The Library was officially founded in April, 1754 by Robert R.
Samuel Latham Mitchell
The philosopher and physician Samuel Latham Mitchell (Mitchill) (1764-1831) was born at Plandome, Long Island. He studied medicine under Dr. Samuel Bard and at the Medical School of Edinburgh in Europe. After acquiring knowledge of the law from Robert Yates of Albany, he became a member of the Queen's County legislature and, in 1792, was appointed professor of natural history, chemistry and agriculture at Columbia College. Mitchell was the founder and president of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York and a member of the New-York Hospital, served in the New York State Congress, and was a state senator for New York.
Samuel Latham Mitchell was a trustee of the New York Society Library from 1793 to 1795 and from 1805 to 1810.