Procrastinate Better

Explore a Visual Vault

Brick-and-mortar libraries might be less trafficked these days, thanks to the Internet, but they’re still home to mountains of cool stuff. And if Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, the mountain can set up a Flickr account. The New York Public Library has done a particularly elegant job of making its most visually arresting holdings available online, arranging more than 700,000 images into an easily searchable Digital Gallery .You can browse by subject— American Popular Song Sheet Covers, 1890-1922 or William Blake illustrated books or the Brooklyn Bridge —and even order prints, starting at $30. Happening upon the perfect picture for your kitchen provides the same sense of serendipity as finding one at the bottom of a flea-market pile might, but if you’re fascinated by, say, Yiddish theater placards from 1940s Buenos Aires or  Félix Bracquemond , this might be a better place to search—or discover new fascinations.

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