Secrets in the Stacks: Explore the Treasures of the New York Public Library - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Secrets in the Stacks: Explore the Treasures of the New York Public Library

1 hour
$20 per device
See Dates
$20 per device
$20 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

Tucked away in the stacks and study rooms of The New York Public Library (NYPL) you’ll find much more than books. From a lock of Edgar Allan Poe’s hair and Charles Dickens’ cat-paw letter opener, to a collection of personal papers from Dr. Maya Angelou, the Library system is full of fascinating items.

In celebration of the brand new Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures—the first permanent exhibition to showcase highlights from the Library’s collections of more than 46 million items—Atlas Obscura and NYPL have created a bi-monthly series of online experiences where we’ll uncover rare literary artifacts and ephemera from the Library’s hidden corners that most people never get to see. Streaming live from some of NYPL’s most incredible locations, we’ll take you behind the scenes to explore obscure personal artifacts of famous authors, rarely seen maps, forgotten menus, and so much more!

In this experience, you'll get a sneak peek at the brand new exhibition before it opens to the public! Housed inside the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, the exhibition features 250 of the most rare and unique items from the library's extensive research collections. Among the items on display are Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence, the stuffed animals that belonged to the real-life Christopher Robin and inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, and a page of Malcolm X’s unpublished autobiography chapter “The Negro,” as well as his briefcase. You'll be among the first to see them on the display!

Where We’ll Be


About Your Host
Declan Kiely
Declan Kiely

Declan Kiely is The New York Public Library's Director of Special Collections and Exhibitions. 

What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This Online Experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.

We provide closed captioning for all of our Online Experiences, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.

We encourage you to follow and share the hashtag #AOExperiences for more incredible online experiences and our newest addition of Online Courses with Atlas Obscura and our friends. And check out, the definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders, to keep virtually exploring the world through the website’s atlas of amazing places, unique stories, and videos.

Dates and Availability

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