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Thomas J. Watson Library

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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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The Cloisters Library and Archives

Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters


The Cloisters Library collects research material for the study of medieval art and related topics. The collection of approximately 15,000 volumes encompasses medieval architecture, painting, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, sculpture, and decorative arts. Works on medieval history and gardens are also collected. The archives contain material relating to the history of the museum such as papers of James J. Rorimer, the museum’s founding director, and George Grey Barnard, who amassed the core of its collection. Also held are the papers of medieval art historians Sumner McKnight Crosby and Harry Bober, art dealers Joseph and Ernest Brummer, and others.

Hours and Access

The library is part of The Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum for medieval art, located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. The library is open to qualified researchers by appointment only; requests for access to archival holdings should be sent via email and should include a brief summary of the research project and sources already consulted.

Hours: Monday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Telephone: (212) 396-5319
Fax: (212) 795-3640

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Recent Acquisitions

Digital Collections

Cloisters Publications Pre-1964

Cloisters Publications 1964 – Present