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Thomas J. Watson Library

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    • When our conservation team needs marbled paper from a particularhellip
      1 day ago When our conservation team needs marbled paper from a particular period or country, they turn to these amazing sheets from paper vendor The Marbler’s Apprentice. Gretchen and Garrett Dixon specialize in reproducing historic patterns using traditional techniques and pigments. Seen here from left to right are various patterns including bouquet, tiger eye, and shell.  #marbledmonday   #marbledpaper 
    • How about a glimpse behind the scenes in the conservationhellip
      4 days ago How about a glimpse behind the scenes in the conservation lab? The Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation was renovated and redesigned in 2011. Our conservators are always hard at work conserving and preserving our collection.  #bookconservation   #metlibrary   #catsofinstagram   #thinkingitout   #librarycat   #behindthescenes 
    • Back when the librarys collection was oh a few thousandhellip
      5 days ago Back when the library’s collection was, oh, a few thousand volumes instead of a million like it is now, our bibliographers used to enter every new acquisition by hand into these log books. To this day you can sometimes find the accession numbers from this period (roughly 1881 to 1969) written or stamped inside the front covers of Watson Library books.  #analog   #oldschool   #logbook   #handwritten   #inorder 
    • This goblin bear Mardi Gras costume comes complete with icicleshellip
      6 days ago This “goblin bear” Mardi Gras costume comes complete with icicles hanging from its fur -- perfect for blending in this winter. Check out some of the thousands of other fashion plates in our Digital Collections (http://bit.ly/FashionPlates)  #WatsonDigital   #winterwear   #staywarm   #MardiGras   #fashionplate 
    • Okay perhaps we may not be living in a tropicalhellip
      1 week ago Okay, perhaps we may not be living in a tropical paradise right now, but at least we can look at some dazzling images of birds of paradise from “Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux de Paradis et des Epimaques” by R.P. Lesson (Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1835). The engravings were done by several different artists and are just spectacular.  #birdsofparadise   #engravings   #specialcollections 
    • Do you miss digging around the drawers of the libraryshellip
      1 week ago Do you miss digging around the drawers of the library’s card catalog? Check out “Artists’ books USA: A Traveling Exhibition Organized by Independent Curators Incorporated”, featuring a catalog card for each book in the exhibition! The show was held from April 1978 to March 1980 and curated by Peter Frank and Martha Wilson.  #artistsbooks   #cardcatalog 
    • These discarded collection banks were found by one of ourhellip
      2 weeks ago These discarded collection banks were found by one of our conservators and repurposed (and redecorated!) as “blade banks” for discarded x-acto and scalpel blades.  #diy   #bookconservation   #metlibrary 
    • Here are a few of the eleven binding designs byhellip
      2 weeks ago Here are a few of the eleven binding designs by Czech artist Josef Čapek discussed in our latest blog post (link in bio).  #bindingdesign   #illustration   #JosefCapek   #incirculation 
    • Watson Library recently subscribed to the magazine Tribe which featureshellip
      2 weeks ago Watson Library recently subscribed to the magazine Tribe, which features “photography and new media from the Arab world.” Issue 3 from 2015 highlights the work of photo collage artist Camille Zakharia. The article states that Zakharia “systematically takes his world apart, and then carefully puts it back together. He does this metaphorically, of course, by manipulating images, colours and geometric patterns taken from photographs he makes of friends, family members, domestic interiors and landscapes.”  #tribe   #photography   #collage   #photocollage   #camillezakharia 
    • For a very chilly day  another beautiful Japanese bookplatehellip
      2 weeks ago For a very chilly day - another beautiful Japanese bookplate from “Bookplates in Japan,” edited by Shozo Saito and published in 1941. This gem of a book includes a brief history of bookplates and includes 50 original bookplates mounted onto crisp rice paper.  #bookplates   #specialcollections   #japaneseart   #japanesepaper   #shozosaito 
    • From all of us at Watson Library we wish youhellip
      2 weeks ago From all of us at Watson Library, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year! This lamplighter’s New Year’s address appears in “Two thousand years of season's greetings; an album of holiday cards and their predecessors.” These addresses, commonly distributed by news carriers and eventually many types of public servants, included a seasonal poem and were meant to prompt a holiday tip from customers.  #ephemera   #newyearsaddress   #newyears   #newyear2018 
    • Thank you all for sharing this year with us Wehellip
