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Old Time Tours - 19th Century NYC Guidebooks: Introduction

A Guide to 19th Century New York City Guidebooks


When researching the history of the Big Apple, guidebooks to the city of New York published between the end of the Revolutionary War and the consolidation of the five boroughs at the close of the 19th century have value more towering than the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 and more dense than the beefsteak-and-beer belly of old Boss Tweed.

First arranged by decade, where a sample of guidebooks in that date range are highlighted, the material is also described by subject: guidebook series; recommended subject headings to use when browsing the NYPL catalog; guides in foreign languages; and access to works freely online in the public domain.

For colonial guides to New York City, see our research guide: Sea Blazers and Early Scriveners: The First Guidebooks to New York City.

Also, see our series of companion blog posts on the subject of 19th century guidebooks:

And whenever you need directions - just ask a librarian.

Reference Librarians

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Irma and Paul Milstein Division Reference Librarians
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