The New York Public Library has announced a $15 million gift from trustee Katharine J. Rayner to strengthen its research collections.
The gift will establish the Katharine J. Rayner Fund for Special Collections and provide support for the acquisition of special collections material such as archives, manuscripts, rare books, and maps. NYPL maintains special collections at three of its research centers in Manhattan — the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
Over the years, Rayner has made gifts in support of several of NYPL's most important research acquisitions, including writer Tom Wolfe's archive in 2013 and the James Baldwin papers earlier this year, as well as an endowment for the Manuscripts & Archives Division and the purchase of new literary works for the collections. In recognition of her support, the library named the special collections wing in its main Manhattan branch for her in 2015.
"Kathy Rayner's most recent gift to the Research Libraries will enhance significantly our capacity to provide access to the primary resources that undergird scholarship," said William P. Kelly, the library's Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries. "Once again, she has enabled the library to extend its reach. Current researchers, and those who succeed them, are much in her debt."