Online video is used to market books, why not the buildings that house them? In September, the New York Public Library – an institution whose origins date back to 1895 when the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox consolidated with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust – launched its very own YouTube channel with the intent to show off its collection of over 50 million items.

In addition to Design by the Book – a mini-series co-produced with Design*Sponge that asks artists from Hipster, New York to call the NYPL their muse, then documents the products of their inspiration – and Live from the NYPL – “cognitive theater” aka recordings from conversations, debates, and performances the library presents – Treasures is the establishment’s flagship show.

Through 11 episodes, the series produced by Every Atom showcases gems from the library’s various collections, with commentary from curators and administrators to provide context.

Assistant Director of Archives and Manuscripts William Stingone says, “These videos serves as just a taste of what can be found at the Library…The hope is that the videos will whet people’s appetites to discover more. The video series allows people to see that unlike museums, where much of the collections are behind glass, these pieces of history are within our reach.”

Those pieces of history include treats for cartographers, students of Art Deco and the Harlem Renaissance, pianists, gastronomes, and more. It’s like almost a dozen installments of Cool Hunting that all take place within the informative, quiet confines located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in NYC. There’s more emphasis on education than awesome, but they’re still worth the watch.

Check out Treasures and other NYPL videos on YouTube.

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