As part of the 100th anniversary celebration of The New York Public Library, the NYPL sought to list the books that shaped and defined a 100-year period, from 1895-1995. The selected pivotal works were put on display 20 years ago and captured in a thought-provoking book.
Over 150 books were selected, based on 11 categories of genre. A few others were added to the display based on selections by a poll of patrons. A 1996 book, The New York Public Library’s Books of the Century edited by Elizabeth Diefendorf, reveals a list of these selected titles but notes that it was an imperfect list.
Here are the books of a century: