorite piece of subway art?

    Additional Reading

    Jan Lakin, "next stop,"Interior Design 82, no. 11 (September 2011): 206-208.

    Megan Guerber, “Underground Aesthetics New York City’s subway transit art represents a huge public art museum,” Public Art Review, no. 52 (Spring/Summer 2015): 90.

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    SAGEWorks Boot Camp - Enrollment Now Open.  SAGEWorks assists people 40 years  and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge job search skills in a LGBT-friendly environment.  This 2 week training takes place from Monday - Friday, 5/2/16- 5/13/16 - 9:30 am to 2:00 pm at the SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001. 

    Bright Horizons Family Solutions will present a recruitment on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm, for Kindergarten Prep Teacher (1 Opening), Infant / Toddler Teacher (6 openings), Associate Teacher (10 F/T & P/T openings),  Assistant Director (1 opening), at NYC Workforce 1 Career Center, 215  West 125th  Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10027.

    SAGEWorks Workshop - Career Transitioning When You're 40+,  on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 11:30 am - 1 pm at the SAGE Center Midtown, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor (Classroom), New York, NY 10001.  Registration required.  Free event.  SAGEWorks assists people 40 years and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge job search skills in a LGBT-friendly environment.

    Sid Wainer & Son will present a recruitment on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm, for Produce Delivery Driver (5 openings)  at the Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 E. Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458.  Must have a valid driver's license (class D) and a recent abstract from NYS DMV.  Ability to interact with customers and be a frontline representative  of the company. 

    United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, Inc. will present a recruitment on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 10 am - 12 pm, for Residence Program Specialist (20  F/T & P/T openings), Residence Program Specialist (20 Per Diem openings), at the New York State Department  of Labor - Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.  

    affiche le pour

    Apprenticeship Opportunities in New York City.

    Brooklyn Community  Board 14:  Available jobs

    The New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCE&TC) is an association of 200 community-based organizations, educational institutions, and labor unions that annually provide job training and employment services to over 750,000 New Yorkers, including welfare recipients, unemployed workers, low-wage workers, at-risk youth, the formerly incarcerated, immigrants and the mentally and physically disabled. View NYCE&TC Job Listings.

    Digital NYC is the official online hub of the New York City startup and technology ecosystem, bringing together every company, startup, investor, event, job, class, blog, video, workplace, accelerator, incubator, resource, and organization in the five boroughs. Search jobs by category on this site.

    St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development provides Free Job Training and Educational Programs in Environmental Response and Remediation Tec (ERRT). Commercial Driver's License, Pest Control Technician Training (PCT), Employment Search and Prep Training and Job Placement, Earn Benefits and Career Path Center. For information and assistance, please visit St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development or call 718-302-2057 ext. 202.

    Brooklyn Workforce Innovations helps jobless and working poor New Yorkers establish careers in sectors that offer good wages and opportunities for advancement. Currently, BWI offers free job training programs in four industries: commercial driving, telecommunications cable installation, TV and film production, and skilled woodworking.

    CMP (formerly Chinatown Manpower Project) in lower Manhattan is now recruiting for a free training in Quickbooks, Basic Accounting, and Excel. This training is open to anyone who is receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Class runs for eight weeks, followed by one-on-one meetings with a job developer. CMP also provides Free Home Health Aide Training for bilingual English/Cantonese speakers who are receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Training runs Mondays through Fridays for six weeks and includes test prep and taking the HHA certification exam. Students learn about direct care techniques such as taking vital signs and assisting with personal hygiene and nutrition. For more information for the above two training programs, email:, call 212-571-1690, or visit. CMP also provides tuition-based healthcare and business trainings free to students who are entitled to ACCESS funding.

    Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) trains women and places them in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades. It helps women achieve economic independence and a secure future. For information call 212-627-6252 or register online.

    Grace Institute provides tuition-free, practical job training in a supportive learning community for underserved New York area women of all ages and from many different backgrounds. For information call 212-832-7605.

    Please note this page will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of April 24 become available.

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    Granville T. Woods. Image ID: 1219306

    As we continue to recognize the achievements of people of color in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education), Alicia Perez, Schomburg Communications Pre-Professional, pays tribute to one of the early pioneers: Granville T. Woods.

    Granville T. Woods, who would have turned 160 years old on April 23, was known as the “Black Edison.” He registered nearly 60 patents—ranging from the development of the telephone to the multiplex telegraph. Born in Columbus, Ohio to a part-Native American, part black mother and a black father, Woods worked at a young age in various railway stations and blacksmithing jobs, and then received his formal education through night school and studying engineering. It wasn’t until he made the big move to New York City in 1876, however, that Woods realized his potential and skill in electricity and engineering.

    Through Woods’s electrical expertise, he became an inventor at a time when financial support and backers typically did not support people of African-American descent, leaving many inventors without a chance to truly act on their genius. At one point, Woods was forced to defend himself in court twice against Thomas Edison due to a lawsuit over his Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph, which Edison claimed was actually his idea. After Woods won his case, Edison offered him a position at the Edison Company, which he declined. As a result of being denied opportunities due to the color of his skin, Woods and his brother Lyates founded the Woods Railway Telegraph Company in 1884 and funded their own projects.

    In April 1896, writer Sadie Hall highlighted that "the most remarkable invention of Mr. Woods is for the regulation of electric motors." Due to the intensive use of energy and inherently wasteful nature of electric motors at the time, Woods’s improvements allowed for less resistance and a reduction in the amount of loss. You can find more information in our collection, Writers' Program, New York City: Negroes of New York Collection housed in the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division.

    In the Jean Blackwell Hudson Research and Reference Division, we have photos and a short description of 49 of Woods's inventions, compiled by author Jonathan Walker, as well as a detailed biography by David Head titled Granville T. Woods: African American Communication and Transportation Pioneer.

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    William Shakespeare
    Image ID: 1630421

    break the ice
    catch a cold

    a heart of gold
    Love is blind.

    Have you ever used one of these common phrases in English? If you have, you have used language that came to us from Shakespeare. April 23 is the 400th anniversary of the death of the great English writer William Shakespeare. Shakespeare wrote at least thirty-eight plays and more than 150 short and long poems. Hundreds of years after his death we still read and watch performances of his work. Shakespeare is also the most translated author ever. According to the Folger Shakespeare Library, his work is read in at least eighty languages.

    Shakespeare’s language can be a challenge for fluent English speakers. If you’re an English language learner, you might think that Shakespeare is not for for you, but there are many different ways you can learn about his work, his life, and his language and improve your English skills. You probably know something about the characters and the plots of some of his most famous plays, like Romeo and Juliet, already. Be part of this year's big Shakespeare celebration! Try some of these free websites and books and e-books from the library to learn more about the Bard.

    Free Websites

    These  lessons  are best for intermediate to advanced English language learners

    British Council Learning English: Shakespeare
    Why are his plays still so popular four hundred years after his death? Watch these video lessons about Shakespeare's life and his writing, and listen to people talk about why they love Shakespeare. Each video has exercises to help you check your understanding and learn important vocabulary.  

    British Council Learn English Teens
    Watch animated videos that explain the plots of five of Shakespeare's most famous plays: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, HamletMuch Ado About Nothing, and TheTempest. There are exercises after each video to help you check your understanding.

    BBC Learning English: Shakespeare Speaks
    This is a series of animated video lessons to help you learn well-known expressions that Shakespeare introduced into the English language, like "dead as a doornail" and "wild goose chase." There are exercises with each video to help you test your comprehension and practice the new vocabulary.

    The Influence of Shakespeare on Everyday English
    This video on the website introduces common English expressions like “break the ice” and “catch a cold” that come to us from Shakespeare’s plays. You can do a multiple choice quiz after the lesson to test your knowledge.

    Shakespeare on VOA Learning English
    This website has many types of lessons for language learnerr at all levels, including  a two-part report about Shakespeare. You can listen to the stories and read along on the screen: The Works of William Shakespeare Remain Full of Life and William Shakespeare: Star of Stage and Screen

    Folger Shakespeare Library
    The Folger Shakespeare Library website has many interesting and helpful materials. Some good places For English language learners to start are their FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page, which gives information about Shakespeare’s life and work and the brief synopses or summaries of all the plays. If you are already familiar with some of Shakespeare’s plays and characters, you can test your knowledge with this Who Am I? Quiz on the Shakespeare for Kids page.

    Advanced language learners can take a virtual tour of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. in this one-hour “Experiencing Shakespeare” video on the PBS Learning website. This video does not have captions available.

    Shakespeare’s Globe: Fact Sheets
    The Globe Theatre in London also has lots of information about Shakespeare on its website. You can read about the plays,and learn how they are staged and performed. This is a link to short fact sheets about Shakespeare’s life, the original Globe Theater, where many of his plays were first performed, and other topics.

    Read an adapted version of a Shakespeare play:

    Hamlet (adapted)

    Would you like to read Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream? There are simplified versions of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays written for English language learners. You can request some of these adapted plays in the library catalog.




    As You Like It (retold)The Shakespeare Today series retells some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays in today’s English. This series is intended for teen readers, but it could also be fun reading for adult English language learners. You can borrow some of these twenty-first century versions of Shakespeare from our e-book collection.

    Visit our eBook Central page for help borrowing and downloading e-books from the library.

    Some retellings of Shakespeare’s plays for children can make interesting and challenging reading for English language learners. These books can give you an idea of the important characters, themes, and plots in Shakespeare’s plays.
    Tales from Shakespeare

    Tales from Shakespeare by Tina Packer retells ten of Shakespeare’s most famous plays with illustrations by Gail de Marcken.

    Stories from Shakespeare by Geraldine McCaughrean retells the stories ten of the most famous plays and includes quotations from Shakespeare.

    Leon Garfield's Shakespeare Stories, which retells twelve of the most famous plays, is available from the library as an e-book.  Shakespeare Stories II by Leon Garfield retells nine less frequently adapted Shakespeare plays.

    These next two books are very well-known children’s books written in the nineteenth century. Some of the vocabulary and sentence structure will be challenging for students learning English in 2016. The books are now in the public domain, so they are available online for free. You won’t need a library card.

    The Children’s Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit, originally published in 1895, retells twelve of Shakespeare’s most famous plays.  Each story is about four or five pages long. You can download and read this book through the Hathi Trust website. You can also listen to a free audiobook from Librivox.

    Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb was first published in 1807. This book tells the stories of eighteen of Shakespeare's plays, and each story is about 10-12 pages long. You can download and read Tales from Shakespeare through the Hathi Trust website. You can also listen to a free audiobook from LibriVox.

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    Nearly 300 years ago today Daniel Defoe published his tale of high-adventure, high-stakes, all-or-nothing hero Robinson Crusoe, and a classic was born. The faux travelogue captured the zeitgeist—in 1719, it seemed the whole world was up for grabs if you were just willing to get on a ship and take it. You were risking scurvy and cannibals, but think of the discoveries you could make! 

    Now, of course, the whole idea of "discovery" has soured. Great civilizations existed before they were "discovered." 

