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    Trail  Blazers is a youth development organization for young people in New York and New Jersey. Each  summer, over 400 children attend Trail Blazers' core program, the Outdoor Experiential Education Adventure, a sleep away and day camp program.  Since 1887, Trail Blazers has sponsored children to take part in these outdoor adventures where learning happens experientially.

    top logo

    Now Trail Blazers is hiring for summer 2016

    Trail Blazers best staff member:

    • Possess a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of children.
    • Have an appreciation of and interest in the natural world.
    • Have previous experience working with children, particularly children from the inner city.
    • Possess very high levels of enthusiasm, leadership, and patience.
    • Have obtained, or are pursuing, a degree in education, sociology, psychology, criminal justice, environmental education, outdoor education, or social work.
    • Are willing and able to facilitate children's growth in a challenging, rustic environment.
    • Have previous experience, even if informal, with backpacking, camping, hiking, or other adventure-based activities.
    • Are at least 19 years old and have had at least one year of post-high school experience.

    Read more about what it takes to be a successful TBC counselor.

    Available positions

    Below is an abbreviated list of positions available.

    • Group Leaders (Counselors)
    • Enablers (Head Counselors)
    • Waterfront Staff
    • Program and Area Specialists
    • Operational Support 

    Learn more about these positions.

    Apply now

    Qualified candidates will be contacted for an in-person or skype interview.

    Total summer compensation for domestic staff begins at $2000.  Specialist salaries vary and are based on position.  All positions include room and board.

    Please contact Trail  Blazers directly with questions about this program.

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    I have always been a fan of books, graphic novels, and films that have a certain quietness to them. There are a number of graphic novels that slow things down—they have a "Quiet Panel" quality to them, if you will. These aren't wordless selections: the images, text and tone help to pump the brakes on a frantic world. Here is a quick roundup of some of my favorites.


    Dockwood: 2 Autumn Stories by Jon McNaught

    The ultimate in slowing down and breaking everyday actions into individual panels. If you enjoy seeing potatoes washed, peeled, and cut in about 20 panels, then this is for you! This work is a lyrical look at transitions, told in two separate stories. Beautiful.

    potatoes washed, peeled, and cut

    stepping on a seed pod


    Here by Richard McGuire

    Have you ever wondered what the same location would look like over millions of years? Travel through history and the future to see how one location transforms. You'll start to wonder about your own space and what was and will be.

    wooded area in 1503 is an empty room in 2015

    a man and woman at home in 1958 and 1959

    Through the Woods

    Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

    This masterful horror anthology really gets your skin crawling—in a good way. Gracefully sliding back and forth between tension-building panels and precise storytelling, this work will stay on your mind long after the last page.

    "That evening, the sun set bloodred in a white sky. And when I saw it... I knew our father was dead."

    So she traveled a low, lonely road... & arrived at a wide, white manor.

    Hugo Cabret

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick

    Entirely unique, this is a novel wrapped in a picture book wrapped in a graphic novel. The illustrations are both fantastical and precise and lead you through as the mystery unfolds.

    Hugo Cabret pencil drawing

    winding a large clock

    See America

    See America: A Celebration of our National Parks & Treasured Sites, illustrated by the artists of Creative Action Network

    Technically not a graphic novel, this work, made in conjunction with the National Parks Conservation Association, is full of serene posters that will draw you in to the majestic views of America's National Parks. A re-launch of the "See America" campaign from FDR's New Deal and WPA program, 55 artists bring 75 locations to life with stunning new posters.

    Flip through and enjoy the quiet solitude of America's most beautiful lands and monuments. More images at

    Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
    Wright Brothers National Memorial
    Glacier National Park

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    Most Americans understand the coming of the American Revolution just the way Thomas Jefferson hoped they would. Colonists-turned-Americans made the logical and legitimate choice to revolt against Britain after suffering what Jefferson described in the Declaration of Independence as “a long train of abuses and usurpations” during the 1760s and 1770s. All sanctioned by the King, these policies meant “to reduce them [the colonists] under absolute Despotism.” Each parliamentary act and each moment of conflict seemed to precipitate the next, building momentum to a critical breaking point. The Stamp Act of 1765 is often seen as the earliest, major point on this road from resistance to revolution.

    The Stamp Act is undoubtedly part of the Revolution’s history, but its repeal in 1766 reminds us also how long and meandering the path toward independence was. The King and Parliament agreed to repeal the Stamp Act on March 18, 1766, and news of their decision reached North America around two months later, and 250 years ago today, on May 19, 1766. Writing that day to a friend, the Philadelphian James Gordon described how the Act’s repeal “fill’d us all with great joy, the Bells are ringing ever since the vessel arrived in the Morning” with the news. The following “Evening the City is to be illuminated and next Day a great Dinner at the State House, where will be all the gentlemen in the Place.”

    Letter from James Gordon in Philadelphia, describing the celebrations accompanying news of the Stamp Act's repeal, May 19, 1766

    The news of rapprochement was so well-received because colonists were eager to continue their pleasant and fruitful relationship with the Britain. As Gordon noted, “we are in hopes we shall carry on a greater Trade than ever, e’en in the best of times … which would be greatly to the advantage of us on the Continent and indeed to all the British subjects.” Far from leading inevitably to Revolution, the history of the Stamp Act actually reflects just how attached to the Empire many colonists were.

    That is not say the Stamp Act did not shape future resistance to imperial policies. It did. The Act required colonists to use special taxed paper when producing printed materials—including legal documents, newspapers, magazines, and diplomas. It was called the Stamp Act, because a small embossed stamp on paper signified that it was of the proper, taxed variety. Colonists did not take this tax lying down. Especially in urban areas where demand was greatest for the items that the Stamp Act taxed, colonists resisted the implementation of the Act. They intimidated the appointed tax collectors, leading some to reason, and making it difficult to implement the policy in many places. Colonists would resurrect these methods of resistance to oppose future policies.

