Thomas J. Watson Library

The Libraries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Watson Library

    to use the Library

    For Visitors:
    Friday 10:00-6:00
    Saturday 10:00-5:00

    For Museum Staff:
    Monday-Friday 9:00-6:00
    Saturday 10:00-5:00

    Paging ends
    at 3:30pm on weekdays
    at 1:30pm on Saturdays
    See paging times.

    See Access and Hours for more detailed information and Holiday Closings.
    (212) 650-2225

  • Nolen Library

    For Visitors:
    Daily 10:00-5:00

    For Museum Staff:

    See the Nolen Library page for more detailed information.
    (212) 570-3788

Filed under: Research

Getting Started at Watson Library

  1. Register online here.
  2. Request materials using your temporary barcode (guide to requesting materials here). You will receive an email confirmation when your books are ready.
  3. Enter the Museum at the main entrance. Visit the Reception Desk to your left for a pass to Watson Library.
  4. Arrive at Watson Library. Sign in at the Registration Desk and show us your photo ID to get your library card.
  5. Check your coat and bag (including laptop cases) in a library locker.
  6. Your books will be on open shelves in the Reference Room shelved alphabetically by last name. They are already checked out to you, ready to use.
  7. The books can be returned to the same open shelves and will be held for one week. If you need to extend the hold, please notify the Circulation Desk.
  8. Four free self-service scanners are available. You may scan to email, a flash drive or to print.
  9. Return all books that you are done using to the Circulation Desk.
  10. Librarians are available to assist you at the Reference Desk or email

These Online Instructional Videos will help you to get started using the Library.