The library, officially chartered as The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations, was developed in the 19th century, founded from an amalgamation of grass-roots libraries, and social libraries of bibliophiles and the wealthy, aided by the philanthropy of the wealthiest Americans of their age. It is now a public library system in New York City.
With nearly 53 million items, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States (behind the Library of Congress), and fourth largest in the world. Within the Library infrastructure is the NYPL Digital Collections (formerly named Digital Gallery), a database of over 700,000 images digitized from the library's collections. The Digital Collections was named one of Time Magazine's 50 Coolest Websites of 2005 and Best Research Site of 2006 by an international panel of museum professionals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Public_Library