    Top: an embossed stamp for ten shillings.

    Alongside protests in the streets, some colonists wrote pamphlets laying out constitutional arguments denying Parliament’s right to pass direct taxed on the colonies. Most strikingly, representatives from a number of colonies met in New York for a Stamp Act Congress, where they coordinate opposition to the tax, and wrote a pamphlet explaining their objections. The fourth resolution declared that, as they “are not represented, and from their local and other circumstances cannot be properly represented in the British Parliament,” their local legislatures retained sovereignty “in all cases of taxation and internal polity.” In short, only institutions that represented them could tax; of course the inverse of that was that they could not be taxed without representation. The arguments that colonists made in this moment shaped the terms of debate of the dynamic constitutional argument that ran through the American Revolution.

    Yet despite Gordon’s optimism, tensions remained. Accompanying the law repealing the Stamp Act was another piece of legislation passed by Parliament, known as the Declaratory Act. It made clear that whatever the Stamp Act repeal might seem to signify, Parliament was not backing down in claiming the power to levy taxes on the colonies. The Declaratory Act proclaimed that “Parliament assembled” retained the “full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever.” The colonists’ constitutional arguments had not won the day as far as English officials were concerned. That Gordon did not mention the Declaratory Act is telling. Gordon stands in for the many colonists who yearned to maintain their place as subjects of the British Empire.

    There is a reason it took eleven years for colonists to decide to write and support the Declaration of Independence. Colonists had not immediately become Americans in 1765, and the Revolution was far from the inevitable outcome of the Stamp Act. Rather, the excitement surrounding the Stamp Act’s repeal anticipated just how long and fraught of a process it would be to move from tension to revolution.

    The sources pictured in this post both come from the Thomas Addis Emmet collection.

    About the Early American Manuscripts Project

    With support from the The Polonsky Foundation, The New York Public Library is currently digitizing upwards of 50,000 pages of historic early American manuscript material. The Early American Manuscripts Project will allow students, researchers, and the general public to revisit major political events of the era from new perspectives and to explore currents of everyday social, cultural, and economic life in the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods. The project will present on-line for the first time high quality facsimiles of key documents from America’s Founding, including the papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Drawing on the full breadth of the Library’s manuscript collections, it will also make widely available less well-known manuscript sources, including business papers of Atlantic merchants, diaries of people ranging from elite New York women to Christian Indian preachers, and organizational records of voluntary associations and philanthropic organizations. Over the next two years, this trove of manuscript sources, previously available only at the Library, will be made freely available through

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    Portrait of Malcolm X, 1950s, Photographer unknown. Courtesy of the Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

    “do not speak to me of martyrdom,
    of men who die to be remembered
    on some parish day.
    i don’t believe in dying
    Though, I too shall die.”

    These are the words of prolific poet, writer, activist, and scholar Sonia Sanchez from her poem “Malcolm.” As an ode to the man who will forever be embedded in the memory of black history and culture, Sanchez doesn’t remember Malcolm X, or el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, as a martyr, because his legacy is still very much alive. She recounts Malcolm’s gentleness from when she met him for the first time in an interview from the Eyes on the Prize program series.

    With Malcolm’s position as the leading spokesperson for the Nation of Islam, it can be discerned that much of his time, outside of the public eye, was spent with various men who were either civil rights activists, scholars, or public officials. As a result of being from a political, social, and cultural era that was male-dominated, the influence Malcolm had on women (and vice versa), and the ways he attempted to uplift women can be overlooked. In his 1964 interview in Paris, Malcolm explicitly revealed his political position on women, explaining that women should be given the tools necessary to become empowered.

    Malcolm was not only adamant about uplifting women publicly, but on an intimate level as well. In his letter to friend Maya Angelou, he writes, “You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful woman. You know I will always do my utmost to be helpful to you in any way possible so don’t hesitate.” His sincerity and genuineness also left an impression on those women who worked with him. Vicki Garvin, who introduced Malcolm to ambassadors of China, Cuba, and Algeria, and served as his translator during his time in Ghana, wrote many essays about her experience with Malcolm and his impactful legacy. In her “Beacon For Young People” essay, Garvin wrote that “[Malcolm] liberated himself with self-love and self-respect and worked to instill these values with others.”

    It was with these same values that inspired Malcolm to fight for human rights and social justice transnationally--not just at home in the states. Most people are not aware of Malcolm’s relationship with with Japanese-American human rights activist, Yuri Kochiyama, and his concern for the third world. In the documentary, Mountains That Take Wing, Kochiyama recounts meeting Malcolm for the first time, attending a reception in her apartment in Harlem, for Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors, describing him as “gracious and warm.”

    As much of a public and international figure Malcolm was, his life and the very essence of he was became much more amplified after his death more than fifty years ago. There are thousands of books, documentaries, periodicals, essays, and scholarly journals that attempt to interpret Malcolm. But remembering Malcolm through the women who knew him best reflects his ability to recognize the inherent power that women possess and their ability to not stand behind their men in the fight for freedom, but side-by-side as allies. We must therefore remember Malcolm X’s, el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, message of solidarity, which is the true essence of brotherhood that he wholeheartedly embodied.

    Our annual celebration of the birthday of Malcolm X will be held on May 19 in collaboration with the Malcolm X Museum. The all-women panel, Women Speak About Malcolm X, is sold out, but you may still join the discussion via LiveStream.

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    Join us from 10-11 AM EDT for live reading recommendations on Twitter @NYPLRecommends!

    No Capes! Undercover Superheroes

    Caped crusaders are having a moment right now—but what about the heroes who don’t wear costumes and leap tall buildings in a single bound? The protagonists in these picture books save the day in less-expected but still-important ways.