      3 weeks ago Thank you all for sharing this year with us. We appreciate your engagement and support and look forward to the year to come!  #bestnine2017   #metlibrary 
    • With the wind chill its supposed to get to belowhellip
      3 weeks ago With the wind chill it’s supposed to get to below zero in NYC today, so we’d recommend trying to bundle up like the woman in this 1921 fashion plate from the  @costumeinstitutelibrary  has. This and other gorgeous plates have been fully digitized and and can be viewed and download in our digital collections. Stay warm out there!  #winterishere   #wintercoat   #fashionplate   #coldweatherwear   #wintergear 
    • Have you heard the latest gossip about book collecting?! Okayhellip
      3 weeks ago Have you heard the latest gossip about book collecting?! Okay maybe not the latest… This 2-volume set was written by The Met’s very first librarian, William Loring Andrews, and was published in 1900. Both volumes are available for free online through our Digital Collections.  #gossip   #bookcollecting   #bookcollector   #bookcollectors   #collecting   #librarian   #bookbinding 
    • Here we see the preliminary results of a spine repairhellip
      4 weeks ago Here we see the preliminary results of a spine repair by conservator Sophia Kramer on this 1684 edition of “Les dix livres d'Architecture de Vitruve...” (41.100.384). This work is part of an NYS grant covering 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…
    • A follower of our account found this incredible metmuseum adventhellip
      4 weeks ago A follower of our account found this incredible  @metmuseum  advent calendar in a thrift store in Chicago. Thanks for both the snap and the discovery  @atreibel ! (See story for a fun video!)  #adventcalendar   #themet   #taxi   #thriftstorefinds   #thriftstore   #thriftstorescore   #metlibrary 
    • Book conservator Yukari Hayashida adds some holiday cheer to ourhellip
      4 weeks ago Book conservator Yukari Hayashida adds some holiday cheer to our Arthur K. Watson Reference Room! These trees are worth a close-up look if you are able to visit us in the next couple of weeks - some of the ornaments are handmade and are pretty adorable!  #christmastree   #christmas   #holidaycheer   #officedecorations   #handmade   #origami   #bookconservation 
    • More Japanese bookplates please! Relax sure thing  here ishellip
      4 weeks ago “More Japanese bookplates, please!” Relax, sure thing - here is another beautiful Japanese bookplate from “Bookplates in Japan,” edited by Shozo Saito and published in 1941. This gem of a book includes a brief history of bookplates and includes 50 original bookplates mounted onto crisp rice paper.  #bookplates   #specialcollections   #japaneseart   #japanesepaper   #shozosaito 
    • No dogs playing poker here just ducks! This scene comeshellip
      4 weeks ago No dogs playing poker here, just ducks! This scene comes from a 1930s French book of die-cut wallpaper border samples entitled “Haute nouveauté: bandes etagères: dernières créations.”  #wallpaperborders   #specialcollections   #samples   #samplebooks   #ducks   #quackquack 
    • Here we see an inprocess shot of conservator Sophia Kramerhellip
      1 month ago Here we see an in-process shot of conservator Sophia Kramer consolidating a damaged board-edge on this 1684 edition of “Les dix livres d'Architecture de Vitruve, corrigez et traduits nouvellement en François, avec notes & de figures” (41.100.384). This work is part of an NYS grant covering 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…
    • We had our annual holiday party on Monday and thoughthellip
      1 month ago We had our annual holiday party on Monday and thought we’d share a few pics from it with you all! See, librarians can have a good time too!  #shhhhh   #holidayparty   #metlibrary   #meatballs 
    • From a 1781 French guidebook to Genoa Italy The bookhellip
      1 month ago From a 1781 French guidebook to Genoa, Italy. The book contains 17 engraved plates, 13 of which fold out like this one. Here we see the Palazzo Carega (today known as the Palazzo Carrega-Cataldi). Swipe for a still image of the plate.  #specialcollections   #engraving   #palazzo   #genoa   #genova   #italy 
    • Strange things come across a catalogers desk some days likehellip
      1 month 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 month 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 
  • 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.

About

The Thomas J. Watson Library, the central library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, acquires, provides access to, and preserves research materials concerning the history of art and related disciplines.

The primary mission of the library is to support the research activities of the Museum staff; in addition, it serves an international community of researchers. Watson Library’s collection of books and periodicals relating to the history of art is one of the most comprehensive in the world.

Description of Collection
Access and Hours
Library History
Collection Development Policies
Services
Staff Directory
Central Catalog
Social Media Policy

Library’s location in the Museum
Selected purchases with funds provided by Friends Of Thomas J. Watson Library
Online Catalog – Watsonline