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Thomas J. Watson Library

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  • Watson and Nolen Libraries will be closed Saturday-Monday, Dec. 23-25 and Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 30-31.
    On Fridays Dec. 22 and 29, book retrieval ends at 1:30 pm, libraries close at 3:00 pm



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  • @metlibrary

    • Strange things come across a catalogers desk some days likehellip
      9 hours ago Strange things come across a cataloger’s desk some days: like this portfolio collection of papers entitled “Corner-stone laying,” prepared by former Met trustee Edward Dean Adams (1928?). It looked like just a bunch of aging photostats and retyped articles on corner stones until I came across an article typed on Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of Egyptian Art letterhead: “Foundation Deposits in Ancient Egypt,” prepared by Ambrose Lansing. He famously led the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s expeditions in Egypt and Thebes, and was later a curator for the Egyptian Department.  #conservatorsnightmare   #paperclips   #specialcollections   #ambroselansing 
    • Before there was Instagram there were manuscripts! This is Roberthellip
      1 day ago Before there was Instagram, there were manuscripts! This is Robert West’s personal illustrated catalog of his collection of Chinese art from 1930-1948.  #specialcollections 
    • Les dix livres dArchitecture de Vitruve printed in Paris inhellip
      4 days ago “Les dix livres d'Architecture de Vitruve,” printed in Paris in 1684, is being worked on by book conservator Sophia Kramer as part of an NYS grant. The grant covers work on 96 volumes, published in various countries in Europe between the second half of the fifteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century, and illustrates the progressive state of understanding and knowledge about Classical architecture, before the eventual standardization of the text and its translation over the course of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This selection is part of a gift of 356 books from the…
    • Today is the birthday of one of the great Baroquehellip
      5 days ago Today is the birthday of one of the great Baroque sculptors, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Not only can you come into Watson to read one of the dozens of books we have on the artist, but you can also see his work just outside the library’s doors. These two large marbles (each standing over ten feet on their pedestals) were sculpted by Bernini’s father, Pietro, with the assistance of the young Gian Lorenzo.  #Bernini   #baroque   #sculpture   #hbd 
    • Just a few of the hundreds of books Watson Libraryhellip
      6 days ago Just a few of the hundreds of books Watson Library has on World War I. Check out our recent blog post highlighting some of these (link in bio), and don’t miss the fabulous exhibition “World War I and the Visual Arts,” on display in the Drawings and Prints galleries through January 7th!  #ww1   #wwi   #greatwar   #worldwar1   #ypres   #belgium 
    • Sheryl Oppenheim may have titled her bound collection of marbledhellip
      1 week ago Sheryl Oppenheim may have titled her bound collection of marbled papers “Ugly Children,” but to us they are nothing less than creatures of beauty! She has placed side-by-side examples of acrylic marbling and examples of a Japanese form of marbling known as sumingashi.  #marbling   #marbledpaper   #sumingashi 
    • This recentacquisition is a catalog from a louisenevelson exhibition athellip
      1 week ago This  #recentacquisition  is a catalog from a  #louisenevelson  exhibition at Pace, 1964.  @pacegallery   #specialcollections 
    • Book conservator Sophia Kramer has sewn a new endband onhellip
      2 weeks ago Book conservator Sophia Kramer has sewn a new end-band on this edition of “Les dix livres d'Architecture de Vitruve” (41.100.383) printed in Paris in 1684. This book is being conserved as part of a NYS grant. The grant covers work on 96 volumes, published in various countries in Europe between the second half of the 15th century and the first half of the 19th century, and illustrates the progressive state of understanding and knowledge about Classical architecture, before the eventual standardization of the text and its translation over the course of the late 18th and early 19th century. This selection…
    • Though the dividing line between past present and future mayhellip
      2 weeks ago Though the dividing line between past, present, and future may be an illusion, it’s still nice to know what time it is in Teneriffee, which this “Universal Dial Plate” will help with. Check it out in our digital collections here http://bit.ly/UniversalClock  #watsondigital   #clock   #clocks   #clockface   #timepiece   #timemachine   #timehop   #timepieces 
    • Lobster decoration anyone? From 250 Bordures a portfolio of 60hellip
      2 weeks ago Lobster decoration, anyone? From “250 Bordures,” a portfolio of 60 Art nouveau plates of featuring ornamental borders, published in Paris around 1904. This one was designed by Maurice Pillard Verneuil.  #artnouveau   #lobster   #lobsters   #decor   #interiordecoration 
    • Wonderous things come in small brown packages! In particular thishellip
      2 weeks ago Wonderous things come in small, brown packages! In particular, this wee book from 1708 by Filippo de Rossi entitled “Descrizione di Roma antica” it’s replete with engravings of buildings, people, and coins or medallions. Some of the delightful images fold out - in particular, a map of the city center with monuments depicted and arrows showing the directional flow of the Tiber.  #theeternalcity   #ancientrome   #marbled   #endpapers   #specialcollections 