    Women Made Women Superheroes

    Much like the television and film industries that draw from it, the comic book industry skews decidedly male: the artists, writers, and characters. In honor of the small minority of women making their way in a male-dominated profession, and turning out some exceptional work, here is a list of female superhero comics created by women, which runs from the traditional superheroes in the DC and Marvel vein to more unconventional superhero comics.

    For Fans of HBO's Silicon Valley

    For fans of HBO’s Silicon Valley, here are a few books that will satisfy the urge for social commentary and satire aimed at start-ups, social media, and tech culture in general.

    New York Times Read Alikes: May 22, 2016

    Several titles from the thriller, suspense, and mystery categories are in the top five this week. Plus, a romance and a novel featuring a female friendship. If you liked any of these and are longing for more of the same, here are some titles to "check out" (pun intended).

    Lynn is still reading Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet and it's a very short novel... What's up, Lynn? You even got new reading glasses. 

    Gwen is reading Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee, historical YA fiction about the San Francisco earthquake. 

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    On the third floor of the Library for the Performing Arts, one of the exhibit cases has recently been devoted to unique film related materials found in the Billy Rose Theatre Collection. Currently the character photos of Lupino Lane in Only Me (1929) are on display, and the previous exhibition highlighted Brooklyn's Vitagraph Studio.

    Lupino Lane as his usual screen persona
    Lupino Lane as his usual screen persona. This and the various character photos from ONLY ME are in the catalog record MWEZ+n.c.8286

    Lupino Lane was an international stage star, and, along with Douglas Fairbanks and Buster Keaton, one of the great acrobats and comic action heroes of the movies. Born in London in 1892, he was part of the Lupino family—a famous theatrical clan that started its reign in the 1600s. Stanley and Barry Lupino, very popular in England, were cousins and Stanley’s daughter Ida Lupino became a big movie star in America. Lane began his career as a child in pantomime, under the tutelage of his father Harry, and became known as “Little Nipper,” or just Nip for short. He had a thorough training in tumbling, juggling, mime and even shooting through “star traps” (trap doors in the stage floor that were connected to catapults that would allow a performer to suddenly pop into a scene).

    Besides headlining in the music halls, Lane began appearing in British films as early as 1913 for companies such as John Bull and Globe, and hit international fame with the musical show Afgar. Coming to America with the show in the early 1920s he stayed for a while appearing in other Broadway shows such as The Ziegfeld Follies of 1924 and The Mikado. He even found time to venture to Hollywood to make a few comedies for the Fox Studio. In shorts like The Reporter and The Pirate (both 1922) and the feature A Friendly Husband (1923), he established his screen character of the befuddled innocent who stumbles his way to success.  

    Lane as a female trapeze star
    Lane as a female trapeze star

    After a brief return to England he turned up as comic relief in D.W. Griffith’s 1924 drama Isn’t Life Wonderful, and began a series of comedies distributed by Educational Pictures. These were produced by Jack White, today a forgotten mogul of silent comedy, although his brother Jules is remembered as the producer of The Three Stooges films. Lane’s first short for Jack White was Maid in Morocco (1925) and the films in this series are marvels of comic action with Lane as the diminutive dervish that sets all the other elements spinning. The usual plot presents Nip as a milquetoast who has to prove himself to impress a girl, which leaves plenty of room for physical action and stunts. Early in the series the films were piloted by such top-notch comedy directors as Charles Lamont, Norman Taurog, and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle (under the alias of William Goodrich), but in 1928 Lane took over the direction under the name Henry W. George (after his birth name of Henry George Lupino). 

    In 1929 he made Only Me, a two-reel homage to the music hall of his youth where he plays twenty-four roles—the main character that goes to a show, as well as all the acts, the people that staff the theater, and the entire audience. Done with clever editing and some discreet doubling by his brother Wallace Lupino, the Billy Rose Theatre Collection has eighteen photographs of the various characters, in addition to the original press sheet for the film. These are now on display on the third floor of the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Surviving photographs from silent comedy shorts are fairly rare, so the fact that there are eighteen from this particular film is a testament to, and a representation of, the breadth of the collection.

    Here's Lane as one third of an onstage Barber Shop trio
    Lane as one third of an onstage Barber Shop trio

    Lane continued his Jack White series through 1929. Making a very successful transition to sound films he appeared in Ernst Lubitsch’s The Love Parade (1929) and other big Hollywood features. Homesick, he and his family returned to England in 1930 where he continued making films, and had his greatest stage success in the late 1930s with the original production of Me and My Girl. Like Hello Dolly to Carol Channing, Me and My Girl became Lane’s show and he toured in it all through the second World War and after, until his death in 1959. Although most of Lupino Lane’s work is sadly forgotten today, many of his Hollywood comedies still exist and circulate, preserving his talents as a clown and comedy creator for future generations.

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    U.S. Census Bureau - Ongoing Recruitment for Field Representative (100 P/T Temp openings).  Please contact the Recruitment Department (212) 584-3495 or E-mail: regarding testing for position.  Location, dates, and times will be given upon applying.

    Whole Foods Market will present a recruitment on Monday, May 23, 2016, 10:30 am for Whole Foods Team Member (50 P/T openings) at Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 9 Bond Street, 5th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    Miller & Milone, P.C. will present a recruitment on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 9:30 - 11:30 am for Bill Collector (2 openings) at Flushing  Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.

    CROSSMARK will present a recruitment on Tuesday, May  24, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm for Retail Merchandising Rep., Bronx (20 P/T openings) at the Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 E. Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458.

    LAZ Parking will present a recruitment on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm for Valet Attendant (25 openings) at Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    CROSSMARK will present a recruitment on Thursday, May 26, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm for Retail Merchandising Rep., Bklyn ( 20 P/T openings) Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.  

    SAGE Works: Market Yourself With Confidence workshop on Thursday, May 26, 2016, 6 - 7:30 pm  at the Sage Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10001.  SAGE Works assists people 40 years old and older in learning relevant, cutting edge job search skills in an LGBT - friendly environment.

