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NY Historical Society Museum

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New-York Historical Society Museum & Library
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New-York Historical Society Museum & Library






The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library hits the spot for anyone craving an offbeat and often surprising bite of New York City culture easily digested in an hour or two. Quirky, smart, immersive, and right next door to the much larger and more well-known American Museum of Natural History, the New-York Historical Society Museum offers a rich taste of New York City with a collection that includes everything from 16th-century arrowheads to almost 3,000 historical toys and games to a model of Lincoln’s head from the same sculptor who created the Lincoln Memorial to a door from the first fire engine that reached ground zero on September 11. The museum's mission is dedicated to promoting research and presenting history and art exhibitions that show the public the impact that the history of New York has on the present.

Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society is the city's oldest museum but a three-year, $70-million renovation completed in 2011 brought the block-long neoclassical building up to date with a contemporary glass exterior, inventive new exhibitions, interactive touchscreen stations, multimedia installations, an innovative new Children’s History Museum, a 425-seat theater, and an upscale Italian restaurant. Recent exhibitions include: Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society; Grant and Lee in War and Peace; and WWII & NYC. These exhibitions and others like them, as well as all of their related educational programs, comprise one of the world’s most renowned collections of artifacts, American Art, and other supporting materials that document the rich history of New York City, State, and the United States as a whole.

Why Go?

Best Known For:
A completely unique historical experience, as well as a library featuring over four centuries of history and art that offers a rich taste of New York City, New York State, and the country at large.

Fun Fact: The New-York Historical Society predates the Metropolitan Museum of Art by nearly 70 years, and its art holdings consist of more than 1.6 million works. Included in this formidable collection are: Hudson River School Paintings by Frederic Edwin Church and Thomas Cole; American Portraits by Rembrandt Peale and Gilbert Stuart; all 435 of John James Audubon’s preparatory watercolors for Birds of America. These unique and irreplaceable pieces, and so much more, are why this museum is one you will absolutely not want to miss. At the New-York Historical Society, you can immerse yourself in local and national history.

Additional Information

The New York Historical Museum is a great place for kids. Children under 7 years old are free!  They’ll definitely enjoy the DiMenna Children’s Museum and are welcome to explore the rest of the museum as well!

Photography (no flash or tripods) is allowed in the fourth-floor Luce Center and in the DiMenna Children’s History Museum.  In all other areas of the museum, photography is prohibited. Hearing and visual impairments don’t stop guests from enjoying the museum.  There is a free audio tour for Revolution! And most exhibits, including all in the DiMenna Children’s Museum, have audio and visuals.

Strollers are welcomed in The New York Historical Galleries as well as the DiMenna Children’s Museum.  Collapsible strollers may be left at the coat check.

There is a wheelchair entrance at 2 West 77th Street, and Wheelchairs are accessible throughout the museum.  Should you require a wheelchair rental, they are available to visitors for free, but make sure you reserve yours in advance.

Street parking near the Museum is tough to find so we recommend the parking garages that are located on 77th, 76th, and 75th Street.

Voucher and rates expire 12/31/16

Museum & Museum Store Hours
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM


170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024