    But I can't help feeling a bit jealous of Robinson and his real-life counterpart Alexander Selkirk. And I can't help wishing I had the best of both worlds—a Caribbean island and all the amenities of the New York Public Library. And if I had my druthers, what would I bring?

    1) First, I'd catch up on all of my New Yorkers, now available to anyone with a library card:

    New Yorker cover

    2) Then I'd bring the books recommended by NYPL's librarians each season in Staff Picks

    Adventures in Human Being

    3) Reading materials secured, I'd turn to items of survival like this awesome fishing net from Digital Collections:

    Men with fishing net
    What a catch! 

    4) Then, I'd borrow from Mid-Manhattan's extensive cookbook collection so I didn't have to eat ceviche every night:

    The Catch







    5) Next, I'd build a house. Something modest like this  seaside resort in Old Orchard, Maine: 

    Seaside resort
    Yeah, that'll do.









    6) Then I'd fetch a wardrobe. Anything from the Creators Studio would do.

    Fashion plate
    Something nautical, perhaps. 










    7) I'd probably want a rifle, just in case:

    "The Gun of the Period"








    8) I'd swing by the New York Public Library's Shop and pick up a notebook to record my triumphs:









    9) And if I ever felt like leaving, I'd find a ship like these:

    A ship









    10) Not to mention the many, many maps housed at the Schwarzman Building. Heck, I'd take the whole Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division.

    Ocean Map

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    Almost all romance almost all the time this week, with four of the five top spots filled by tales of sex, love, and relationships.


    #1 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Obsession by Nora Roberts, more blends of suspense and romance:

    The Seventh Victim by Mary Burton

    Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz

    The First Prophet by Kay Hooper




    one with you

    #2 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed One with You by Sylvia Day, more romance about the ups and downs of marriage:

    Tempted by Megan Hart

    We Are Water by Wally Lamb

    Until the End of Time by Danielle Steel





    #3 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, more supremely racy reads:

    The Master by Kresley Cole

    Wrong by Jana Aston

    Play by Kylie Scott





    #4 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben, more secrets and lies:

    Die for You by Lisa Unger

    Everything to Lose by Andrew Gross

    The Pardon series by James Grippando





    #5 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, more British love stories:

    Other People's Childrenby Joanna Trollope

    One Day by David Nicholls

    The House We Grew Up Inby Lisa Jewell




    Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

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    Tracy K. Smith comes to Books at Noon this week to discuss discuss her latest work, Ordinary Light.

    Join her on Wednesday, April 27 at 12 PM!


    When and where do you like to read?

    Whenever and wherever I can. But because I travel so much, I find that some of my best reading time comes on airplanes.
    What were your favorite books as a child?

    Little Women is one of the books that made me want to be a writer. So was Mark Twain's The Diaries of Adam and Eve.
    Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

    No. I write with great alacrity whenever I can steal time away from teaching, traveling and being a parent.
    What are five words that describe your writing process?

    Following where long thoughts lead.
    How have libraries impacted your life?

    Libraries, with their vast quiet rooms and tall windows, have always helped put me into the rapt and imaginative space where language becomes clearer and more present.

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    Mention the name William Shatner, and people automatically think of the iconic Captain James T. Kirk from the hit cult sixties sci-fi television series Star Trek and its myriad motion picture knock-offs.

    Far fewer may think of him for his Emmy Award–winning turn on Boston Legal or as the TV commercial pitchman for Priceline. And it's a good bet nobody thinks of him foremost as being a Broadway star, but pre–Star Trek, Shatner appeared in two hit plays: The World of Suzie Wong in 1958 and A Shot in the Dark in 1961, and was considered one of the finest young theater actors of that time.

    Born in Montreal, William Shatner began his stage career at the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival. His actual Broadway debut was in a small role in Tamburlaine the Great in 1956. It was a condensed version of the two-part play by Christopher Marlowe written in the 1500s about the life of Central Asian emperor Timur. In this revival, directed and adapted by the esteemed Tyrone Guthrie, Timur/Tamberlaine was played by Anthony Quayle and Shatner was Usumcasane, one of the leader’s followers. The play was panned and closed after twenty performances, though Quayle and Guthrie did score Tony Award nominations.

    William Shatner in a scene from The World of Suzie Wong, 1958. Photo by Friedman-Abeles/ ©The New York Public Library. Image ID: 5020318

    Next up for William Shatner was a star-making role in the play The World of Suzie Wong by Paul Osborn and based on the novel of the same name by Richard Mason. In the play, directed by Joshua Logan, Shatner played Robert Lomax, a Canadian artist living in Hong Kong who falls for prostitute-with-heart-of-gold Suzie Wong, played by the beautiful French-Vietnamese actress France Nuyen. She had just impressed moviegoers playing Liat in the hit musical South Pacific (1958), also directed by Logan, and was making her Broadway debut. Because she still only spoke French, she had to learn her lines phonetically. The more time Lomax spends together with Suzie as he paints her, the more the smitten artist has to decide between her and the pretty blonde art dealer who has fallen in love with him.

    William Shatner and France Nuyen in a scene from The World of Suzie Wong, 1958. Photo by Friedman-Abeles/ ©The New York Public Library. Image ID: 4029329

    The World of Suzie Wong received mixed reviews from the critics, but audiences loved it. Opening on October 14, 1958, it ran for 508 performances and closed on January 2, 1960. Shatner and Nuyen for the most part received very positive notices and both scored Theatre World Awards for Most Promising Newcomers of the 1957-58 season.