    • This detail comes from Miyako no omokage or Different Tasteshellip
      2 weeks ago This detail comes from “Miyako no omokage,” or “Different Tastes in Tokyo,” and it was printed in 1890 and illustrates various kimono styles and prints.  #specialcollections   #kimono 
    • FOOD!!! All of these fake plaster porcelain wood spackle andhellip
      3 weeks ago FOOD!!! All of these fake plaster, porcelain, wood, spackle, and illustrated foodstuffs were created by artist Julie Bozzi for a 1992 exhibition “American Food” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego ( @mcasandiego ). Hope you’re all enjoying some real food today.  #thanksgiving   #thanskgiving2017   #gobblegobble   #sooftboiledegg   #oysterstew   #strawberry   #bacon   #stuffedturkey   #cranberrysauce   #pumpkinpie 
    • Lets take a trip down memory lane shall we? Beforehellip
      3 weeks ago Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Before our online catalog, Watsonline, we of course had a card catalog like most other libraries back in the day. And, like many other major research libraries, we occasionally “published” our card catalog to make it more widely accessible. The final edition - consisting of 48 volumes - completed publishing in 1990 and is still available for consultation in our reading room!  #analog   #cardcatalog   #oldschool   #gkhall 
    • Detail from the cover of Flr de S Miguel publishedhellip
      3 weeks ago Detail from the cover of “Flôr de S. Miguel” (published in 1957) by Karl-Heinz Hansen (1915-1978). The woodcuts within this book are lively, and sometimes salacious, depictions of life on the streets of Salvador, Brazil, where the German-born Expressionist engraver had relocated to in 1955.  #woodcut   #expressionism   #salvador   #brazil   #latinamerica   #specialcollections 
    • T is for Tableshears! This necessary tool is discussed athellip
      3 weeks ago “T” is for Table-shears! This necessary tool is discussed at length in “A Manual of the Art of Bookbinding,” originally published in 1874 and republished in 1986.  #specialcollections   #shearmaddness   #bookbinding 
    • One of our favorite books to share with classes studentshellip
      4 weeks ago One of our favorite books to share with classes, students, and other visitors to Watson Library is Irma Boom’s “Architecture of the Book”, an 800 page catalog of books designed by Boom over nearly 30 years, that measures less than 5 x 3.8 cm. Last week, we had the great honor of hosting Boom for a visit, and sharing some highlights from  @metlibrary 's  #specialcollections . Thank you,  @irma_boom_amsterdam , and we hope to see you back here, soon!  #irmaboom   #bookdesign   #metlibrary   #artistsinlibraries 
    • Our latest blog post looks at some of the gorgeoushellip
      4 weeks ago Our latest blog post looks at some of the gorgeous Japanese illustrated books we recently digitized (link in bio)  #incirculation   #illustratedbook   #japaneseculture   #japaneseart 
    • Tiny letterpress book alert! This is artist Hai Hsin Huangshellip
      4 weeks ago Tiny letterpress book alert! This is artist Hai Hsin Huang’s “Now is in the Past,” filled with hundreds of portraits (of visitors to The Met no less!) from her There is No Future series. The book was published by nos:books in Taiwan.  #miniaturebooks   #miniature   #letterpress   #tinybooks   #artistbooks   #portraits 
    • Hey look A Guide to all the watering and seabathinghellip
      4 weeks ago Hey, look, “A Guide to all the watering and sea-bathing places” in England! We could use a vacation: white cliffs of Dover, the wonders of Bath, and Brighton beach. It’s all here in this tiny but concise guide, published in London sometime in the 1920s. When Calgon can’t take you away from the present world, this book will. The book has some fine engravings, maps, and endpapers…if you are into those sorts of things.  #specialcollections   #marbled   #endpapers 
    • Its manuscriptmonday! This is our facsimile of the Codex Gerundensishellip
      4 weeks ago It’s  #manuscriptmonday ! This is our facsimile of the Codex Gerundensis, A.D. 975. The codex depicts the Commentary on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana and Jerome’s commentary on the Book of Daniel, and is richly decorated with 184 surviving miniatures.  #medieval   #manuscript   #apocalypsenow   #codex   #illuminated 
    • This beautiful edition of Sheila Hicks Weaving as Metaphor designedhellip
      1 month ago This beautiful edition of “Sheila Hicks: Weaving as Metaphor,” designed by Irma Boom, is a work of art itself. It was even named “Most Beautiful Book in the World” at the 2007 Leipzig book fair. It is currently being housed and preserved in the book conservation lab.  #decklededges   #sheilahicks   #irmaboom   #specialcollections   #metlibrary   #bookconservation 
    • One of the recent American publishers bindings weve acquired Ahellip
      1 month ago One of the recent American publishers’ bindings we’ve acquired, “A Study of Elizabeth Barrett Browning” has a cover that simulates the mosaics the poet so greatly adored.  #publishersbinding   #mosaics   #mosaicart   #elizabethbarrettbrowning 
    • Watson Library recently purchased an art decoera trade catalog featuringhellip
      1 month ago Watson Library recently purchased an art deco-era trade catalog featuring wallpaper designs by the French firm Grantil.  @themetstore  liked it so much they made a 2018 wall calendar out of it, which you can purchase in the Museum shop (in person or online)! Swipe for more images from the original catalog.  #artdeco   #design   #interiordesign   #interiordecoration   #wallpaper   #wallpaperdesign   #grantil   #2018   #giftidea   #giftideas   #christmasshopping   #metstore 
  • 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.

