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Thomas J. Watson Library

The Libraries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Watson and Nolen Libraries will be closed:
    Tuesday, November 7;
    Friday-Sunday, November 10-12;
    Wednesday, November 22 (book retrieval ends at 1:30pm, libraries close at 3:00pm);
    Thursday-Sunday, November 23-26.



    Watsonline

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    JSTOR

    My Library Account

    Interlibrary Services

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    Museum Website
    Museum Exhibitions, 1870-2012

    Subject Guides

    Classes for Museum Volunteers

  • @metlibrary

    • Detail from an engraving by Rafael Esteve of an equestrianhellip
      12 hours ago Detail from an engraving by Rafael Esteve of an equestrian statue from “Descripção analytica da execução da estatua equestre” by Joaquim Machado de Castro published in Lisbon in 1810. The other engravings are equally exquisite and worth dropping by the Thomas J. Watson Library to see in person.  #equestrian   #statues   #horsesofinstagram   #engravings   #rafaelesteve   #specialcollections 
    • Its officially fall so stop by Watson to consult Practicalhellip
      2 days ago It’s officially fall, so stop by Watson to consult “Practical Forestry” before you head out on a hike. The beautiful publisher’s binding is almost as beautiful as the real thing.  #specialcollections   #fall   #pumpkinspice   #foliage 
    • Two books with unidentified binding designers are part of ourhellip
      4 days ago Two books with unidentified binding designers are part of our recent publishers’ binding acquisitions currently in the Book Conservation Lab for preservation. Though the designers’ names are unknown to us, these scarce editions are gems in the collection.  #publishersbinding   #artnouveau   #metlibrary   #bookconservation   #publishersbinding   #specialcollections   #bookconservation   #metlibrary 
    • Our latest blog post is up and it highlights ofhellip
      6 days ago Our latest blog post is up, and it highlights of some of the recent Latin American art books we’ve acquired in Watson Library (link in bio).  #latinamericanart   #metlibrary   #incirculation 
    • Its the busy season! Principal Departmental Technician Ren Murrell placeshellip
      6 days ago It’s the busy season! Principal Departmental Technician Ren Murrell places a book on our Hold Shelves, which quickly fill up this time of year. These books have all been requested by our visiting researchers within the past few days. We keep them on the Hold Shelves for one week after retrieval, so that our visitors may consult them in Watson Library at their convenience.  #shelfie   #shelflife   #busybusy   #fallishere   #schoolyear   #studytime   #studyhour 
    • Dont let anything interrupt your flower picking today not evenhellip
      1 week ago Don’t let anything interrupt your flower picking today... not even the approach of a lion! Woodcut by John Gincano from “Peter Schlemihl,” published in Philadelphia by David McKay Co., in 1929.  #woodcuts   #JohnGincano   #specialcollections 
    • The science of color has long been an area ofhellip
      1 week ago The science of color has long been an area of fascination for artists, and Watson Library has a large collection of works on color. Here is an especially vibrant example, “Color Problems,” by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel, from 1903.  #colors   #specialcollections   #colorwheel   #colorpop 
    • This ArtNouveau publishers binding designed by Griselda Marshall McClure forhellip
      2 weeks ago This Art-Nouveau publishers’ binding designed by Griselda Marshall McClure for Robert E. Knowles’ “The Dawn at Shanty Bay” in 1907 is one of the beautiful new publishers’ bindings acquisitions currently in the Book Conservation Lab for preservation.  #publishersbinding   #artnouveau   #metlibrary   #bookconservation 
    • Its never too early to start planning your Halloween costumehellip
      2 weeks ago It’s never too early to start planning your Halloween costume. Check out more from our Costume Institute Fashion Plates digital collection here http://bit.ly/FashionPlates  #halloween2017   #costumeparty   #devilish   #costumeideas 
    • This gorgeous deer by Gyokush Kawabata is from a late19thhellip
      2 weeks ago This gorgeous deer by Gyokushō Kawabata is from a late-19th century Japanese painting textbook for art students and can be found in Watson Library’s Digital Collections (keyword: JIB177).  #deer   #nature   #japaneseart   #howtopaint   #observingnature   #enpleinair   #quiet   #peaceful 
    • This edition of The Tragedie of Julius Caesar was printedhellip
      2 weeks ago This edition of “The Tragedie of Julius Caesar” was printed at the Dove Press in 1913. This image captures the beautiful red letterpress work done on the title page.  #specialcollections   #dovepress   #juliuscaesar   #shakespeare   #ettubrute 
    • The Vista of English Verse published in 1911 is anhellip
      3 weeks ago “The Vista of English Verse,” published in 1911 is an extremely scarce treasure currently being housed in our book conservation lab. The endpapers of this edition match the Bertha Stuart publishers’ binding in beauty. Swipe to see the binding.  #publishersbinding   #metlibrary   #bookconservation   #specialcollections 