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.  


    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 May 22  become available.

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    Transitioning towards retirement can be a surprisingly difficult process. It can be inspiring and exhilarating to imagine all of the possibilities that life offers to you, but it can be strange and disconcerting to take on a new life and new activities. The author breaks it down into the following steps:

    1. Pre-retirement - This is the stage where people disengage from work, and they are looking ahead into the future.

    2. Honeymoon - People relish the freedom that their new life provides them with.

    3. Disenchantment - Sometimes, retirees get depressed that they have lost their professional identities and contact with former colleagues.

    4. Reorientation - This is the stage in which people choose activities to engage in. It could be things that the person did not have time for during their working lives, lost childhood interests, and perhaps things that they have always wanted to do but never had the chance to.

    5. Stability - This is where retirees find enjoyment and fulfillment. They find activities that they love to engage in.

    It is important to discuss retirement plans with your life partner (if you have one) to ensure that you both on the same wavelength.

    In terms of finances, you can claim Social Security on your own account or on your spouse's account. You should check to see which option is more lucrative for you. If you wait until age 70, your monthly checks will be higher. 

    Retirement savings plans include traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and employer-sponsored 401Ks for corporations and 403bs for nonprofit organizations. When you retire, you can withdraw 4% per year to last a lifetime. You can never be sure just how long your lifespan will be, but this is a basic plan. 

    If you have life insurance and you no longer need it (you have no dependents), you can cash it in or leave it for your heirs (assuming that it is not term insurance, which expires after a certain date).

    You have to take charge of your life and make your own decisions about end-of-life care so that your children or loved ones do not have to. 

     How To Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide by Jane Bryant Quinn, 2016

    There is not a section in this book about wills; it might have been helpful to have one.

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    Leanne Shapton comes to Books at Noon this week to discuss discuss her latest work, Swimming Studies.

    Join her on Wednesday, May 25 at 12 PM!


    When and where do you like to read?

    In bed, whenever possible.
    What were your favorite books as a child?

    Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans; Wump World  by Bill Peet; Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder; Superfudge by Judy Blume; Anastasia Again by Lois Lowry; Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. 
    Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

    I write on my iphone, in Notes.
    What are five words that describe your writing process?

    Fractured, painful, staggered, difficult, and lucky.
    How have libraries impacted your life?

    Enormously. Instead of babysitters my mother would leave us alone at the library as children. As a result I feel safe and happy in them.

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    This spring's newly published crop of picture books includes some laugh-out-loud funny installments. (After all, if your toddler is going to be obsessed with reading the same book 45 million times, it might as well be a book that makes you chuckle too, right?)


    Barnacle Is Bored by Jonathan Fenske
    The barnacle is grouchy, and rightfully so: He can’t move, and he envies all the free-wheeling fish around him. But the sudden appearance of a moray eel changes his perspective.




    Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill
    Homer the dog heads off to Wolf Camp to learn to embrace his inner howling, loner wolf. Perfect for kids who may be a bit nervous about heading off to camp themselves this summer.




    Alan's Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis
    A lesson in humility and honesty, served up in the form of an alligator who’s afraid to look silly—but he learns there are far worse things in the swamp.




    Stories from Bug Garden​ by Lisa Moser
    A beautiful array of insects inhabits the pages of this set of poems and funny vignettes, which read almost like interconnected short stories.




    Frankencrayon by Michael Hall
    A messy red scribble threatens to ruin the crayons’ big plans to put on a play, but Frankencrayon (literally; he’s three crayons smashed together to make one) inadvertently saves the day.






    Swap! by Steve Light
    Ahoy… pirate book ahead! Told in few words and delightfully detailed illustrations, this story leads readers through a series of barters that allow the protagonists to build a new ship.



    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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    May 21 is National Readathon Day (#Readathon2016). If you love reading, and are interested in business, entrepreneurship and leadership books, here are a few suggestions from us at the Science, Industry and Business Library. Happy reading!

    Let me know in the comments section which other business books you like—we may be able to include them in our next book discussion!

    1. Inspired and Unstoppable
      On losing the fear to start (applicable not just to business):  
      Excuses Be Gone! by Wayne Dyer
      Inspired and Unstoppable! by Tama Kieves (Tama Kieves will join us at the Business Library on June 4—don't miss the opportunity to hear her talk about this book!)
    2. On debunking the entrepreneurial myth of instant success and glamour,  and getting your small business off the ground the right way:
      The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber
    3. On how to connect and deal with people:
      The Art of People by Dave Kerpen
    4. On how to get things done, superfast, avoiding "analysis paralysis" and bottlenecks:
      Scrum byJeff Sutherland
      Getting Things Done by David Allen
    5. On understanding your clients/customers and the reasons why they buy:
      Buyology by Martin Lindstrom
    6. Made to Stick
      On how to create a message that is memorable and that delivers the results you want:
      Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
    7. On how to deliver your pitch/message, and how to become a more powerful speaker to get your message across effectively and memorably:
      Pitch Perfect by Bill McGowan
      Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo
    8. On creating good habits:
      The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
    9. On Selling:
      To Sell is Human by Dan Pink
    10. On developing your product:
      The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
    11. On focusing and getting rid of distractions and unnecessary "clutter" in our lives:
      Essentialism by Greg McKeown
    12. Great stories of entrepreneurs with lots of tips and insights:
      Use What You've Got by Barbara Corcoran
      The Power of Broke by Daymond John
      #Girlboss by Sophia Amorusso
      Find Your Extraordinary by Jessica DiLullo Herrin

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    Here are some read alikes for the top five bestselling fiction titles this week. 

