In collaboration with the New-York Historical Society and Oxford University Press, the Bryant Park Reading Room presents a series of free lectures to stimulate your mind on popular topics including politics, biography, Civil War history, and more.
Admission to the film programs is free in conjunction with New-York Historical’s Pay-as-you-wish Friday Nights (6-8 PM). No advanced reservations are possible for these events. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6 PM. Auditorium doors open at 6:30 PM (unless otherwise noted).
From a soldier’s diary with the pencil still attached to John Brown’s pike, the Emancipation Proclamation, a Confederate Palmetto flag, and the leaves from Abraham Lincoln’s bier, Harold Holzer and Eric Foner provide a unique and intimate look at the Civil War through the New- York Historical Society’s renowned collection.
Note: This event is sold out
In July 1863, Union and Confederate troops met in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and in three days forever changed the course of American history. Three of America’s most renowned Civil War historians discuss one of the bloodiest and most haunting battles of the American Civil War.
Note: This event is sold out
William Henry Seward was one of the most important Americans of the nineteenth century: progressive governor of New York, outspoken federal senator, secretary of state during the Civil War and its aftermath, and a target of the assassins who killed Lincoln. Join us for an illuminating conversation about a complex and pivotal figure, Lincoln’s closest friend and adviser, and an early architect of America’s empire.
Celebrating the release of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, the New-York Historical Society presents a screening of this monumental film followed by a conversation with screenwriter and playwright Tony Kushner and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer.
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of this essential part of American history with a special reading from Author Tonya Bolden! Hear Tonya, author of Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl, read from her new children’s book Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty. Tonya will also be doing a Q&A, and signing copies of her book.
One of about thirteen manuscripts Lincoln signed in addition to the original, this copy belonged to Schuyler Colfax, House Speaker in 1863 and later Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant. According to Seth Kaller, president of Seth Kaller, Inc., who acquired the document for Mr. Rubenstein in a private transaction, and arranged its loan to New-York Historical, “this is the one that is directly traceable to a leader instrumental in the amendment’s passage. It has not been displayed in New York for more than forty years."
This program transports us to the 1963 centennial celebration of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to explore how Americans made sense of the suffering, loss and liberation that had wracked the United States a century earlier. David W. Blight and Drew Gilpin Faust discuss how four of America’s most incisive writers—including Robert Penn Warren, a white southerner who recanted his support for segregation, and James Baldwin, the searing African-American essayist and activist—explored the gulf between remembrance and reality.