An Evening Inside the Rare Book Room at The New York Public Library - Atlas Obscura Experiences
It’s finally here! Download our iOS app and discover the world’s hidden wonders on the go!
It’s finally here! Download our iOS app and discover the world’s hidden wonders on the go! LAUNCH PARTNER

An Evening Inside the Rare Book Room at 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 this online experience, we'll dive into the archives of the rare books and manuscripts collections at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan!

Streaming live from the Rare Books Division research room, this experience is part of a bi-monthly series from Atlas Obscura and NYPL created in celebration of the brand new Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures. The Polonsky Exhibition is the first permanent exhibition to showcase highlights from the Library’s collections of more than 46 million items. In this series, we’ll take a deep dive into those individual collections and explore rare literary artifacts and ephemera from the Library’s hidden corners that most people never get to see. Join us as we go behind the scenes to explore obscure personal artifacts of famous authors, rare maps, forgotten menus, and so much more! 

Where We’ll Be


About Your Host
Michael Inman & Meredith Mann
Michael Inman & Meredith Mann

Michael Inman is Curator of Rare Books at The New York Public Library, where he oversees the Rare Book Division and the George Arents Collection of Tobacco and Books in Parts. In this capacity, he develops collections documenting the history of printing as well as promotes and explicates the Library’s holdings through exhibition curation, instruction, programming, and media appearances.

Michael holds an MA in American Literature from the University of North Texas and an MLS from Pratt Institute. His research interests include the development of printing and the book trade in 18th- and 19th- century America, typographic design, and 19th- and 20th- century American literature and history, among other topics. He is an active member of several bibliophilic and professional organizations, including the Grolier Club and the Bibliographical Society of America. He also serves as a member of the teaching faculty of Rare Books School, based at the University of Virginia.

Meredith Mann is a Librarian for Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books at The New York Public Library, where she focuses on collections tied to journalism, publishing history, and the environment. She received her master’s in library science from Pratt Institute and master’s in teaching from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the American Library Association's Notable Books Council. When not in the Reading Room, Meredith is probably baking a pie, doing the crossword, or watching birds.

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

There are no upcoming experiences at the moment. Fill out the form below to be notified when we add new dates.

All fields required.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.