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  • 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.

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Asian Art Library

Department of Asian Art

The Asian Art Library is a non-circulating, research library dedicated to the study of Asian art, with primary focus on the arts of China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and the Indian continent.

The Library’s collection comprises over 16,000 volumes published in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other Asian languages. Subject strengths include Chinese calligraphy and painting, bronzes, textiles, decorative and other fine arts. The Library actively collects select exhibition and auction sales catalogs, as well as academic theses and dissertations.

Access Policy
Materials from the Asian Art Library are made available through the Thomas J. Watson Library.

Asian Art Library items may be requested using the libraries’ online catalog, WATSONLINE. These items will be made available within 24 hours of your request and may be used for one day within Watson Library. Arrangements for a longer loan period should be requested from the Watson Library Circulation Desk staff.

For reference assistance, please contact the Thomas J. Watson Library. Telephone: Reference Desk: 212-650-2225, Circulation Desk: 212-650-2175
Fax: 212-570-3847; email: Reference:, Circulation:

For Asian Art web or electronic resources, select the category “Asian Resources” located under E-Resources, or click on the following link:

Romanization guides
Many of the library’s publications are available only in Asian vernacular languages. Access to the collection requires an understanding of romanization, or transliteration of non-Roman scripts into the Roman alphabet. Searching by vernacular script is not supported at this time. However, records will display original scripts when available.

Chinese materials are retrieved using the Pinyin system of romanization. All Chinese titles previously classified in the Wade-Giles system of romanization have been converted to Pinyin. For conversion from Wade-Giles to Pinyin, please refer to the table:

Japanese materials are retrieved using the modified Hepburn system of romanization. For help with Japanese romanization, please refer to the conversion table:

Korean materials are retrieved using the McCune-Reischauer system of romanization. For help with Korean romanization, please refer to the conversion table: