Stories from Hart Island

Tue. Oct 10, 2023 7:00pm - 8:00pm EDT
  • Reserve
  • Details
  • Comments
Event Stats
Event Description

Go behind the latest season of Radio Diaries' new series, "The Unmarked Graveyard," which untangles mysteries of people buried in America's largest public cemetery.

Since 1869, more than a million people have been buried on Hart Island, the narrow strip of land off the Bronx in the Long Island Sound: early AIDS patients, immigrants, incarcerated people, artists, and New Yorkers who died of COVID-19. Many people buried there are shrouded in anonymity. The island has no headstones or plaques, just numbered markers. Explanations for how bodies came to be buried there can be hard to find.

Long closed off, the island is soon expected to open to the public for the first time. Radio Diaries' new series traces the stories of people who were buried in Hart Island's mass graves, from lost family members to a beloved writer to a missing neighbor. Hear from some of the show's creators and subjects about how these stories came to light.

Featuring a one-night-only display of materials from the collections of The New York Public Library inspired by Hart Island.

Presented in partnership with Radio Diaries.

To join the event in person | Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins. For LIVE from NYPL events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment; we will do our best to accommodate everyone. Booked seats that have not been claimed will be released shortly before start time, and seats may become available then. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on the NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register! If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL's YouTube channel.


Radio Diaries logoRadio Diaries presents first-person audio diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history. The show has also helped to pioneer a new form of citizen storytelling and journalism, having worked with a wide swath of individuals to help them tell the extraordinary stories of their own lives. Radio Diaries stories have been recognized by The Peabody Awards, RFK Human Rights, the duPont-Columbia Awards, Third Coast, and more.



Be sure to visit the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures, the Library's first-ever permanent exhibition highlighting our world-renowned research collections. To register and learn more about the exhibition, click here.

Don't have a New York Public Library card? Get one here!


If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.


In-Person | Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. 

Livestream | Captions and a transcript will be provided. Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template.



For questions and inquiries, please email or use this Gmail template.

Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email or use this Gmail template.

The New York Public Library's free services and resources are made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library. Join this group of Library lovers and take advantage of special membership benefits, like invitations to members-only virtual events, discounts at the Library Shop, and more. Join now.

LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.

Treasures programming is made possible by the Estate of Helen Sisserson.

Reserve Tickets
Sorry, this event has already taken place.
Venue Details
Map of Venue Location.
Celeste Auditorium (Lower Level) The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018