As you begin your search it is most important that you know the correct spelling of the author, printer, or publisher's last name, and/or possible variations, and at least the first initial of their first name. This is especially helpful when researching lesser known persons. Usually when searching for rare books in a collection one has at least one of these names in mind.
Consult some of the best sources for finding an author's preferred name:
Search for research items using the Research Catalog. You can search by title, subject, keyword, etc. The catalog includes collections held at all New York Public Library locations. In Advanced Search, you can limit your search to a particular location, including specific research divisions; Research libraries are listed at top of the list.
Note the location and the call number in the catalog record.