    William Shatner caught with his pants down (something Capt. Kirk would never let happen to him) and France Nuyen in a scene from The World of Suzie Wong, 1958. Photo by Friedman-Abeles/ ©The New York Public Library. Image ID: 5020310

    Film rights to The World of Suzie Wong were bought by producer Ray Stark for Paramount Pictures. Stark tapped Jean Negulesco (of Three Coins in the Fountain fame) to direct. Shatner lost out on the film version to Academy Award–winning movie star William Holden, but France Nuyen was tapped to reprise her Broadway role. Filming began on location in Hong Kong for about five weeks and then cast and crew went to England for interiors. However, Stark was duly unhappy with Nuyen and Negulesco and fired them both. British-Chinese actress Nancy Kwan, who played Suzie in the London production, was cast and Richard Quine was the new director. They all had to hightail it back to Hong Kong for complete reshoots.

    The press had a field day speculating why France was let go—had she become ill, had she gained too much weight, had she become “impossible” to work with due to an unhappy love affair with Marlon Brando—this was just some of the outrageous speculation. France said in an interview with me, “All that was orchestrated by the production company. The producer had a [professional] liaison with the other actress. No one would hire me after reading the press that was trumped up against me. They said I was a drug addict, an alcoholic—everything you could imagine. I was as far from a drug addict as you can get. I never even take aspirin, for God’s sakes!”

    Nancy Kwan and William Holden in a scene from the motion picture The World of Suzie Wong (Paramount, 1960). The New York Public Library. Image ID: ps_the_2527

    Though Shatner missed this chance to work with France Nuyen again, they were reunited in the Star Trek episode “Elaan of Troyius” during the show’s last season. France acts up a storm as the primitive Elaan from the planet Elas, whose tears make any man weak to her charms. She is her planet’s delegate to make peace with the planet Troyius. However, the wild Elaan non-fatally stabs Troyius’s rep, throws temper tantrums, and refuses to allow Captain Kirk to settle any disputes. Her reckless behavior frustrates Kirk who takes her to task but he comes under the spell of Elaan as she sheds a tear just as marauding Klingons plan to attack.

    William Shatner and France Nuyen in a scene from the TV series Star Trek (Paramount-TV, 1968)

    Shatner changed gears with his next Broadway play. He followed the romantic drama The World of Suzie Wong with the satirical farce A Shot in the Dark. The comedy was adapted by Harry Kurnitz from the original French play and directed by Harold Clurman. William Shatner played an eager young magistrate named Paul Sevigne investigating the murder of a chauffeur working for the wealthy Beaurevers family. Prime suspect is the spirited Josefa, the hot-to-trot maid (Julie Harris) who readily admits that she was having an affair with the driver. The scene stealer and only one to nab a Tony Award nomination was Walter Matthau, as the urbane patriarch of the Beaurevers who too is infatuated with Josefa.

    Julie Harris, William Shatner, and Walter Matthau in a scene from A Shot in the Dark, 1961. Photo by Friedman-Abeles/ ©The New York Public Library. Image ID: 4023881

    As with The World of Suzie Wong, A Shot in the Dark received middling reviews but audiences loved it. It opened on October 18, 1961 and ran for 389 performances closing on September 22, 1962. Shatner again lost out on the movie version. However, that is no surprise, since his character morphed into Inspector Clouseau (played by Peter Sellers) as a quick follow up to the immensely popular film that introduced his extremely popular comical inept detective, The Pink Panther. For the record, Julie Harris was replaced by Elke Sommer and Walter Matthau by George Sanders in the film as well.

    As for William Shatner, when the play closed he relocated to Hollywood and began guest starring on many TV shows. He even landed his own series the very short-lived For the People in 1965 playing an Asst. DA. It was canceled mid-season making Shatner luckily available to take over for Jeffrey Hunter (who appeared in the first failed pilot) as the star of producer Gene Roddenberry’s new sci-fi creation Star Trek, which was picked up as a series on the second try with Shatner in the lead.

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    As the world commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death this year, The New York Library for the Performing Arts is doing its part by sharing with the world some of our unique Shakespearean treasures. Currently, visitors can see artifacts ranging from photographs and programs to costumes and set designs in the exhibit Shakespeare’s Star Turn in America, open through May 27.

    The artifacts I’m most excited about, however, are the promptbooks—scripts used and annotated by actors preparing for their roles. LPA is lucky enough to hold several hundred promptbooks from productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the U.S. and abroad, from the seventeenth century to the present day, but primarily from the 1800s. Researchers can visit our Special Collections Reading Room and pore over handwritten notes by some of the stage’s leading actors—such as Edwin Booth—along with their doodles of stage blocking, cues, musical notation, and cast photos.

    For the past several weeks, I have been immersed in a project to update NYPL’s catalog records for these promptbooks to make them more valuable and accessible to researchers. Much of what we know about them comes from the work of Charles H. Shattuck, a renowned Shakespeare scholar and director. In 1965, he published The Shakespeare Promptbooks: A Descriptive Catalog, at the time a near-complete compendium of information about promptbooks belonging to libraries all over the world, from the Folger Shakespeare Library to LPA. Each promptbook was assigned a “Shattuck number” within each play title. For instance, LPA holds Shattuck numbers 7, 8, 13, and 14 for The Comedy of Errors.

    Of course, some promptbooks were not accounted for in Shattuck’s catalog, and many more have come into various library collections since it was published. As for LPA, the bulk of our promptbooks came from bequests and archival collections of the actors who used them. In 1905, the library received a major collection of materials from actor George Becks, including dozens of his own promptbooks. In addition, many were part of larger archival collections donated by such theatre personalities as actors E. H. Sothern & Julia Marlowe and producer/manager Winthrop Ames.