    Me Before You

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

    Other People's Children by Joanna Trollope

    One Dayby David Nicholls

    The House We Grew Up Inby Lisa Jewell




    15th Affair

    #2 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed 15th Affair by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, more women detectives working suspenseful mysteries:

    Garnethillby Denise Mina

    The Crossing Placesby Elly Griffiths

    The Various Haunts of Menby Susan Hill




    The Last Mile

    #3 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Last Mile by David Baldacci, more intricately plotted suspense:

    Broken Monstersby Lauren Beukes

    Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

    Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta




    Extreme Prey

    #4 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Extreme Prey by John Sandford, more dark political thrillers:

    I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter

    Zero Day by David Baldacci

    The 14th Colony by Steve Berry




    The Girl on the Train

    #5 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, more stories told from multiple perspectives:

    And Then There Was Oneby Patricia Gussin

    Murder on the Orient Expressby Agatha Christie

    Fates and Furiesby Lauren Groff




    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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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    On July 22, 2011, seventy-seven people, many of them teenagers, were killed by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway. Åsne Seierstad chronicles this story in One of Us, a finalist for NYPL’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, which is awarded annually to journalists whose books have brought clarity and public attention to important issues, events, or policies. For this week's New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Åsne Seierstad discussing how she found her subject, the meaning of her title, and what Breivik thought he had in common with authors.

    Åsne Seierstad

    Seierstad recalls how the way she thought about the Norway massacre changed over time, from when she first heard about it on July 22 to the trial of Breivik:

    "It took a long time actually for me to take on the project. I think when it happened, I was like most Norwegians that summer: in a holiday mood in July when Norway closes down. So when this happened, I was driving out of Oslo with some friends, and a friend got a message saying, 'Stay out of City Center.' Of course that was like an alarm. We turned on the radio to see what was happening. We turned on the radio and we were told the whole facade was missing of the government building. We thought instantly this was Al-Qaeda, that now it was payback time for our participation in Afghanistan, the recent Libya campaign. But I was with my kids too, so I was not in this journalist mood to say, 'Stop the mood. I'm getting out.' So I think when this story developed, I was very much hit as a civilian as opposed to a journalist. First, I was in shock, then grief-struck like most Norwegians were for a long time. And then I wrote one article for Newsweek, and then I went back to Libya, which was the Arab Spring. This was the place I would feel safe, to be in the Arab world and report on their tragedies there. Only when the trial was about to start next March, April, I was asked to write an article and then a book, and I was thinking, 'I'll make a little book about the trial.' And then once I got into the courtroom and Breivik got in and victims were sitting…I just couldn't get out of the story. What was going to be this little book, I realized I had to dig into our own story."

    When asked about the title, Seierstad explained that it refers not only to Breivik but to all of those connected with the case:

    "Many people think it's only about him, and that's because I really wanted a title that would include all of them, and, and when I first came up with One of Us which was when one of my editors said something about him being one of us, I just cut out those three words because we were struggling so hard to find a title. Then we were like, 'Oh no, that won't work because that's only about him whether he's one of us or not.' Then we were thinking like Bano that I mentioned, the Kurdish girl, her highest dream was to become one of us. You have the other strand of the other victims that I chose, three friends… they go together and only one came back."

    Breivik wrote a manifesto and biography prior to the killings. He considered the massacre to be a way for him to attain a readership, as Seierstad observed:

    "In February, that's when he starts buying the weapons, ammunition, the uniforms, and then later in the summer, the fertilizers and the ingredients for the bombs and plans this terror act. In the court, he said that this massacre, he called it his 'book launch,' because he wanted so desperately to be read, to be someone. So he had been calculating how many people do I need to kill to get read? He'd come to ten, twelve, somewhere in there, that's enough, then I'll be worldwide famous. Then he ended up killed seventy-seven. But he insisted still on this being his book launch, this is what I did to be read."

    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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    Alice Austen House
    The Alice Austen House; Clear Comfort. Image ID: 105186

    On our first journey through Staten Island history, we followed the route of the Staten Island Railway while indulging in absolutely stunning photos from The New York Public Library Digital Collection. Now, in honor of National Photography Month, I’d like take you on a trip down the coast of Staten Island to a little place called the Alice Austen House.

    Nestled on a small hill on the corner of what is now Hylan Boulevard and Edgewater Street on Staten Island, and overlooking the Narrows separating the island from Brooklyn, the Alice Austen house was home to famed female photographer Alice Austen (1866-1952). The house, also known as Clear Comfort, was originally built in 1690 and was purchased by Austen’s grandfather in 1844. The stock market crash in 1929 left Austen with very little money, and she was forced to move out in 1945, after which the house fell into a state of disrepair. Threatened with demolition in the 1970’s, the house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993

    Austen’s Photography

    Alice Austen
    Alice Austen; Image ID: 105185

    Alice Austen was a pioneering photographer who viewed her surroundings through the lens of a dry-plate camera that used glass plates and chemicals to capture images. The subjects of her photographs were often those closest to her—her family and friends, including her companion Gertrude Tate, with whom she lived for nearly fifty years.  As her photography skills developed, she took her equipment—in some cases fifty pounds worth—onto the ferry and over to Manhattan where she shot amazing photos of everyday life in the city.

    Despite Austen’s obvious and impressive skill with a camera, she only sold her photos on one occasion (photos of the quarantine islands off of Staten Island’s north shore).  Austen came from a family of means so perhaps the thought of profiting from her photographs never occurred to her. Alas, one can only speculate.



    The New York Public Library is privileged to have many of Austen’s photographs in our digital collection. These photographs, over 70 in total, serve as incredible windows into the past. Not only do they include terrific shots of her home, friends, and family, but they also include images of daily life in New York. Take a look at just some of Austen’s photographs below:

    Immigrants; Image ID: 79789
    Newsboys; Image ID: 79788


    Postman; Image ID: 79784
    Pretzel Vendor
    Pretzel Vendor; Image ID: 79779










    The St. George Library Center’s Staten Island History Collection also houses a number of sources related to Alice Austen:

    The Alice Austen House Today

    Alice Austen House
    The Alice Austen House

    Today, the Alice Austen House is a National Historic Landmark and serves as a museum and exhibition space.  Visitors can enjoy the beautiful grounds, including the stunning view, before they enter the house itself.  The house and collections inside have been maintained by The Friends of Alice Austen since the 1960’s and they continue to oversee its restoration today. It is important to note that the restoration of the house to its original splendor, both the interior and exterior, was made possible through the use of Austen’s own photographs.

