Home to the Eugene B. Cook chess collection, one of
the largest in the United States. Cook was a famous
problem composer and editor, immortalized by the term
"to cook a problem" (i.e.: find errors or alternate
solutions). His collection included many old and rare
books. The library of William Spackman was later added,
giving Princeton a great collection of old tournament
books. The collection
has been kept relatively current, with many opening
periodicals and books. For more information about the collections and other libraries, see The Guide to PUL Special Collections: Chess, especially Albrecht Buschke's "Chess Libraries in America" (pp.147-152) and "The Spackman Collection of Chess Books" (pp. 62-64). Princeton is a "closed
stack" library that requires permission to access,
so be sure to read through the website or call ahead
about their policies before making the trip. One
of the best features of the library is their Special
Collections, which include many old and rare
books. They sponsored an exhibition called The
Art of Chess in 1997 to showcase some of the
more interesting and rare items in the collection.
Institute Library and Chess Room
A great resource, located in San Francisco and associated
with the famous club of the same name. See the links
to the Library and
Catalogue. Or go directly to a search for "Chess."
York Public Library
The main library at 5th Ave and 42nd Street tends to
have the largest holdings.
New York University Libraries
The library has a fairly good collection of books and is said to have received Fred Reinfeld's collection and materials from other New York masters, though I have not yet investigated that. Any information about their special collections or other holdings would be most welcome.
Chess and Draughts Collection (The Hague)
The link takes you to excellent introductory pages to the collection at the Hague, mostly in English.
The British Library
See Tim Harding's article (above) for details and further links about the British Library.
Library of Philidelphia
A surprisingly large collection, thanks to the Charles
Willing Collection. Especially strong in periodicals.
A very large collection, from 1450 to the present.
Good in periodicals, early works, game collections,
and openings with quite a bit of rare material.
Library of Congress
Good on chess history and periodicals.
Daily Eagle Online, 1841-1901
A great treat from the Brooklyn Public Library (which
has its own chess collection, separate from the NYPL
above). The Eagle would later run an excellent column
by Herman Helms every Thursday (and Wednesdays before
Thanksgiving), but there was quite a bit of chess
coverage even before Helms began writing. Many libraries
have the Eagle on microfilm. There is, unfortunately,
no good listing of historic chess columns readily
available on the web, as Anders
Thulin notes. Ken Whyld has put together a
list of columns from Moravian
Press for serious researchers. And there is a good
listing of contemporary chess columns out there.
But if anyone knows of a readily-accessible listing
of chess columns, let me know!
Chess Problem Society
Includes a listing and borrowing information.
A short listing with links from Brainy Encyclopedia.