New-York Historical Society Museum & Library

New-York Historical Society Museum & Library

New-York Historical Society Museum & Library
4.5
Speciality MuseumsArt MuseumsChildren's MuseumsHistory Museums
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Experience 400 years of history through groundbreaking exhibitions, immersive films, and thought-provoking conversations among renowned historians and public figures at the New-York Historical Society, New York’s first museum. A great destination for history since 1804, the Museum and the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library convey the stories of the city and nation’s diverse populations, expanding our understanding of who we are as Americans and how we came to be. These efforts to help forge the future by documenting the past join New-York Historical’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum and Center for Women’s History. Digital exhibitions, apps, and our For the Ages podcast make it possible for visitors everywhere to dive more deeply into history. Vaccination against COVID-19 and face masks are recommended.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Nestled between Central Park and the Hudson River, the Upper West Side offers iconic architecture and a quiet, residential respite from the buzzing energy of downtown. Along Central Park West are many of the city’s most iconic apartment buildings, as well as the American Museum of Natural History, which has been welcoming visitors to its historic exhibit halls for over 140 years. Culture fans will love Lincoln Center, home to some of the world’s best opera, dance, film, and theater performances, all centrally located around a beautiful fountain. Spanning the entire length of the Upper West Side, Riverside Park is ideal for a long, leisurely stroll in a quiet green space.
How to get there
  • 81st St – Museum of Natural History • 5 min walk
  • 72nd St • 5 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • GailBeatty
    Flushing, New York17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    NY Historical Society Museum is a Must See!
    My husband and I visited the NY Historical society today. We highly recommend it. It's easily accessed by subway, and right across from Central Park. We spent close to 3 hours and there is so much to see we couldn't cover it all. Must sees, in no particular order, are the gallery of Tiffany lamps, Kay Walking Stick /Hudson River School, Acts of Faith and the American West, Enchanting Imagination: The Objets d’Art of André Chervin and Carvin French Jewelers and Women's Work. There's lots more, but we couldn't stay longer and are sure we'll be back.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 25, 2023
  • WPLandry
    Fairfax, Virginia552 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Indredible!
    This museum is often overshadowed by the larger Museum of Natural History nearby. However, this place should not be missed. I am embarrased to say this was our first time visiting and we've been to the city many times. It will not be our last! There is so much to see and learn and the exhibits span across many topics from art to history to engineering. There is something for everyone. I would absolutely recommend a visit here.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 7, 2024
  • V R
    36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful museum- Hidden Gem!
    The name of the museum is a bit misleading. Most historical societies are small and just focus on their own town. While this museum had a couple of exhibits focused on nyc history, there was so much more than that. The Tiffany lamp exhibit was amazing! It had about 50 gorgeous lamps, displayed in a beautiful setting. There were a couple exhibits that placed old famous pieces of art next to recent pieces to encourage visitors to compare/contrast. Some other exhibits featured: presidents, the Oval Office, American history, women’s history, Tiffany silver, etc. There are three floors of exhibits in this beautiful building. There’s also a library for doing research, but it was closed when we were there. We spent about three hours and did not see everything.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 23, 2024
  • Iambic
    Vancouver, Washington469 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Go for the Tiffany
    The historical society museum has an outstanding collection of Tiffany lamps, with lots of information about their creation. A must for any fan of the period. The society is not where to go, however, to learn about the history of New York City. That’s the Museum of the City of New York. The society has an eclectic collection of exhibits: more art than history, but good learning experiences through the art. There’s also a replica of the Oval Office where you can have your picture taken behind the desk.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 31, 2024
  • RonL40
    Utica, New York3,585 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wide variety of exhibits, beautifully curated. Tremendous Kay WalkingStick exhibit!
    There are dozens of exhibits, with a tremendous range for people interested in a wide variety of subjects: history, art, politics, writing, material culture. We enjoyed the profound work in the Kay WalkingStick exhibit... a native American artist who in this exhibit, created works that are paired with works from the Hudson River School. Superb. Also enjoyed Women's Work, the Tiffany lamps, Lady Pink, Betye Saar and Thomas Cole.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 14, 2024
  • Joseph S
    Old Saybrook, Connecticut49 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great place for history buffs
    I was rushed and only got to swing around the gift shop and lobby area. But what a lobby. Playing temporary host to the fabled Waldorf Astoria clock, a miniature village and train set under a dome. Coffee area as you enter the gift shop and a full scale restaurant across the hall. As a lover of New York history, I'd like to return for the Lost New York exhibit which is there until September 2024 and to see what I hear is a world-class collection of Tiffany lamps.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written May 27, 2024
  • Kamorgenh
    Fredericksburg, Virginia2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good experience for history buffs
    Small eclectic museum. Two excellent short films in a comfortable theater. Beautiful collection of Tiffany lamps, an exhibit on Robert Caro, and a fine gift shop are some of the highlights. Wander around and you’re likely to find something of interest.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 22, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles866 reviews
Excellent
500
Very good
238
Average
73
Poor
31
Terrible
24

Rappongi27
336 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
This was our first visit to this museum, despite having been to NYC many times (and living there many years ago). We loved this. It was completely uncrowded, sometimes the galleries had just the two of us in them. (Compare that to the famous museum immediately across the street with the dinos and hordes of tourists and children!) In our case we mostly visited the Tiffany exhibit. Its not just the glass that is beautiful, the gallery in which it is displayed was also impressive in its own right. (And having just seen a traveling exhibit of Tiffany glass at the Crocker museum in Sacramento a short time ago, it was interesting to see the difference in how they were displayed.) Also of great interest (and where the most people were) was the Ruth Bader Ginsberg exhibit. She was of course a hometown girl, so this temporary exhibit was appropriate for a NYC historical museum. Gosh I miss her.
We will recommend this museum to our friends for when the visit the UWS.
Written November 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew H
81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
This isn’t quite a hidden gem, but it is not mentioned often on lists of Must Do activities in New York. It should be.

