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The Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library

The Costume Institute

The Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library is primarily intended for the use of the curatorial staff of The Costume Institute, but limited access by appointment can sometimes be arranged for students, scholars, and professionals working in the fashion, television, and film industries.

We recommend that prospective visitors conduct as much research as possible elsewhere before requesting an appointment at our facility. Other libraries to contact:

However, those who have already explored other costume research libraries can make appointments, subject to availability, to use The Costume Institute Library’s collection by appointment during hours listed below.

Before requesting an appointment, outside researchers are encouraged to search The Costume Institute Library holdings in Watsonline, the Museum libraries’ online catalog. Please note that titles listed in Watsonline as being in other departmental libraries or offsite must be used in Watson Library. Offsite titles require 48 hours notice for retrieval.

Outside researchers may also request materials from The Costume Institute Library’s collection to view in Watson Library. No appointment is needed in Watson Library, which is open to registered outside researchers six days a week. Electronic resources such as Berg Fashion Library, Vogue Archive, Women’s Wear Daily Archive and other related databases, as well as access to free scanners, are also available onsite in Watson Library.

Hours: By appointment only, Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Email: CostumeInstitute.Library@metmuseum.org