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  City Hall Library Notes, September 2004


Immigrant Life in New York CityNew York City has always been known as a city of immigrants. Starting from 1624 with the arrival of the first European settlers to the influx of Asians, Latin Americans and Caribbean immigrants, the city is a diverse mixture of groups and individuals. Most New Yorkers have roots in another country or countries. Other immigrants used New York as an arrival point and went on to settle in other areas of the United States.

The City Hall Library offers many resources on immigrants, immigration and various national, racial and religious groups. These are just a small example of what the researcher can find in the collection.

Beyond the Melting Pot by Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, published in 1963, discusses the history, culture, economics and influence of African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians and Irish in New York City. From Ellis Island to JFK: New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration by Nancy Foner compares the first major immigration from 1880 to 1920 to the next great wave of immigrants in the 1990s. Included are comparisons of countries of origin, residential patterns, economic conditions and education in both periods. Immigrant Life in New York City: 1825-1863 by Robert Ernst studies the reasons why so many immigrants came at that time, their working and cultural lives in New York City and assimilation. New York: An Illustrated History of the People by Allan Schoener, complete with photos, prints, drawings and original writings from newspapers and other sources, documents the history of immigration, immigrant groups and historical events from the days of the sixteenth century explorers to the late twentieth century.

The Newest New YorkersImmigrant Women in the Land of Dollars: Life and Culture on the Lower East Side, 1890-1925 by Elizabeth Ewen tells the story of Jewish and Italian women who emigrated to New York, and the next generation, their daughters born in the United States. The focus is on women in the workplace and at home, how they established new lives, contributed to the economy, dealt with sickness and overcrowded living conditions and eventually became part of the modern culture.

City agency publications include The Newest New Yorkers published in a series of reports covering the 1980’s to 1996. Statistics on demographics are accompanied by a volume of analysis. Areas covered include places of birth of immigrants, demographic, social and economic characteristics, settlement patterns and naturalization. This report provides comprehensive and helpful information for anyone researching recent immigration trends.

Vertical files on immigrants, population and various ethnic, racial and religious groups offer newspaper clippings and magazine articles on topics such as problems of immigrants, economic conditions, social customs and population changes. Our biographical files may feature articles on immigrants who, through their accomplishments, became prominent in New York City.

These are just some of the resources accessible to the researcher who needs information on immigrants. Find out more about our predecessors who built New York City and today’s immigrants who carry on.


The card catalog was invented by in the 1870’s by American librarians. The first cards were hand written in a special penmanship called “library hand”. In 1901 the Library of Congress began offering printed sets of catalog cards to other libraries for a modest cost.

The City Hall Library catalog is a composite of many years of different librarians’ contributions. The catalog includes - in addition to books - maps, articles in journals, pamphlets in files and other specialized materials.

It is a divided catalog in two main sections. One section includes authors and titles (84 drawers); the other section is for subject access (85 drawers). Serial publications, such as journals or annual reports are listed, although details of holdings for more recent years are kept in another file. Ask library staff for assistance.


The following publications were received by the City Hall Library in the month of August. Additional government publications can be found online in our Government Publications section.

AKRF, Inc., et al.
Lead paint operations on New York City Department of Transportation bridges: d.e.i.s. Prepared for N.Y.C. Department of Transportation. June 1998.

AKRF, Inc.
Lead paint removal operations on New York City Department of Transportation bridges: f.e.i.s. Prepared for N.Y. City Department of Tranportation. October 1998.

Edwards and Kelcey Engineers, Inc.
Reconstruction of the East 153rd Street Bridge over Metro-North Railroad: d.e.i.s. Prepared on behalf of N.Y.C.
Department of Transportation.(CEQR No. 03DOT005X)

N.Y. City. Comptroller.
Audit report on the internal controls over commissary operations by the Department of Correction. August 2, 2004.

N.Y. City. Comptroller.
Audit report on the tax classification of real property in the Borough of Brooklyn by the Department of Finance. August 2, 2004.

N.Y. City. Comptroller.
Equal treatment: the case for more effective diabetes care in select New York City neighborhoods. August 2004.

N.Y. City. Comptroller.
9/11: three years later: securing the federal pledge. August 2004.

New York City Criminal Justice Agency.
Factors influencing release and bail decisions in New York City. 3 parts. July 2004.

N.Y. City. Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding, Office of the.
Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market: environmental assessment statement. August 5, 2004.

N.Y. City. Independent Budget Office.
Supply & demand: city and state may be planning too much office space. (IBO Background Paper) August 2004.

N.Y. City. Independent Budget Office.
West Side financing's complex $1.3 billion story. (IBO Fiscal Brief) August 2004.

N.Y. City. Mayor (Bloomberg).
2004 campaign accountability statement: Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor,City of New York. July 2004.

N.Y. City. Sanitation, Department of.
Trash Masters! Reduce & Reuse Challenge: elementary, intermediate and high school 2004 Golden Apple awards winners. June 2004.

N.Y. State. Comptroller.
Comptroller's special report on municipal affairs for New York State for fiscal years ended in 1999 and 2000. 6 vols.

N.Y. State. Comptroller.
Selected controls over licensing of cigarette retailers and wholesalers. August 18, 2004 (Report no. 2003-N-7)

N.Y. State. Insurance Department.
Consumer guide to automobile insurance: downstate edition. 2003.

U.S. Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States.
The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the Commission. July 2004.

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