The Historical Society is a well-arranged collection of treasures, most notably the Audubon art and the Tiffany lamp collection. You’ll also find Picasso here, and locks of hair from several notable Americans. Seriously, this place covers a lot of ground. Well worth the visit!
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

1060WestAddison
Washington DC, DC153 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We didn't have time before our Amtrak to go to one of the larger museums. We chose this one because is was relatively close to our hotel and it had a special exhibit featuring the Richard Scarry "BusyTown" characters.

While we enjoyed our visit, many of the exhibits just weren't that interesting (such as the Alexander McQueen fashion - not that relevant or interesting). The children's area was great, but very text-heavy. Kids under 7 or 8 might get bored quickly because the interactive activities are complex. (The adults in our group liked it more than the kids!)

Our favorite exhibit was the "mourning jewelry" made from human hair. It was cool!
Written July 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LIAM G
CHESHIRE7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
This place is a must visit if you are going to New York. Its huge and you may not get round it all in one day but even seeing a third of it was breath-taking. the Dinosaurs floor 4 is amazing and just continues for ever. We did the space room tour and this was incredible, well worth the extra 5 dollars.

Book a time slot to save disappointment, we booked 2pm and still had to que in the worlds longest ques ive ever seen but it went down quickly, about 20 mins for us but this was on a bank holiday so had lots of Americans visiting with families, also and have to be double jabbed
Written February 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laurence C
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
I had been to the NY Historical Society in 2014 and was impressed with their collection and exhibitions. Coming back in 2022 was a major disappointment. We had decided to visit so that we could see their Audubon Exhibit and paintings. The Audubon Exhibit was shoved into a tiny closet off a main hallway. Very little was on display from their permanent collection this time around. There was an interesting exhibit on Presidents with a scale model of the oval office, but it begged the question of why and what does that have to do with New York? The current exhibitions all were focused on social justice. The exception were those focused on "the history of COVID" which seems odd considering that the pandemic is not technically over. We were originally planning on spending a couple of hours here but easily finished in less than 45 mins. Save your $22 and go to another museum instead.
Written March 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LWL3333
Wellington, FL17,981 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Last week my wife and I, along with two of our friends, returned to this, one of our favorite New York City museums. The main exhibit now is about Bob Hope's many trips overseas to entertain the troops in WW II--not my favorite exhibit, but truthfully, all of their exhibits are interesting, as we both are American history buffs. Note that the museum is now only open on Fri, Sat and Sun.
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

orcasgal
Orcas Island, WA490 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
We came for the Tiffany lamps, and there was so much more of interest. I enjoyed the upside-down doll most of the additional exhibits. The two films were very well done and held our interest.
Unfortunately, while my excitement was high, the Audubon exhibit was very small. I had been in Key West in January and the Audubon House there had much more. Plus, I used to live one-mile from the tiny Heard Museum in Fairview, TX, and their exhibit is the best I have ever seen of Audubon's work.
Storico, the museum restaurant here, was decently-priced good food, too.
Written March 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

109Val
Ann Arbor, MI8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
Loved the two exhibits we saw: Scenes of New York City and The Notorious RBG. The NY paintings and drawings are lovely and evocative, some very familiar images and some not. The innovative curation with the quotes from multiple types of New Yorkers who have a variety of connection to the images are fun to read.

The RBG show is also lots of fun, has great accessible descriptions of some of her cases and why they were important. Gives a nice feel for her background and upbringing.

The shows here are always such high quality. It has a very high hit rate for great shows among the museums one sees in major cities.
Written December 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Howard S
Albany, NY797 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
This is a little known museum that is well worth the trip and which bills itself as NYC's first museum. You can combine a visit here with a trip to Central Park, as it is right across from the park, or even going to a play as it is relatively close tothe theater district. We did the later as we went to the museum before seeing a matinee.

I grew up in NYC and never heard of this museum before my wife, who also grew up in NYC, mentioned that she wanted to see the “I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli experience exhibit. So when we visited our son who lives in the NYC metro area we took the opportunity to go here and were not disappointed. Both my wife and I grew up eating Jewish deli, although she is more of a fan of this cuisine than I am. For her it was very nostalgic and she enjoyed it immensely as it bought back pleasant memories. The exhibit is well done and goes into the history of the Jewish deli which has largely disappeared, but are making somewhat of a comeback. For our adult son, who was somewhat less experienced eating deli, it was a learning experience. Both my wife and I had previously seen a film on Jewish delis, so the exhibit did not provide new information for me.

There are also other exhibits at the museum and I liked the toys and trains exhibit.
Written February 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kac
California237 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
This was the highlight of our trip. The Tiffany Lamp exhibit is a piece of glowing beauty. The Film history is 18 minutes of excellence. If you want to learn about New York, how it was built, who built it and how it survived see the film and spend your afternoon here. Then, dine at Storico the restaurant attached and bask in the glory of New York. I'm going to go again next year. Love this place.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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New-York Historical Society Museum & Library - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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