    Simultaneous with this project and the exhibit, LPA has begun digitizing these promptbooks, starting with ourHamletand Romeo and Juliet holdings. You can flip through their fragile pages virtually by visiting NYPL Digital Collections. Expect more to come in the near future!

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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    Four-time Grammy winner Rosanne Cash is something of a music legend. She's also an author whose memoir Composed was a bestseller and whose influences range from Laurence Olivier to Madeline Castaing. For this week's New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Rosanne Cash discussing Shakespeare, performing, and a favorite poem.

    Rosanne Cash
    Rosanne Cash LIVE from the NYPL

    Cash is a great Shakespeare fan and spoke about the reasons she admires the Bard. She also shared a surprising way that Shakespeare helps her:

    "That's why Shakespeare moves me so much: not just that it's the most beautiful language ever written but that the depth of a soul that could that, his facility with language aside, the depth of a soul that could come up with those characters and those stories and this deep understanding. When I can't fall asleep at night, I have this-- you know you have a scene you come up with to fall asleep?... I imagine Shakespeare being rode across the Thames from the Globe on the south bank to the Master of the Revels office on the other bank in what's now Islington and taking his manuscript of Hamlet up to get permission to stage it. I just go over and over that. Yes, it makes everything make sense."

    As many know, Cash's father was the legendary Johnny Cash. She related his advice to her as a performer:

    "He taught me to respect my audience, and a lot of the integrity is in that as a performer. You know, he said, 'Never forget which town you're in. Never forget that people have used their hard-earned dollars to buy a ticket to come see you. Show up on time. Show up when you're performing, really show up.' So that has its own integrity and then ruthlessness as a writer is a separate integrity."

    One of Cash's favorite poems is "Wait" by Galway Kinnell, a poem written for a student who was considering committing suicide. She discussed why she finds it beautiful:

    "The way he circles around music, all of the things that are musical that aren't music: I love that. He gets to these very mundane things: 'Hair will be interesting again.' Pain will be interesting again, but so will hair! The gloves will fit again. There's a lot of kindness in that poem, to write it for someone who was thinking of suicide, and compassion: 'Just wait.'"

    You can subscribe to the New York Public Library Podcast to hear more conversations with wonderful artists, writers, and intellectuals. Join the conversation today!

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    Online Customer Acquisition Series at SIBL

    As we approach the start date (May 5, 2016) of our upcoming Online Customer Acquisition Series, we talked with our presenter Maisha Walker, and asked her to share with us a preview of what we will learn in Part 1: Social Media Advertising Overview. The 5-part series will run in the Spring and conclude in the Fall. All parts are geared to helping  small businesses expand their online customer base.

    Maisha Walker
    Maisha Walker

    Maisha is the Founder and President of Message Medium, a digital marketing agency that helps successful brands harness the power of digital to achieve aggressive growth. Her column, “The Internet Strategist,” is the highest trafficked blog on Inc. Magazine.  She has been quoted and featured by such diverse brands as Business Week, Guy Kawasaki, the former editor of Entrepreneur magazine, the American Marketing Association and even Perez Hilton. She has toured the country with companies like Microsoft Bing, JP Morgan Chase, Deluxe, Capital One, and has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Black Enterprise, on Fox News, and on NBC news for her insights on Internet Marketing.

    Online Customer Acquisition Series

    Part 1: Social Media Advertising Overview

    Social media advertising is a powerful and (comparatively) inexpensive ally when targeting customers, but we’ve heard that it’s better to create organic traffic than to advertise, is this right? Doesn’t it take much longer to build organic traffic?

    Yes and yes! It’s always great to build organic traffic but it takes a lot longer and a lot more effort. Because of this on some platforms like Facebook, it can actually be more expensive to build organic traffic because of the time needed to create, curate and post content as well as encourage engagement. The reason it has become so difficult is that there are just so many people creating social media content. Sites like Facebook have changed their algorithm to control and prioritize what visitors see and posts from corporate Facebook pages have fallen very low on the priority list of what to show on each person’s news feed. Because of that, it’s very difficult to be visible using organic content alone. With advertised posts you have the ability to reach a definite number of your existing Facebook fans as well as a targeted group of Facebook users you can introduce to your business. Managing these campaigns can be time consuming and there are many layers of details in how to build the campaign for the best results, but for many businesses it’s well worth it.

    Which online platforms are best?

    Determining which platforms will give your business the best results is a critical early step in launching an effective digital marketing strategy. A general rule of thumb is that Facebook and Twitter are more effective for consumer, entertainment and retail products like clothing, while LinkedIn is more effective for business-to-business and career oriented products or services.  Pinterest requires having strong visuals that are related to your products. YouTube can help you expand your reach to a younger audience and can include both text ads and full video ads if you have the resources to create them. Snapchat targets a younger audience almost exclusively and is generally cost prohibitive for most small businesses with minimums currently starting around $50,000. To help guide your decision, consider how you use each platform and what you personally respond to. Then think about your target audience. Are they like you? Different from you? If so, how? Don’t be afraid to hire a consultant to help you figure out where to invest your resources.  The time and resources wasted on a platform that won’t deliver results for you is easily avoidable by working with an expert who can quickly assess the right strategy for you.

    What is considered a good online conversion rate?

    I think you want to first think about your click through rate—this is the percentage of people who clicked on your ad and arrived at your web site. Around 0.50% and 1.5% is a typical click through rate for online advertising. When someone reaches your web site and then takes an action you define as important—filling out an inquiry or contact form, subscribing to your email newsletter, calling your business, downloading an e-book or whitepaper—these are called conversions. Conversion rates vary widely depending on your industry. What are your conversion rates offline? If your ads are able to be well targeted, your online conversion rates should be comparable to or a little lower than your offline conversion rates. Calculating your click through and conversion rates is an important step toward understanding how profitable your web site and digital marketing are likely to be for you.

