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The New York Public Library is about to unveil its first-ever permanent exhibition

Shaye Weaver
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Shaye Weaver

The New York Public Library is opening its first-ever permanent exhibition this November, and it's going to be a treasure trove of incredible artifacts you won't be able to see anywhere else.

The "Treasures" exhibition will reside in Gottesman Hall, a 6,400-square-foot exhibition space on the Library’s main floor, and while the list of items to display are still being determined, it could show off the library's insane collection of cool things like The Declaration of Independence written in Thomas Jefferson’s hand, the original Winnie-The-Pooh and friends dolls, manuscript materials from Maya Angelou, Jack Kerouac and Virginia Woolf, photos from Diane Arbus, original sheet music from Beethoven and Mozart, writings from Lou Reed, drawings for L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and a Sumerian cuneiform tablet from about 2300 B.C.E.

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It turns out that the NYPL has more than 46 million items in its research collections (holy cow!) and the public has been able to see them for research purposes at research libraries across the city. And while there have been exhibits around some of these items before, this is the first time there will be a permanent and dedicated space to showing the library's holdings.

"All members of the public deserve to see and be inspired by The New York Public Library’s countless treasures, carefully preserved as part of the institution’s vast research collections for over a century," said NYPL's President Anthony W. Marx.

The exhibit, which will be free to view, is possible because of a $12 million gift from Dr. Leonard Polonsky and the Polonsky Foundation, which also gifted the library $1 million to digitize 127,000 pages of historic early American manuscript material.

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