Library Blog

Mysteries, Myths, and Man's Best Friend: Our Year in Blog Posts

Thursday, December 29, 2022

As we close 2022, take a look back at some of the year's best Library blog posts - learn a little, laugh a little, and find something great to read!

Bibliographic Assistant and mystery-book expert Cullen Gallagher taught us about


Edgar Award Winners at the NYSL (April)
We love a good mystery here at the New York Society Library, and our fiction holdings in stacks 5 and 6 include a complete collection of the 68 Edgar Award winners for Best Novel. Named after Edgar Allan Poe (who created one of American fiction’s earliest literary detectives, C. Auguste Dupin, in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”), the Edgars are given out every year by the Mystery Writers of America, and are among the most prestigious honors in the genre.

The Case of the Curious Cutters: Cataloging Mystery Anthologies (October)
The Cataloging Department here at the New York Society Library has been improving the records for two important and long-running mystery short story collections, Alfred Hithcock Presents and the Annual Anthology of the Mystery Writers of America. For the mystery aficionados in the NYSL membership, this means that it will be easier to find these anthologies (and your favorite authors) both in our online catalog and in the stacks.

Taking the Mystery Out of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Annuals (June)
Searching for a mystery anthology shouldn’t require the help of a private investigator! Recently, the NYSL cataloging department took the detective work out of locating the historic Ellery Queen Mystery Annuals by grouping them all together on stack 6, adding new labels (with chronological designation) for easier finding on the shelves, and updating their online catalog records to be keyword searchable (so you can sleuth for your favorite mystery author by name, or by story title). This increased accessibility not only aids members in locating materials, but also improves the visibility of the NYSL’s impressive mystery holdings.

Events Assistant and constant folklore buff Marialuisa Monda introduced us to


You Odyssey This Post: Paths Into Folklore (October)
So you want to understand folklore a bit more? Have no fear, I am more than happy to share my book recommendations and thoughts on this wide-ranging and fun subject. To start with: what is folklore exactly?

Head Librarian Carolyn Waters dug into


Women of the NYSL: Polly Spratt Provoost Alexander (March)
Was a woman responsible for the founding of the New York Society Library? According to Mrs. John King Van Rensselaer in The Goede Vrouw of Mana-ha-ta: At Home and in Society 1609-1760, the answer seems to be yes.

Head of Acquisitions Steven McGuirl discovered

Unusual and Overlooked Books

Frauds in the Stacks (March)
Publishing history is littered with hoaxes, clever and crude. Frustrated or desperate authors—whether inspired by the lure of a quick buck, the promise of fame, the sweetness of revenge, or just the thrill of getting away with it—have assumed identities, faked memoirs, manufactured “ancient” epic poetry and folktales, and passed off wholly fictitious stories as fact-based journalism in newspapers and magazines. The Library’s collection contains many well-known books that originated as hoaxes, from the 18th century through the late 20th.

Lost in the Stacks: The Overlooked, Underrated, Neglected, and Forgotten (August)
Several months ago, I began posting on the Library’s Twitter account about authors who once enjoyed popularity and/or critical acclaim but may be currently neglected, underrated, forgotten, or overlooked by even the most voracious 21st-century readers. We hope that you find an author here that piques your interest and that the article encourages you to explore our unique stacks. You never know what you might find. 

Head of Events Sara Holliday took a trip to Scotland by way of the stacks for some


Poems, Chiefly Scottish (January)
January 25 marks the birthday of Robert Burns (1759-1796), Scotland’s best-loved poet and one known the world over. To help you get in the smeddum (spirit) of Burns Night, here’s a wee owersicht of (a little glance over) the Library’s many Burns-connected buiks.

And our patrons (that's you!) contributed to

Overviews and Fun

Is the Movie Ever Better Than the Book? (March)
For Oscars month, we asked readers Is the movie EVER better than the book? More than sixty respondents were eager to share some strong opinions!

Headcanon Ball: Supporting Characters Who Deserve Their Own Book (September)
We asked readers: From Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea to Gregory Maguire's Wicked, there's a fun tradition of classic side or supporting characters getting their own stories told. Who's a supporting character - classic or contemporary - deserving of their own book?

But the year wouldn't be complete without Circulation Assistant Kirsten Carleton's 'interviews' with

Pets on their Favorite Books

Happy reading! Happy new year!

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