The Metropolitan Museum of Art website

Thomas J. Watson Library

The Libraries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Library Blog: In Circulation

    In Circulation

    In Circulation features in-depth articles and the latest news about the Museum Libraries' wide range of research activities and comprehensive collection of books, periodicals, electronic resources, and ephemera related to the history of art.

Thomas J. Watson Library is the central research library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its collection of books and periodicals relating to the history of art is one of the most comprehensive in the world. The primary mission of the library is to support the research activities of the Museum staff; in addition, it is open to all visitors college age and older upon registration. Housed within the library are the Florence and Herbert Irving Reading Room, the Arthur K. Watson Reference Room, and the Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation.

The library contains more than nine hundred thousand volumes of books, periodicals, exhibition catalogs, and auction catalogs; eleven thousand periodical titles; collections of autograph letters; and files relating to individual artists and to the history of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Lita Annenberg Hazen and Joseph H. Hazen Center for Electronic Information Resources, an integral part of Thomas J. Watson Library, provides access to an extensive collection of databases, full-text online journals, and indexed online resources for the history of art. It is the base for the library’s extensive program of instruction in the use of art-related electronic resources.

Contact us: for more information, please call (212) 650-2225 or email

See also:

The Libraries’ blog, In Circulation
Watson Library on Instagram
Watson Library’s Facebook page
Digital Collections Pinterest board

Watson Library Hours:

For Visitors: Monday–Friday 10 am–5:15 pm; Saturday 10 am–5 pm.
For Museum Staff: Monday–Friday 9 am–5:30 pm (Stacks close at 5:15 pm); Saturday 10 am–5 pm.
Book retrieval ends at 3:30 pm on weekdays, and at 2:45 pm on Saturdays.
See Access and Hours, the Book Retrieval Schedule and Library Holiday closures for more detailed information.
Telephone: (212) 650-2225

Nolen Library Hours:

For Visitors and Museum Staff: Monday–Friday 10 am–4 pm; Saturday–Sunday 12 pm–5 pm.
See the Nolen Library page for more detailed information.
Telephone: (212) 570-3788