The Grolier Club

The Grolier Club is a private club and an exclusive society of bibliophiles, which is located in the ritzy Upper East Side. Featuring bookseller catalogues from the 17th through 20th centuries, the club is inspired by Jean Grolier de Servieres who served as a treasurer in the royal French courts during the 16th century. It’s open to the public by an appointment only.

History

The Grolier Club
The Grolier Club was established in the 1880s by several gentlemen who were passionate about collecting books and other printed materials. In its early years, this club temporarily used the Gilbert Kiamie House in Midtown Manhattan. Built in the Romanesque Revival style, this charming building was designated an official landmark in 1970. By the end of World War I, the society found a permanent home in the ritzy Upper East Side. Despite having a prime location in an affluent and exclusive neighbourhood, the Grolier Club has always welcomed the general public. The original mission of the club was to simply share a common appreciation for unique books. The name of the club is inspired by Jean Grolier de Servieres, who served in the royal French courts during the 16th century. Favoured by King Louis XII, Grolier acquired an enormous collection of books in grand libraries. His position as a treasurer provided convenient opportunities to get literature and other publications from France, Italy and other wealthy European nations. Many historians believe that Grolier had one of the most diverse and magnificent libraries of his time. Some scholars also consider Grolier an important figure in the Renaissance.

Collections at the Grolier Club

As an exclusive society, the Grolier Club is naturally open only to members. However, anyone who is not a member has the chance to reserve an appointment for research purposes or leisure. The library at this historic institution doesn't allow such visitors to check out books and other materials. Under close supervision, visitors and members alike simply have the chance to read books and other items in designated areas. The Phillips Collection at the Grolier Club includes historic letters, archives and manuscripts from various eras in European and American history. Some of the earliest works can be traced back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This collection particularly highlights the talents of great philosophers and statesmen in England and the United States of America. The Grolier Club's core collection includes bookseller catalogues that were quite popular from the 17th through 20th centuries. Printed in 1637, John Leggatt's publication is perhaps the most precious item in this niche collection. It's important to note that most of the items in the possession of the Grolier Club have been published specifically for bibliophiles. These books don't necessarily include stories, historical accounts and other general information. The collection at this society appeals to individuals who want to meticulously collect and organize books for educational or leisure purposes. The galleries at the Ground Floor and Second Level host temporary exhibits that allow visitors to explore interesting topics relating to bibliophilia.

Visiting The Grolier Club

The Grolier Club is situated on the corner of Park Avenue and 60th Street in Manhattan's Upper East Side. Located only one block away from the club, the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station is served by six New York City subway lines. The 4, 5 and 6 lines connect Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens. The N, R and Q routes also run through most of Manhattan. Defining the southeastern tip of Central Park, Grand Army Plaza provides a good reference point when you're searching for the Grolier Club that's within the shadows of modern skyscrapers. There are at least a dozen bus stops that are located within a few blocks of this club. Part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) network, the buses run along 5th Avenue, Madison Avenue, Lexington Avenue and some of the side streets. Having a fair mix of commercial and residential properties, the Upper East Side offers several covered parking garages for temporary visitors.

Location: 47 East 60th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues), New York City, NY, 10022

Click here to visit The Grolier Club official website

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