    • Several books on the artist Niki de Saint Phalle werehellip
      3 weeks ago Several books on the artist Niki de Saint Phalle were recently on display in Watson Library, but if you missed it, don’t despair! Our latest blog post shows off several of them (link in bio)  @nikidesaintphalle   #nikidesaintphalle   #incirculation   #elephant   #elephants   #jerusalem   #noahsark 
    • Perhaps not the most practical outfit for photographing out inhellip
      3 weeks ago Perhaps not the *most* practical outfit for photographing out in the field, but she looks so very stylish doing it! This is an advertisement for The Practical Photographer, “an Illustrated Monthly intended for the higher ranks of professional and amateur Photographers. Devoted equally to the art, science, and applications of Photography.” It appears in the 1897 “Catalogue of the fifth exhibition of the Photographic Salon,” which can be found in our Digital Collections.  #photography   #photographer   #vintageadvertising   #vintagephotography   #practical 
    • Yes your eyes are working fine  this book withhellip
      3 weeks ago Yes, your eyes are working fine — this book (with a lovely gilt-stamped binding) by George H. Ellwanger is entitled “Meditations on Gout” — an ugly topic in a very pretty cover! You can read the online version at home with a juicy steak and a glass of wine by your side, or you can come read it here and see the decorative binding for yourself!  #metlibrary   #specialcollections   #publishersbinding 
    • This beautiful print is from Suite dEstampes pour KouKouHa byhellip
      3 weeks ago This beautiful print is from “Suite d'Estampes pour Kou-Kou-Haï,” by Marguerite Yourcenar, printed at the High Loft press in 1980.  #specialcollections 
    • There is a dramatic reveal with this edition of Inhellip
      4 weeks ago There is a dramatic reveal with this edition of “In the Bishop’s Carriage,” published in 1904. This vivid binding, designed by Margaret Armstrong, is concealed in its beautifully preserved original paper dust jacket, a rarity for the time. This book is one of the beautiful new publishers’ bindings acquisitions currently in the Book Conservation Lab for preservation. Swipe for a still look at the binding.  #metlibrary   #publishersbinding   #bookconservation   #specialcollections 
    • The interior of the Fourney Library in Paris taken byhellip
      4 weeks ago The interior of the Fourney Library in Paris, taken by librarian Tony White on a recent ARLIS/NA trip to the City of Light. Read all about it in our latest “In Circulation” post (link in bio).  @arlis_na   @arlisna2017   #arlis   #parisian   #cityoflight   #metlibrary 
    • Just a few of the hundreds thousands?! of books wehellip
      4 weeks ago Just a few of the hundreds (thousands?!) of books we have on design.  #shelfie   #designresearch   #design   #designlove   #interiordesign   #interiordesignideas   #industrialdesign 
    • Double double toil and trouble! Something is brewing in Johanneshellip
      4 weeks ago Double, double, toil and trouble! Something is brewing in Johannes Nickol’s 1903 satire “Till Eulenspiegel's Streiche.”  #specialcollections   #woodblock   #jester   #cauldron 
    • Mesmerizing detail from one of 30 marbled graphics presented tohellip
      4 weeks ago Mesmerizing detail from one of 30 ‘marbled graphics’ presented to the Watson Library by Robert Wu, a trained architect and expert marbler from Toronto, Canada. A small post cannot do justice to the large size of these unique pieces of marbled papers which are all 22 x 18 inches in size!  #robertwu   #marbling   #marbledpaper   #marbledgraphics   #metlibrary   #watsonlibrary   #marbledmonday 
    • The recently published Leonora Carrington and the International AvantGarde furthershellip
      1 month ago The recently published "Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde" furthers scholarship on the Surrealist artist and writer. The  @metmuseum  is fortunate to be one of a few American institutions to own one of Carrington's paintings. "Self-Portrait" (2002.456.1) painted in 1937/38, is on display in our Modern and Contemporary galleries.  #leonoracarrington   #surrealism   #metlibrary 
    • At the Met Cloisters on Friday October 13th and thehellip
      1 month ago At the Met Cloisters on Friday, October 13th and the Met Fifth Avenue on Saturday, October 14th, we will be holding a two-day symposium, “The Brummer Galleries in Paris and New York: From Antiquities to the Avant-Garde.” Museum curators and other scholars will consider the influence of the early 20th-century art dealers Joseph and Ernest Brummer. The Met houses over 500 objects that passed through the Brummer galleries and the archives of the brothers are housed at the Cloisters and available digitally through Watsonline. For more information, please visit the Met’s Events calendar (http://bit.ly/BrummerEvent).  @themetcloisters   #metcloisters   #artdealer   #metlibrary 
    • This beautiful flower is from A Collection of Flowers Drawnhellip
      1 month ago This beautiful flower is from "A Collection of Flowers Drawn After Nature & Disposed in an Ornamental & Picturesque Manner" by John Edwards, printed in 1786.  #botanic   #specialcollections   #magnolia   #steelmagnolias   #botanicalillustration   #metlibrary 
  • 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.

