(Courtesy New York Society Library)
Founded in 1754 by the New York Society, a group of six civic-minded citizens, the library was once used by Herman Melville, George Washington and other literary and nonliterary greats. Today, members, for an annual subscription fee, have access to open stacks and the circulating library with over 300,000 volumes in its collection. The first-floor Reference Room is open to all for reading and reference.
Hours: M & F 9 am-5 pm, Tu-Th 9 am-8 pm, Sa & Su 11 am-5 pm
Annual membership: $320 (household), $250 (single), $215 (teacher/college student)