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Research Library

The Bronx County Historical Society Research Library is unique in New York City. It houses an extensive collection of historical information on The Bronx, including books, reports, pamphlets, microfilms, periodicals, and more. Located in the main office of the Society at 3309 Bainbridge Avenue, across the street from the Valentine-Varian House, the library is intimate and accessible by bus and subway. It is a major resource center for high school and college students, journalists, activists, government researchers, and scholars who have a need, or curiosity, to learn more about The Bronx.

Research Appointments

To set up a research appointment, see Research Library Appointments.

Collections

Books, Pamphlets, and Manuscripts Collection

The Research Library's Books, Pamphlets, and Manuscript collection includes over 10,000 books, manuscripts and pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers, rare and fragile books, and other print material documenting Bronx, New York City, and New York State history. An additional special focus of the collection is the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe, who spent a majority of his final three years in The Bronx.

Map and Atlas Collection

The Map and Atlas collection consists of 450 loose sheet maps and 145 atlases. These materials date from the 1860s to the present and focus on The Bronx and New York City.

Media Collection

The Research Library is the repository for over 1,000 pieces of documentary materials in film, audio, video, CD, DVD, and other audio-visual formats that record Bronx life since the 1930s. The Media collection is available for both on-site Library viewing and duplication for private, non-profit, and commercial programming.

Microfilm and Microfiche Collection

On-site researchers heavily utilize this collection of almost 400 items. The collection contains New York City Directories from 1850, the political scrapbooks of former Bronx Borough President James J. Lyons, the full run of the Bronx Home News (1908–1948), and the map and atlas collection, stored also in microfilm format for preservation and accessibility.

Photograph Collection

The Research Library boasts an enormous collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographs, prints, and postcards of The Bronx. The historic images include 75,000 photographs and slides, 4,000 glass negatives, and 1,500 postcards and stereoviews.

Vertical Files Collection

The Research Library's Vertical Files contain over 275,000 ephemeral items, arranged by subject, documenting Bronx communities, demographics, history, architecture, business and industry, individuals, and more, both past and present.

Donating to the Collections

The Bronx County Historical Society is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The fair market value of your donated materials is generally tax deductible. It is the responsibility of the donor to establish a value of their donation for tax purposes. To ensure that you receive the maximum tax benefit, it is recommended that you consult with your own accountant, attorney, and/or the Internal Revenue Service. The Bronx County Historical Society does not appraise the value of any item or recommend specific appraisers. You may find a qualified appraiser by contacting the American Society of Appraisers.

Rights and Reproductions

Patrons who wish to use items from the collections of The Bronx County Historical Society Research Library in print or other media publications must obtain explicit permission and, when relevant, pay usage rights to do so. Please contact the Research Library staff at librarian@bronxhistoricalsociety.org to inquire.