    Once inside, visitors are greeted by a decor reminiscent of a time gone by. Though not all original, curators have gone to painstaking lengths to acquire pieces in line with the period. Visitors can also view Austen's darkroom, located on the second floor. Austen's photographs are located throughout the house.  In addition to displaying Austen's photographs, the house serves as an exhibition space. Information on exhibitions, including the current juried exhibit of contemporary photography by local artists, can be found on the Alice Austen House website

    The website also includes access to many of Austen’s photographs, including some taken from her trips into Manhattan and the quarantine islands (Swinburne and Hoffman). Visitors are welcome to use “The Study”, a resource room that houses a collection of books, scholarly articles, a selection of Austen's photographs as well as an amazing set of contemporary art and photography magazines. These magazines, some of which are not easily accessible, include:

    • Aperture 
    • ArtForum
    • Art News
    • Art in America
    • PDN
    • Photograph
    • Cabinet
    • Esopus

    The Alice Austen House also offers a wide array of educational programs geared towards people of all ages. These include school programs, Teen Studio, Summer Camps, and the Pinhole Camera Education Program. More information can be found on the Education page of the Alice Austen House website.  In addition to their education programs, the house also offers a number of exciting events, such as the Fleet Week Watch Party, Annual Pug Fun Day, and the Alice Austen 150th Birthday Gala.  A full list of events can found on the their Events page.

    The Views

    I would be remiss if I did not show you the absolutley stunning view from the grounds:

    View of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from the Alice Austen House

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    Vincent Dignan
    Vincent Dignan

    Not so long ago (2012), in a land not so far away (London, UK), there was a chap named Vincent Dignan who was living on welfare and working menial jobs. He was three months behind in his rent, and had only $20 in his pocket…

    Then one day he decided to start a company——and set up Planet Ivy, an online magazine for young people with his same interests. He called every single university in his country and offered a content platform through which they would get more traffic than their blog. Soon thereafter he was getting 300,000 visitors per month to his site.

    He was invited to talk at the Google campus in London and received $250,000 from investors, which enabled him to call the welfare office and tell them that he would no longer need assistance.  Shortly, his website hit the one-million-visitors mark.  He later decided to start, a site with written content for film and gaming. Within 100 days of launching, he began to hit one million visitors per month and, to date, Planet Ivy and Screen Robot have had more than 20 million page views.

    Vincent applied to Techstars London, against 1500+ other companies, and was selected to be part of this prestigious 3-month-accelerator and  “global ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs build great businesses.” Through this program, he realized he could be more profitable following an agency model. Today, he has 500+ content writers and does growth hacking for numerous clients, racking up millions and millions of page views (over 150 million and counting).

    Vincent continued to speak at events, developing a strategy to contact every Meetup in his geographic area and in his area of expertise. He became inundated with requests for consulting and coaching, eventually presenting at SXSW V2V in Las Vegas, where his presentation was voted as the “best talk”. 

    He became so famous in his space, that Prince Andrew, Duke of York, asked for his help with social media for the Pitch@Palace event held at St. James Palace. Since then, Vincent has done several tours in the US to spread his knowledge about social media growth hacking,  and he just launched a Kickstarter campaign for the “Secret Sauce: The Ultimate Growth Hacking & Marketing Guide,” a step-by-step tutorial guide teaching methods for getting users, traffic, and revenue to a website, startup, or brand, FAST. He has also demonstrated the Midas touch in this effort: in less than two weeks his funding goal has tripled!

    Vincent is a ball of fire, an inspiration, and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. The best part? He is touring the U.S. right now, and he will be sharing his knowledge and expertise on how to "get rich and internet famous" at the Science, Industry and Business Library on Thursday, June 9 as part of our Social Media Afternoon @ the Library.

    Reserve your spot here! You will learn specific strategies to grow your email and your social media base. And he will share some online resources that you can tap into immediately to get the best results from your digital campaign. Don’t miss this event!

    Get in touch with Vincent via Twitter.

    Read more about Vincent:

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  • 05/24/16--12:50: Judging a Book by Its Title
  • Conventional wisdom aside, let’s be real: A lot of us decide whether we’re interested in reading a particular book by judging its cover—and its title, too.


    So we asked our resident book experts:

    What’s a book you can’t resist, based on its title alone?

    Here’s our list of 60+ books, with thanks as always to our Recommendations Community here at NYPL for their awesome suggestions. (Want to tell us your favorite title? Leave a comment on this post!)

    Apocalypse Meow Meow 

     The Art of Eating

    Away Laughing on a Fast Camel  

    The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu 

    Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance

    The Castle of Crossed Destinies

    Dancing With Cats

    The Devil’s Picnic: Around the World in Pursuit of Forbidden Fruit

    The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

    The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things 

    The End of Your Life Book Club

    Emperor Mollusk vs. the Sinister Brain

    Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest For Cool

    Food: A Love Story

    The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, &c. Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu’d Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv’d Honest, and died a Penitent : Written from her own Memorandums

    Geek Love

    The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

    The Glass Sentence

    Go the F*ck to Sleep

    GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human

    Gold Fame Citrus

    A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich 

    The Hoboken Chicken Emergency

    Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend

    How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It

    How to Live Safely In a Science Fictional Universe

    How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

    How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You

    Hurts Like a Mother: A Cautionary Alphabet 

    I Could Pee on This: and Other Poems by Cats

    I Woke Up Dead at the Mall

    It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

    It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History

    The Kalahari Typing School for Men

    Kasher in the Rye

    Kill the Boy Band

    My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

    The Night Circus

    Polaroids from the Dead

    The Rogue Not Taken

    Sex Criminals, Vol. 1

    Slaughterhouse 5, or, the Children’s Crusade: A Duty-dance with Death

    The Smell of Other People’s Houses

    Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons From the Crematory

    So Long and Thanks for All the Fish 

    The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

    Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

    Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers 

    Stranger than Naked, or How to Write Dirty Books for Fun and Profit

    Strong Female Protagonist

    This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It

    Three Martini Lunch

    To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

    Trace Elements in the Human Hair 

    Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer 

    Undermajordomo Minor

    Unholy Night 

    Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories & Other Disasters,

    We Are Pirates

    We Are the Birds of the Coming Storm.

