Brooklyn Public Library

brooklyn library

Feel free to walk in during our open hours to visit our browsing collection, view our exhibits and familiarize yourself with our materials.

Our mission is to provide free access to information on the rich heritage of our community. Most materials are fragile and unique; items do not circulate and many cannot be photocopied or photographed with flash. Scanning equipment is not allowed.

A source of identification, such as a school ID, drivers license or library card, must be provided to access all materials except those in our browsing section. With a Brooklyn Public Library card and PIN number, photocopies of specified materials may be made in our division for a fee.

Many of our materials are available for your use when you arrive, but it is recommended to contact the Brooklyn Collection before you visit. With advance notice, staff can discuss your needs and set materials aside for your use. For access to original photographs, ephemera and manuscript collections, you must call in advance for an appointment during our open hours at 718.230.2762.

For information on class visits and other educational opportunities, please visit our Resources for Students and Teachers page.

Digital Collections

Brooklyn’s historic newspaper, photographs, manuscripts, trade cards, sheet music and neighborhood histories…some of Brooklyn Public Library’s most distinctive collections are available online.

The Brooklyn Collection houses a rich assortment of Brooklyn-related research materials and archival documents, including:

Research Materials

  • Brooklyn Daily Eagle materials: the entire run of the Eagle (1841-1955) is available online through the site Brooklyn Newsstand.  We also have a comprehensive collection of clippings — organized by name and subject — and more than 250,000 photographs from the newspaper in our “morgue.”.
  • Other Brooklyn newspapers
  • Books
  • Maps
  • Photographs (purchase, use and copyright information here)
  • Ephemera
  • Prints
  • Postcards (preview a selection from our catalog here)
  • Newspaper clippings (vertical files)
  • Manuscripts and archives
  • Digital collections (accessible online)
  • Finding Aids

Genealogy Resources

  • Library Edition (available at Brooklyn Collection computer terminal): Genealogical research for over 1.5 billion names in more than 4000 databases. Get access to census data, military and birth records, social security index and passenger lists.
  • Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper (the “morgue”)
  • Digitized city directories, 1856 – 1908
  • City directories and telephone directories on microfilm, 1796 – 1986
  • Yearbooks
  • Census information
  • Guide to genealogical resources in New York City

Resources for Students and Teachers

  • Class Visits
  • Brooklyn in the Civil War: documents and lesson plans
  • Brooklyn Connections: An exciting program for 8th graders
  • Young Learner’s Guide: A guide for students using the Brooklyn Collection
  • Teacher’s Guide: A guide to creating research projects with Brooklyn Collection materials.
  • Brooklyn Coloring Book: A downloadable coloring booklet of historic sites in Brooklyn
  • Literary Map of Brooklyn: A map showcasing Brooklyn’s unique literary history.