The New York Times reports that the boards of Brooklyn Historical Society and Brooklyn Public Library have voted to merge. Under the plan, the library will become the parent institution of the society. The society will remain at its location in Brooklyn Heights and house the library’s Brooklyn Collection, “a trove of more than 200,000 books, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers and maps.”
According to the library’s president and chief executive, Linda E. Johnson, and the historical society’s president, Deborah Schwartz, each institution’s missions will remain unchanged. The merger will, however, “bring greater financial stability and public outreach to the historical society, while also freeing up space in the library’s crowded Art Deco flagship, which is undergoing a $135 million renovation.”
The plan requires city participation, but not city approval, and some details remain a work in progress. The city owns the buildings that house the library’s main branch at Grand Army Plaza and most of the 59 branches. The city also pays for utilities. The hope is that the city would also become owner of the society’s building by retiring its $1.9 million mortgage debt. Ms. Johnson said there may also be a “bit of rebranding” for the society, including a probable name change and possibly dropping the “fusty-sounding words ‘historical society.'”
Read the full details at this link.