    We Can Never Go Home 

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Love 

    When the Sacred Ginmill Closes

    Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal

    Yours Til Niagara Falls, Abby

    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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    As part of her job as a school bursar, Mary Ellen Elias was responsible for maintaining her school’s website, but felt that she needed to learn more to do the job well. With the help of the Library’s free TechConnect classes, Mary Ellen learned the skills necessary to take her school’s website to the next level. Now, having saved her school thousands of dollars — and proving that she will go above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done — Mary Ellen has reached new heights in her career and in her life.

    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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    Welcome to The Librarian Is In, the New York Public Library's podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.

    Subscribe on iTunes!

    Margaret H. Willison, a.k.a. The Coolest Funniest Pop-Culture-iest Librarian Ever, joins Gwen and Frank this week for the ultimate high/low-culture episode.

    Rory Gilmore in her natural habitat: surrounded by books

    What We're Reading Now

    Librarian on Jeopardy!

    Zeroville by Steve Erickson

    Chauncey Gardner from Being There

    All about Eve

    The Moment of Psycho by David Thomson

    Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho

    Before the Fallby Noah Hawley

    The Fargo TV show

    Doctor Fate, Vol. 1 by Paul Levitz

    helmet of fate
    The Helmet of Fate!

    Guest Star

    Margaret H. Willison:

    Clem Snide

    Gilmore Girls

    So many Rory/book gifs... what a wonderful world.

    Bringing Up Baby

    Homicide: Life on the Street: the TV show, the book by David Simon, and Andre Braugher

    Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo

    Animal Farm by George Orwell

    A gazillion mysteries by Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers

    Nancy Pearl's TED Talk, which explains her  "doorways" idea

    Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

    Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

    Into the Woods (movie) --> Tender Morsels (YA  novel) --> Hadestown (album)

    The West Wing

    Keats' idea of negative capability

    The Secret History by Donna Tartt

    To Say Nothing of the Dog and The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

    Anything but Books

    Margaret: Hadestown by Anais Mitchell, album and off-Broadway play at the New York Theatre Workshop
    Frank: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
    Gwen: @BroodingYAHero on Twitter


    Thanks for listening! Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now?

    Find us online @NYPLRecommends, the Bibliofile blog, and Or email us at!

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    Our Communications pre-professional, Alicia Perez, takes a deeper dive into our collections and finds a gem that perfectly aligns with her current journey at this time in her professional and personal life:

    Just a few days before my college graduation, I discovered Jewelle Gomez’s Forty-Three Septembers(1993) in our Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division. I remain stunned by how significantly the book has inspired me as I move to the next phase of life. This has been a difficult time for me, as it is for many other graduating students, but reading Gomez’s collection of essays has made this journey so much easier.

    Forty-Three Septembers helped me gain more confidence in the experiences I’ve had and all I’ve accomplished. As a young Afro-Latina student, there have been many times that I felt as if I was the only person struggling with feeling like an outsider as a woman of color. Then, I came across this affirming passage from Gomez’s book:

    I am left to wrestle with who I’m for and speaking to. I keep faith with the idea that my life can have meaning for others just as the lives of those who went before me have meaning in my life. I must insist that the combination of factors that make me who I am are as natural as the two Hs and the O constituting water.

    It is the deeply personal way Gomez, 68, details conversations she had in the 1960s about black female sexuality that drew me to this book. For example, another essay titled “In The Telling,” she writes about Aunt Irene and Moms Mabley—strong black women who dared to carry their blackness with pride and speak loudly about their experiences.

    ​Gomez's work is always biting, frank, and eye-opening, but Forty-Three Septembers particularly moved me. “I Lost It At The Movies,” the first essay in the collection, explores the challenges of transitioning to adulthood, self-acceptance, and navigating the world as a black woman. She writes from her experiences as a young black lesbian at a time when black male homosexuality was becoming more acceptable. 

    After reading Gomez’s seminal work, and as I prepare to enter the adult world without the nurturing protection of a collegiate atmosphere, I’ve realized that I need to be equally as confident in my own life. In writing about her journey as a young black lesbian woman, Gomez tackles issues of classism, racism, homophobia, and sexism—all while creating a riveting narrative that engages readers and transcends race, sexual orientation, and age. We all can learn something from her earnest words and courage to live out loud. 

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    Now Screening highlights NYPL's recent electronic resource acquisitions. This month: Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000, available at any NYPL location, or remotely using your library card.

    Telegraph Historical Archive Image

    Good news, Anglophiles! The Library has a new electronic resource for you: the historical run of London newspaper The Daily Telegraph (also known throughout points in its history as the Daily Telegraph and Courier and the Daily Telegraph and Morning Post), from its first issue in June 1855 to 2000. (Later issues are available in our Infotrac Newsstand and PressReader databases.) The Telegraph was Britain's first "penny newspaper." Its lower price opened up a new population of readers and helped it become the largest-selling newspaper in the world by 1876. We can gain new perspectives on British society by researching the Telegraph and its fellow voices of the popular press, as well as by comparing its content and editorial style with more "highbrow" publications like the London Times

    The growth of the penny press was facilitated by two favorable events: the repeal of the Newspaper Stamp Act in 1855, which removed taxes on all printed papers, and the elimination of the paper duty six years later. This made it possible for the Telegraph to debut at a price of two pennies, lowered to one penny less than three months later.