    How much time should one expect to go by before seeing results?

    This is a great question and is part of the reason online advertising can be so exciting. Depending on what you’re offering, how well your audience is targeted and how good your ad is, you can see results the day you launch your campaign! After twenty years in this industry it’s still thrilling when I see the traffic start rolling in for a client after we launch a new campaign for them. 

    However if this is your first campaign, even with a digital marketing consultant you’ll need some time to work out the quirks. With an expert I would give the campaign one to three months before seeing good results. If you’re on your own and just trying this for the first time I would give it four to seven months since you’ll need more time to understand the nuances of whichever platform you’re using, how to read your results, how to set up the peripheral content to support your campaign, and how to change and tweak your campaigns to achieve the results you’re looking for. You can spend a year or more tweaking it to achieve optimal results.

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    Nell Zink’s experimental writing (and her unlikely friendship with Jonathan Franzen) made headlines last year—and created a new audience of readers who are curious about avant-garde fiction.

    You don’t need a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature to enjoy it, either. Books that play with language or toss aside linear plots can be creative, lighthearted, and fun. Here are a few good places to begin your investigation.


    Start simple (and short) with a classic story from Jorge Luis Borges: “The Library of Babel.” Imagining the universe as a library with an infinite number of books, the Argentinian author set the tone for many daring authors who followed him.







    Wandering Mexican poets traversing the globe—from Mexico City to the Sonoran Desert, Guatemala, Barcelona, Paris, Israel, Congo, and Liberia—match the wandering style of The Savage Detectives, Robert Bolaño’s masterwork translated from Spanish. Banish any expectations of a linear narrative and you’ll just enjoy the ride.





    first bad man

    The First Bad Man, the first novel from avant-garde artist Miranda July, has a first-person narrator who’s haunted by a baby and chasing a man she’s convinced she’s slept with in previous lifetimes. July’s signature style from her films and short stories makes her debut novel fresh and surprising.







    Snapshots of marriage and parenthood make up Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation. Its nontraditional format allows the author to select only her choicest cuts, making her musings incisive and sharp.







    Tao Lin is one of the most visible—and creative, and accessible—experimentalists writing today. Try Eeeee Eee Eeee (which includes a dinner with a dolphin, a moose, an alien, and the President of the United States) or Shoplifting from American Apparel(an autobiographical novel the author calls “2 parts shoplifting arrest, 5 parts vague relationship issues”).





    millionChoose your own adventure in Million Little Mistakes. Author Heather McElhatton updated the children’s book format for adults, asking readers to make a decision and turn to a different page at the bottom of each section. It’s written in second person—as in, “you win $22 million dollars”—and it’s a fun take on plot and narrative.





    And check out Flavorwire’s list of 10 experimental novels that are worth the effort and a New Republic story on avant-garde fiction coming into its own.

    Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

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    The Music Division is celebrating the completion of its Clipping File inventory (done entirely by volunteers) with a blog series. Melissa is one of the volunteers who contributed so much to this three-year effort to document over 46,000 folders in the Music Division's clipping File, you can read her other summaries in Part 1: "Musicians and Politics" and Part 2: "The Scandals".

    Performers and Performances: from the politically incorrect, to just plain weird, to really cool twist.

    We have journeyed through music history and encountered musicians and critics who were politically active, landed themselves in scandalous situations, and used poisonous pens to tarnish careers. 

    These last articles are in a class all of their own. 

    This first article would never be printed in 2015, at least in the language and manner that it was printed in 1941, no matter how talented this woman was. 

    Blue Monday to Blue Heaven - Frances Smith

    Just Plain Weird: the program says it all:

    Albert Hardwell Smith - The One-Armed Zither Player

    Finally, whether or not you love it or hate it, here is a really cool twist to a famous musical (this version with a composite score):

    The Phantom of the Opera - music by various composers


    Aria list for The Phantom of the Opera

    Thanks for following me in this three-part mini-blog series.  Although the Music Division's Clipping File is now inventoried, there are other inventory projects still going on strong for volunteers like myself (currently I'm inventorying vast numbers of American popular songs).

    On a personal level, I found articles about my clarinet professors’ recitals before they became famous in their own right, and pieces of music that I never heard before for the clarinet family.  I also discovered the true popularity of composers I studied in college through these rich primary sources.

    Please come and discover the musicians, scandals, and other musical events in the Music Division’s Clipping Files at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on the third floor.  You never know, you may even find a folder dedicated to you if you had a musical presence in New York City.  

    Melissa at the clipping files
    Melissa at the clipping files


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    contingent workers

    A lot has been said about gig work and the gig economy. You may want to learn more about this kind of employment and wonder if the Department of Labor has statistics for it.

    Erica Groshen, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has prepared a blog post, Measuring Gig Work, that gives an overview of this kind of employment and how it was measured from 1995 to 2005, and will update the survey in 2017.

    In the blog, Erica introduces the stereotypical gig drivers that draw a lot of attention recently. She states, "You may be familiar with services where drivers use their own cars to take people where they want to go. Customers who need a ride use a computer or mobile app to request a pickup. If a driver agrees to provide a ride, a third party electronically receives the payment from the rider and pays the driver." Erica notes that besides the gig drivers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics would like to know more about people who sign up online to perform tasks for pay when it is convenient for them.