Thomas J. Watson Library is the central research library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its collection of books and periodicals relating to the history of art is one of the most comprehensive in the world. The primary mission of the library is to support the research activities of the Museum staff; in addition, it is open to all visitors college age and older upon registration. Housed within the library are the Florence and Herbert Irving Reading Room, the Arthur K. Watson Reference Room, and the Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation.

The library contains more than nine hundred thousand volumes of books, periodicals, exhibition catalogs, and auction catalogs; eleven thousand periodical titles; collections of autograph letters; and files relating to individual artists and to the history of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Lita Annenberg Hazen and Joseph H. Hazen Center for Electronic Information Resources, an integral part of Thomas J. Watson Library, provides access to an extensive collection of databases, full-text online journals, and indexed online resources for the history of art. It is the base for the library’s extensive program of instruction in the use of art-related electronic resources.

Contact us: for more information, please call (212) 650-2225 or email watson.library@metmuseum.org.

See also:

The Libraries’ blog, In Circulation
Watson Library on Instagram
Watson Library’s Facebook page
Digital Collections Pinterest board


Watson Library Hours:

For Visitors: Monday–Friday 10 am–5:15 pm; Saturday 10 am–5 pm.
For Museum Staff: Monday–Friday 9 am–5:30 pm (Stacks close at 5:15 pm); Saturday 10 am–5 pm.
Book retrieval ends at 3:30 pm on weekdays, and at 2:45 pm on Saturdays.
See Access and Hours, the Book Retrieval Schedule and Library Holiday closures for more detailed information.
Telephone: (212) 650-2225

Nolen Library Hours:

For Visitors and Museum Staff: Monday–Friday 10 am–4 pm; Saturday–Sunday 12 pm–5 pm.
See the Nolen Library page for more detailed information.
Telephone: (212) 570-3788