Music

Oh it's such a perfect library

New York Public Library issues new cards with The Velvet Underground legend to celebrate the opening of the Lou Reed Archive

Lou Reed

Repositories of the world’s knowledge, wisdom and culture, public libraries truly rock. But none is quite as rock’n’roll right now as New York’s, where your visit can be accompanied by the legendary Lou Reed.

New York Public Library is issuing 6,000 new library cards emblazoned with Mick Rock’s iconic photograph of Reed as featured on the Transformer album sleeve, to celebrate the opening of the Lou Reed Archive.

Held by the Library for Performing Arts, the archive documents the history of Reed’s life as a musician, composer, poet, writer, photographer and tai-chi student, through his own extensive papers, photographs, recordings and other materials. It spans his creative life from his 1958 high school band The Shades, to his final performances in 2013.

The strictly limited edition library cards are available only to New York denizens, with new library users able to pick one up for free while existing borrowers can replace their regular card for a nominal fee of $1. The card opens up access to all the collections, services and programmes of the entire New York Public Library system with passes to over 40 cultural organisations and millions of books, magazines, databases, classes and archives. And it looks dead cool too.

A public exhibition marking the 30th anniversary of Reed’s New York album featuring materials from the archive is on display at the library until March 28.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Soweto Kinch on ripping up the jazz rulebook and how his new BBC show is building community
Soweto Kinch
Music

Soweto Kinch on ripping up the jazz rulebook and how his new BBC show is building community

Iron Maiden legend Bruce Dickinson: 'You don’t need some rock star saying war is a bad thing'
Bruce Dickinson
Letter To My Younger Self

Iron Maiden legend Bruce Dickinson: 'You don’t need some rock star saying war is a bad thing'

Grassroots music venues need your help to survive now more than ever. Here's why
The Nefarious Picaroons play at Fiery Bird in Woking
Venue Watch

Grassroots music venues need your help to survive now more than ever. Here's why

How a band formed in an asylum hotel is giving refugees hope: 'Each note comes from the heart'
Ardavan of The Unknowns
Music

How a band formed in an asylum hotel is giving refugees hope: 'Each note comes from the heart'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know