    In her blog, Erica gives a brief overview of gig employment in the U.S. economy. She notes that, short term jobs have been around for a long time such as substitute teachers, truck drivers, freelance journalist, day laborers in agriculture or construction, on-call equipment movers, actors and photographers. Many people in these occupations now go online to match up with potential employers. Some people call these "gigs ". The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls these contingent or alternative employment arrangements. Contingent workers do not expect their jobs to last, or their jobs are temporary. Workers with alternative employment arrangements include independent contractors, on-call workers, or people who work through temporary help agencies or contract firms.

    The first Bureau of Labor Statistics survey for alternative employment arrangements was conducted in 1995, then 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2005, and discontinued because of lack of funding. The next survey will be in May 2017.

    On March 25, 2015, the Wall Street Journal published an article, "Contract Workforce Outpaces Growth in Silicon-Valley Style 'Gig' Jobs," which includes a graph "Share of workers in each type of alternate work arrangement". The infograph shows statistics from the Department of Labor 1995, 2005 and statistics presented by Alan Krueger of Princeton University and Lawrence Katz of Harvard University 2015. Krueger and Katz replicated the DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics survey sampling roughly 4,000 people. The findings show alternative work has spread across industries and occupations such as healthcare and education and other industries that have traditionally offered stable employment. Gigging is up in the U.S. economy since 2005, most of the growth has happened offline, not through apps such as Taskrabbit and Lyft.

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    SIBL interior

    Writing a business plan? One of the first things you’ll need to do is figure out which industry your product or service is part of, and next do industry and market research to learn as much as you can about that industry. The SIBL Business Libraryis one of the best places to do research to write a business plan, making use of the broad range of industry and market research databases available at the library. With these resources you will be able to identify the size of the market for your industry, learn about key industry players, look at trends, products, and other issues.

    Please note: due to the high cost of licensing premium business information most of the resources mentioned in this blog are only available onsite at SIBL,not at other NYPL locations, so you may need to be at SIBL for the links to work. Other business libraries near you may have some of these databases if you are not located near SIBL.

    Consider First Research, Ibisworld, and Plunkett’s Research top resources for your industry and market research. First Research gives the market size and trends and includes “Call Preparation Questions” which can be used to start conversations with people in your industry. Ibisworld reports on hundreds of industries including very specialized newer industries, and Plunkett’s lets you build an industry report in just a few clicks to download or email to yourself. But there are many more sources to consult at SIBL, and some are more specialized or focused, so don’t limit your research to just a few sources. You can also find in-depth industry profiles in Business Monitor Online, S&P NetAdvantage, and Mergent Online. Business Monitor is a global resource with quarterly industry reports and country data which includes pharmaceutical and medical devices market research reports. Mintel offers market research reports on industry sectors and customers, including consumer demographic and lifestyle groups.

    If you are starting an internet online company and plan to do online retail sales or online advertising using social media be sure to try out E-Marketer. And if your business may include imports or exports to a developing country it will be worth your time to explore EMIS or Emerging Markets, a database of local business information for developing countries, including business news, companies, and industry and market research on a regional or global level.

    Trade Associations are another good source of industry data and statistics. At the library, or at home, check in the Encyclopedia of Associations. Access to this directory is through the database Gale Directory Library which includes many other business directories. For this database of combined titles it’s best to use the “Advanced Search” option to first select and search the specific directory you need.

    Trade Journals are another way to learn about an industry. To find many trade journals try searching NYPL’s e-journals search boxand just enter a keyword which best describes your industry. Many trade journals are accessible free on the web and through NYPL’s databases. Industry trade shows are listed in Tradeshows Worldwide, another directory which can be accessed through the Gale Directory Library.

    At SIBL you can also access many more directories, such as Reference USA, to find companies by almost any criteria, and download lists and company details to a USB flash drive. Reference USA is easy to search by keyword without any need to first look up industry codes, and you can find companies in your industry which are your competition. You can also find potential suppliers, and if your business will be "B-to-B," companies which you could target as potential customers. Using Reference USA you can also generate charts and maps to display data about your competition by revenue or number of employees and add download these visuals into your business plan.

    It goes without saying that searching the Internet for information about companies or an industry will turn up useful information about your competitors. Look closely at the websites of your competitors and deduce as much as you can from their websites, online presence and online advertising, including their use of social media.

    But don’t stop at Google or the Internet. Use the many article databases at the Library which give you free access to industry and business publications, and some of these can be accessed at home with your library card.

    Some of the recommended databases for business and market research from home are Business Insights Essentials, Business Source Premier, Business Collection, many newspaper databases including Regional Business News, and the Small Business Resource Center, a key source to find articles and also hundreds of basic sample business plans.

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    The  Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway musical Hamilton has captured the attention of the populace in more ways than one. Inspired by the novel Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, the musical features a diverse cast and uses hip hop to lay focus on a man vital to American history yet virtually unknown to many Americans. The creator of the musical, Lin Manuel Miranda, feels that this story was a necessary one.

    ‘‘We could all be dead tomorrow,’’ Miranda says. ‘‘Who tells our story? Will it be told? We have no way of knowing. In essence, that’s what the show is about. We are telling the story of someone who I don’t think would expect it to be told in this way, if he were alive. But he very much wanted his story told. He was outlived by all his enemies. The next four presidents—Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and John Quincy Adams—all hated Hamilton, and did their best, not even to assassinate his character, but to bury him by omission.’’ (New York Times)

    Why was Hamilton so important that he deserves recognition today? Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) is considered one of the founding fathers of the United States. He was the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States and a primary contributor to The Federalist Papers. Among the founding fathers, he was the man whose vision was largely responsible for the creation of the American nation as it is today. Samuel Eliot Morison wrote in The Oxford History of the American People that it was Hamilton's genius that enabled the new government to function successfully.

