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Synopsis

From Laurie Anderson to Vampire Weekend, Roy Blount, Jr., to Renée Fleming, Stephen Colbert to Bill T. Jones—more than 100 luminaries reflect on the treasures of America’s favorite public library.

Marking the centennial of The New York Public Library’s Beaux-Arts landmark at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, now called the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Know the Past, Find the Future harnesses the thoughts of an eclectic assortment of notable people as they ponder an even more eclectic assortment of objects. From among the Library’s vast collections, these writers, artists, philosophers, scientists, musicians, athletes, architects, choreographers, and journalists—as well as some of the curators who have preserved these riches—each select an item and describe its unique significance. The result, in words and photographs, is a glimpse of what a great library can be.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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