Filed under: Met Libraries

Museum Archives

The objective of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives is to collect, organize, and preserve in perpetuity the corporate records and official correspondence of the Museum, to make this material accessible and provide research support, and to further an informed and enduring understanding of the Museum’s history. Archives holdings include Board of Trustees records, legal documents, Museum publications, office files of selected Museum staff, architectural drawings, press clippings, and ephemera.

The Archives was established under the Museum’s 1870 Constitution, which states that the secretary of the corporation “shall have custody of and preserve the corporate seal and the archives.” Until the 1960’s the Archives primarily served as a resource for the Museum’s secretary, other officers, and trustees, but has since expanded in scope to serve the needs of the Museum as a whole and the public. The Archives operates under the authority of the Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of the Museum.

Access Policy and Procedures

Access Policy and Procedures
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives is accessible to Museum staff and to qualified scholarly researchers at the graduate level and above. College students, high school students and others may be admitted depending on the scope of their research and the relevance of Archives holdings. Requests for access should be sent via email and should include a brief summary of the research project, an outline of sources already consulted, and a curriculum vitae or résumé. Access is granted at the discretion of Archives staff and certain materials may be restricted. Researchers must read, fill out, and sign the Museum’s Policy and Procedures Governing the Use of Unpublished Material in Museum Files prior to conducting research. By doing so, the researcher agrees to the terms and conditions stated.

All research visits must be scheduled in advance. Regular hours are Monday-Friday 9:30-4:45. Friday evening and Saturday hours may available by special arrangement for researchers working on extended projects. Personal belongings such as coats, purses, briefcases, bags, etc. must be placed away from the work station in an area approved by the Archivist. Items approved for research, such as pencils, paper, and lap-top computers, may be kept with the researcher. Please limit or refrain from wearing scented products (perfume, cologne, after-shave, etc.) to your visit, as our reading room is small and others may be susceptible to allergies and environmental illnesses.

All material in the Archives must be handled with the utmost care. Improper handling and/or damage of archival material may result in the suspension of research privileges. Researchers should look through one folder at a time, maintaining the order in which the documents were delivered. Hands should be washed before handling the documents. Do not mark, erase, fold, tear, or place adhesives of any kind on the documents. The use of pens, indelible pencils, cameras, or any unauthorized device is prohibited. No food or drink is allowed. Take particular care with fragile items.