    The Telegraph covered stories both international and domestic; special wartime correspondents included Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  The paper also supported British exploration, financing and reporting on Henry Morton Stanley's African expedition, George Smith's Nineveh expedition, and the 1933 Mount Everest expedition.  Beginning in April of 1899, it began publishing a Sunday edition, which included a page devoted to women's issues.  After discontinuing the Sunday paper in late May (it was reinstated in 1961), the Telegraph moved the women's page to Saturdays. 

    The Daily Telegraph's first "women's page," from the April 9, 1899 issue
    The Daily Telegraph's first "women's page," from the April 9, 1899 issue

    Often when people think of the nineteenth century popular press, they think of sensationalist stories and eye- (and coin-) catching headlines. More space was devoted to crime coverage, and these articles were often accompanied by lurid illustrations and explicit details. Rosalind Crone notes that it was more the stylistic approach, rather than the subject matter itself, that distinguished these typically-weekly popular papers from their "establishment press" peers.  (As a daily, you could say the Telegraph occupies a middle ground between these two approaches.) Let's look at a crime story with which we're all probably familiar—the Jack the Ripper case—to see the variety of online resources available for this period and some suggestions for productive research.

    First, the Telegraph, of course. If you're searching for articles on Jack the Ripper, what terms do you use? The perpetrator was never identified, he went by multiple aliases, and there was coverage before the crimes were linked to one person. Articles are searchable by a variety of factors—full text, title, author, date, day of the week (helpful, by the way, if you're interested in browsing those women's pages), newspaper section, and article type—but not by subject.  So, articles about Jack the Ripper aren't uniformly tagged as such.  However, we can target this topic with keywords like:

    Whitechapel AND murder*

    These search terms will return articles with both the word Whitechapel andany permutation of the word murder (murder, murderer, murdered, etc.). The asterisk is a "wildcard" standing in for any number of unknown letters. Since Jack the Ripper's activities were limited to the London neighborhood of Whitechapel, this is an effective way to focus our search. Checking the "Allow variations" box below the search box makes your search "fuzzier"—it accounts for variable or archaic spellings of your keywords. Finally, we can limit the date range to 1888-1891, when this killer was active.  

    Advanced search screen in the Telegraph Historical Archive database
    Advanced search screen in the Telegraph Historical Archive database

    The first page of search results includes multiple articles on the deaths of Martha Turner and Mary Ann Nicholls, two deaths often attributed to Jack the Ripper. As seen in the image below, you can select a result to see your search terms highlighted and, in the right-hand sidebar, browse the surrounding articles.  This last feature is useful for serendipitous discovery of new content and for contextualizing a story within the other news and concerns of the day.

    Result view in the Telegraph Historical Archive database
    Result view in the Telegraph Historical Archive database

    The Telegraph Historical Archive fits into a larger universe of nineteenth and twentieth century British periodical literature, and the Library's online resources reflect this wider context. If you're interested in penny presses, there is 19th Century British Newspapers. This database contains over 100 different titles, including penny papers like Lloyd's Illustrated Newspaper and Reynolds's Weekly Newspaper. It also includes Illustrated Police News, a weekly "police gazette" that circulated crime reporting to the general public.

    An illustration from Illustrated Police New's September 22, 1888 issue
    An illustration from Illustrated Police News' September 22, 1888 issue. 19th Century British Newspapers.

    Another highlight is the Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003. This publication's lavish engravings made it a bit more expensive than a penny (its first issue costing six pence), but its visual immediacy appealed to a mass audience. It covered affairs both domestic (like the Great Exhibition of 1851) and foreign (like the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb). The paper did not limit itself to light pleasantries: wartime correspondents risked their lives to sketch events like the Franco-Prussian war, where one artist hid his drawings on cigarette papers, in case they needed to be smoked and thus destroyed at short notice, while another transported finished sketches from besieged Paris back to London by balloon. Even with its wider focus, the Illustrated did not ignore the news of London's streets and safety, including crime coverage in its wider reporting ambit.

    Engraving from the Illustrated London News' September 22, 1888 issue
    Portion of an engraving from the Illustrated London News' September 22, 1888 issue, depicting police activity for the Whitechapel murders. Illustrated London News Historical Archive.

    Finally, I would be remiss for not mentioning Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO). This database brings together digitized archival collections from institutions like the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the Royal Archives, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Its  British Politics and Society section includes collections like the Hue and Cry and Police GazettePeople's History: Working Class Autobiographies (including accounts from smugglers, criminals, convicts, and other lawbreakers), and The Whitechapel Murders Papers: Letters Relating to the "Jack the Ripper" Killings. The last of these originates from the London Metropolitan Archives and includes multiple letters purportedly authored by "Saucy Jack" himself.

    Excerpt from October 1888 letter purportedly from Jack the Ripper
    Excerpt from an October 1888 letter purportedly from Jack the Ripper. Nineteenth Century Collections Online.

    So sleuth away all, using our extensive collection of historical newspapers and magazines and starting with the newest jewel in our online resource crown, the Telegraph Historical Archive.  And for more on the Telegraph, the penny press, and nineteenth to twentieth century British culture, consider visiting the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building to read these and other print sources:

    Daily Telegraph/Daily Telegraph and Morning Post 
    Select print issues ranging from 1910 to 1950

    Illustrated London News 
    An almost complete print run ranging from 1842 to 2003

    The Dawn of the Cheap Press in Victorian Britain: The End of the ‘Taxes on Knowledge,’ 1849-1869
    Martin Hewitt

    English Newspapers: Chapters in the History of Journalism, Volume II
    H.R. Fox Bourne

    Violent Victorians: Popular Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century London
    Rosalind Crone

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