    Alexander Hamilton. Image ID: 1250073

    Born on January 11 in the British West Indies, Hamilton was an illegitimate child. His father, an unsuccessful tradesmen, abandoned the family when he was 10. When his mother died in 1768, Hamilton was taken in by her family and later sponsored by them and other family friends to attend school in New Jersey and New York. During the American Revolution Hamilton joined the military. From 1777 to 1781 he served with General George Washington. After the war Hamilton became a lawyer.

    Hamilton believed that the United States needed a strong national government. He supported the new U.S. Constitution because it set up such a government. Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote a famous series of essays to explain the Constitution called The Federalist (later named The Federalist Papers).

    In 1789 George Washington, now U.S. president, made Hamilton secretary of the treasury. Hamilton’s financial program strengthened the national government. Thomas Jefferson, the secretary of state, disagreed with Hamilton. He believed that the states should have more power. The two men and their supporters started the first U.S. political parties. Hamilton led the Federalist Party, while Jefferson led the Republican Party.

    Hamilton resigned as secretary of the treasury in 1795. He stayed active in politics, however, and got involved in the presidential election of 1800. Jefferson and Aaron Burr were two of the main candidates. Hamilton and Burr did not like each other. Hamilton set aside his quarrel with Jefferson and helped him get elected.

    In 1804 Hamilton supported Burr’s opponent in the election for governor of New York. Angered once again, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel. Burr shot Hamilton on July 11, 1804. Hamilton died the next day. (Biography in Context)

    Below is one of two farewell letters written to Hamilton's wife before the fateful duel, and a picture of his wife Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.

    Final Letter
    Alexander Hamilton. Image ID: 1250231
    Mrs. Alexander Hamilton (Ellizabeth Hamilton). Image ID: 1250154














    Other Resources

    Alexander Hamilton Papers
    The Alexander Hamilton papers, dated 1775-1804, primarily consist of letters and documents either written or signed by Alexander Hamilton, and pertain to his career as a soldier, lawyer, statesman and United States Secretary of the Treasury. It is a synthetic collection of largely autograph material, combining gifts and purchases from various sources.

    The Federalist (also known as The Federalist Papers)
    Reproduction of the original from the American Antiquarian Society. The Federalist is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution.

    Other Important Figures in Hamilton

    While Hamilton is the titular character in the musical, there are many other's present from our nation's history. Below find information as well as books in our collection for further exploration.

    Marquis de Lafayette

    Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, 1757-1834.Image ID: 1551639

    Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), French general, statesman, and hero of the American Revolution, served France by endeavoring to smooth the transition from the Old Regime to the new order created by the French Revolution. (Biography in Context)

    George Washington

    George Washington (The Constable-Hamilton portrait). Image ID: psnypl_coll_003

    George Washington (1732-1799) was commander in chief of the American and French forces in the American Revolution and became the first president of the United States. Rightly known as "the father of his country", no figure had a more central role during the American Revolution and early national period. Even after his death he remained the preeminent embodiment of national character. To understand the trajectory of Washington's career is to understand that of early American history. (Biography in Context)

    Aaron Burr

    Aaron Burr. Image ID: 1161242

    American lawyer and politician Aaron Burr (1756-1836) was vice president under Thomas Jefferson. After his term of office he conspired to invade Spanish territory in the Southwest and to separate certain western areas from the United States. He is most famous for having killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. (Biography in Context)

    John Laurens

    John Laurens, Image ID:EM3082

    John Laurens (1754-1782) was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War, best known for his criticism of slavery and efforts to help recruit slaves to fight for their freedom as U.S. soldiers. (Biography in Context)

    James Madison

    James Madison

    James Madison (1751-1836), the fourth president of the United States, was one of the principal founders of America's republican form of government. He made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing The Federalist Papers, along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In later years, he was referred to as the "Father of the Constitution." (Biography in Context)

    King George III

    His Majesty King George III. Image ID: 424995

    George III (1738-1820) was king of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820. His long reign witnessed the American Revolution, the defeat of Napoleon, the founding of the "second British empire," and the decline of monarchical power. (Biography in Context)

    Want more Hamilton?


    Doug Reside's post HAMILTON: The Archive is a scene by scene guide to the library's collections.








    Hamilton: The Revolution (Official Libretto) Offers a behind-the-scenes view of Hamilton the musical, detailing the many dramatic episodes in Alexander Hamilton's life.







    Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording
    "Hamilton initially began as 'The Hamilton Mixtape,' a collection of songs about the man whom Lin-Manuel Miranda memorably christened the “10-dollar founding father without a father” at the White House in 2009. It then blossomed into a hugely successful Broadway musical, of course. But it’s worth remembering that the cultural phenomenon—the costumes and dancing, the sidewalk show, the memes, the late-night appearances, the celebrity endorsements, the Democratic fundraiser—started out as music." The Atlantic

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    Seventh grader Tahmin Zahid’s heart was broken from seeing her LGBT friends and peers being harassed and bullied every day. As a participant in NYPL’s Innovation Labs, an after-school program for middle and high schoolers who want to use technology to solve problems and change the world, Tahmin was inspired to create a blog for LGBT youth and allies. Learn more about how Tahmin is using technology to impact her community, and the sense of pride and purpose it brings her, in this week’s Library Story.

    Library Stories is a video series from The New York Public Library that shows what the Library means to our users, staff, donors, and communities through moving personal interviews.

    Like, share, and watch more Library Stories on Facebook or YouTube.

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