As reported in this newsletter in recent months, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has been dissolving itself. The society first "fired" all its members, telling them they were no longer members at all. The only remaining "members" of the society are the Board of Directors, a maximum of 15 people. The Society sold its four-story building on East 58th Street in Midtown Manhattan last year for $24 million. (The building has since been re-listed by the new owners with an asking price of $33 million.) Now the society has donated its library of 75,000 volumes, 30,000 manuscripts, and 22,000 reels of microfilm to the New York Public Library.
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society did purchase an office condominium in Midtown, where it will now focus on grant-giving, tours, lectures and other means of encouraging genealogical research. One of the first grants was about $1 million to the library for a four-person staff to process and catalog the G & B collection within two years.
Merging the collections will create what Waddell W. Stillman, the society’s chairman, described as “one of the world’s largest and most accessible genealogical libraries.”
Society President William P. Johns is quoted as saying that the society hopes to evolve into more of an umbrella group to encourage and coordinate research.
You can read more about the transfer of the society's library in the New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/19/books/19reco.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin.
NOTE: The New York Times often removes articles within a few days. The article is available as I write these words but may disappear soon.
For background information, see my earlier articles at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/07/nygb-implodes.html, http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/07/nygb-proposes-t.html and at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2008/06/nygb-building-f.html.