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Reference Service by Mail, E-Mail and Fax

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The Patricia D. Klingenstein library offers reference service by mail, e-mail and fax for those unable to visit the Library. There is no charge for this service. We do ask, however, that our correspondents keep in mind that the reference staff is small and those answering letters are also providing on-site and telephone reference assistance. For this reason, please limit the number of questions asked in each letter and be as specific as possible.
Reference queries are answered in the order in which they are received, regardless of format. Those e-mailing or faxing, as well as those writing letters, should expect a response within three to four weeks. One or two photocopies are often included as part of the response to a reference question, so those contacting us by e-mail should be sure to include their full mailing address, so that we have the option of mailing attachments. One or two photocopies are included with each reply free of charge. For more information about ordering photocopies, see the photocopying section below.

Click here for mail, e-mail and fax contact information.
 

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Telephone Reference Service

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Telephone reference service is available Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm (Tuesday through Friday in the summer). Due to time and staff limitations, we ask that telephone questions be limited to the verification or checking of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library's holdings, the searching of no more than three city directories, factual questions that can be answered by using the Library's "ready reference" collection, recommendation of pertinent sources and referrals to other libraries. Click here for departmental phone numbers. Please note that due to the sheer volume of telephone reference questions we receive each day, we are unable to return calls. As an alternative to calling, please use our e-mail reference form or write to us at Reading Room Reference, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024.

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Student and Class Visits

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We ask that students at the high-school level or younger visit the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library with an adult, such as a teacher or parent, and that the teacher or parent call ahead to discuss briefly the nature of the student's project with a reference librarian. The Klingenstein Library's research collections are not geared primarily to school history projects and students should undertake secondary source research prior to visiting this library. Please contact the Education Department if you're a schoolteacher and would like to bring your class to the New-York Historical Society.
Teachers of college and graduate-school classes who would like to schedule a class visit to the Klingenstein Library should contact Nina Nazionale at nnazionale@nyhistory.org.
 

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On-Site Reference Assistance

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Reference librarians are available to assist you in the reading room Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm (Tuesday through Friday in the summer). The reference staff can answer questions about the Library's holdings, recommend sources and help researchers use the catalogs, databases and other access tools.

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