Photocopies of certain archival materials may be made at the discretion of Archives staff. There is no fee for copies, but quantities may be limited.

Collections
The following is a list of collections held by the Museum Archives that are currently open for research. Catalog records and archival finding aids that describe each collection can be accessed by clicking the title. A finding aid is a descriptive guide for an archival collection. It includes information about the origin, history, content, date and format of the records, as well as the physical and intellectual arrangement imposed upon them by the archivist.

Director Records
Luigi Palma di Cesnola collection, 1861-1950s (bulk 1861-1904)
Thomas Hoving records, 1935-1977
James J. Rorimer records, 1924-1983 (bulk 1955-1966)
Francis Henry Taylor records, 1892-1956

Senior Staff Records
Richard F. Bach Records, 1913-1953
Albert Ten Eyck Gardner records, 1824-1970
J. Kenneth Loughry records, 1929, 1943-1971 (bulk 1945-1969)
Joseph V. Noble records, 1931-1970
Office of the Secretary Records, 1870-present
Margaretta M. Salinger records, 1941-1974

Curator Records
Joseph Breck Records, 1916-1951
Durr Friedley Records, 1906-1918
James Parker Records, 1910-2005
Preston Remington records, 1925-1970
Theodore Rousseau records, 1928-1974 (bulk 1960-1973)

Department Records
Costume Institute records, 1937-2008
Office of the Registrar records, 1870-1996
Schools of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Records, 1879-1895
Textile Study Room records, 1908-2003

Special Event and Program Records
The Metropolitan Museum of Art records regarding International Council of Museums, 1951-1965
Irvine MacManus records related to “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibition, 1975-1979
Oral History Interviews
Metropolitan Museum of Art 75th Anniversary Committee records, 1945-1950
George Trescher records related to The Metropolitan Museum of Art Centennial, 1949, 1960-1971

Trustee and Donor Papers
The Havemeyer Family Papers relating to Art Collecting, 1901-after 1982
Mary Griggs Burke papers, 1895, 1922-2016
John Taylor Johnston Collection, 1832-1981
Robert Lehman Papers, 1880s-1977
Henry Gurdon Marquand Papers, 1832-1981
William Church Osborn Records, 1904-1953

Non-Museum Records
Bachstitz, Inc. Records, 1923-1937

Archival Collections Elsewhere in the Museum
The Museum Archives is just one of several departments at the Metropolitan which hold archival collections that are available for scholarly research. For a comprehensive list of catalogued collections click here.

Restricted Museum Records
Access to Museum records is granted at the discretion of Archives staff and certain materials may be restricted to protect individual privacy rights and proprietary rights of the Museum, or because the records have not been processed and prepared for use. Restrictions may be imposed on certain materials including, but not limited to: Board of Trustee and Board Committee minutes, personnel files, financial records, legal actions, donor records, acquisition related records including insurance and appraisal records and conservation reports, prices paid for objects in the Museum’s collections, names of vendors from whom objects are purchased, addresses or phone numbers of Trustees, donors or lenders, gift agreements, contracts or negotiations with donors, lenders, employees or others, and anything that would compromise the Museum’s security or operations.

Publications and Permissions
Permission to study archival material does not include the right to photocopy or publish the contents. Researchers wishing to quote from or publish in full any documents held by the Museum Archives must secure permission to do so in advance. Where the Museum does not have literary rights in the material, it cannot grant permission to publish, and the researcher must therefore secure this permission himself or herself from the author or his or her literary heirs.

Archival Materials Held by Other Museum Departments
The Museum Archives is just one of many departments that provide access to historical records. For example, curatorial offices, the Watson Library and the Digital Media department all hold unique primary source materials that document the collections, exhibitions, educational programs, buildings and staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At present, there is no single search point from which researchers can find archival materials across all Museum departments. However, Museum Archives staff will be happy to assist you with identifying collections that may support your research wherever in the Museum they may reside.

Museum History Resources
Museum Exhibitions 1870-2011 – A chronological list of all special exhibitions held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from its founding in 1870 to the present.

Contact Information
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives
Office of the Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028-0198
212-650-2573
Email: archives@metmuseum.org