Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Thomas J. Watson Library is the central research library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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The Thomas J. Watson Library is a world-renowned research collection with over 800,000 volumes. It is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s central research library, and its mission is to support the research activities of the Museum staff; in addition, it serves an international community of scholars. Holdings reflect the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, with emphasis on European and American art, architecture, and decorative arts, ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Asian, and Islamic art, as well as an extensive collection of clippings and other ephemera relating to the Museum’s history. Hours: For Visitors: Monday-Thursday 10:00-5:15 Friday 10:00-6:00 Saturday 10:00-2:00 For Museum Staff: Monday-Friday 9:00-6:00 Saturday 10:00-2:00

Our latest #MetLibrary150 blog post just went live - it's all about The Met Cloisters library and archives.
02/19/2020
Spotlight on The Cloisters Library and Archives

Our latest #MetLibrary150 blog post just went live - it's all about The Met Cloisters library and archives.

Associate Museum Librarian at The Met Cloisters Michael Carter discusses the history of the Cloisters library and archives

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.To browse all the works in our collection, vi...
01/31/2020

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here https://bit.ly/2tVZ7lf

#newacquisition

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here https://bit.ly/2tVZ7lf

#newacquisition

"On July 19, 1910, the library opened to visitors. It was the first library building added to the grounds and building c...
01/22/2020
Full Steam Ahead: Wing G and the First Library Building

"On July 19, 1910, the library opened to visitors. It was the first library building added to the grounds and building complex of The Met's Fifth Avenue address." #incirculation #met150 #metlibrary150

Florence and Herbert Irving Associate Chief Librarian Tony White discusses the building of the Museum's first library

Our fourth blog on the history of the library just went live...enjoy!
01/08/2020
The Founding Father of The Met's Great Library

Our fourth blog on the history of the library just went live...enjoy!

Arthur K. Watson Chief Librarian of Thomas J. Watson Library, Ken Soehner, discusses the founder of The Met's library, William Loring Andrews

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.To browse all the works in our collection, vi...
12/31/2019

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

Part 3 of the history of our library just went live. There are over 20 photographs of the library over the last 150 year...
12/27/2019
A Walk Down Library Lane

Part 3 of the history of our library just went live. There are over 20 photographs of the library over the last 150 years - enjoy!

Associate Manager for Collection Development and Special Collections Holly Phillips looks at photographs and documents from the long history of The Met's library

This is the first of a number of articles on the history of The Met's great library. They are part of our contribution t...
12/04/2019
The Beginning of The Met’s Library, Part I

This is the first of a number of articles on the history of The Met's great library. They are part of our contribution to The Met's 150th anniversary celebration. What follows is the first in the series. It provides the background and a brief history of the first forty years of the library. #met150 #metlibrary150 #incirculation

Arthur K. Watson Chief Librarian of Thomas J. Watson Library Kenneth Soehner discusses the early history of the library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.To browse all the works in our collection, vi...
11/27/2019

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

It may be the last week of November, but we’re already “Feeling Wintered.” This artist’s book is by Khari Johnson-Ricks....
11/25/2019

It may be the last week of November, but we’re already “Feeling Wintered.” This artist’s book is by Khari Johnson-Ricks. #metlibrary #snow #dogs #prints #fall #winter #seaons #toocold #artistsbooks #mondaymood #mondayvibes

"Scientists agree that traveling to the past would be a more challenging concept than traveling to the future. A way to ...
11/13/2019
Time Travel with the Montefiascone Conservation Project

"Scientists agree that traveling to the past would be a more challenging concept than traveling to the future. A way to get an incredible glimpse of the past for conservators, bookmakers, and preservation librarians is by taking a class at the Montefiascone Conservation Project. This summer, thanks to the support of Watson Library, I took the workshop "A Luxury French Romanesque Binding" in Montefiascone, Italy. This workshop was developed and taught by conservators Élodie Lévêque and Cédric Lelièvre." #incirculation

Senior Book Conservation Coordinator Andrijana Sajic talks about her recent studies at the Montefiascone Conservation Project

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.To browse all the works in our collection, vi...
10/31/2019

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

"As a librarian in Nolen Library, I see and meet many kids during their trips to The Met. A lot of them don't know what ...
10/16/2019
The Met in Children's Books: Adventure, Exploration, and Discovery

"As a librarian in Nolen Library, I see and meet many kids during their trips to The Met. A lot of them don't know what chiaroscuro is, or the difference between Ionic and Doric columns, but this never seems to lessen their excitement. It didn't lessen mine at that age either. As a child in Washington, DC, I grew up in and around some amazing museums and—forgive the sentimentality—but there was something magical about every visit. There are many wonderful books set in The Met, but children's books, with their focus on images and simple yet elegant writing, are well-equipped to capture the wondrous, fun, and powerful feelings museums can evoke." #incirculation

"With the weather turning colder and Dutchess County's Sheep and Wool Festival (one of the biggest annual fiber-arts eve...
10/02/2019
The Writing Is on the Wool

"With the weather turning colder and Dutchess County's Sheep and Wool Festival (one of the biggest annual fiber-arts events in the United States) on the horizon, the timing is perfect to provide knitting inspiration. The following are a few hand-selected books from Watson Library's collection for the crafters among our readers."

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.To browse all the works in our collection, vi...
09/30/2019

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

"For more than a decade, Watson Library has been hosting an annual Acquisitions Highlights display in late May or early ...
09/18/2019
The Second Monday (and Tuesday) in June: Watson Library Acquisition Highlights 2019

"For more than a decade, Watson Library has been hosting an annual Acquisitions Highlights display in late May or early June. Originally organized as a single celebratory evening and "thank you" program for the Friends of Thomas J. Watson Library, the program was expanded several years ago to a two-day event to share the display with Met staff, volunteers, and the general public during Museum Mile." #incirculation

Watson Library's annual display of highlights of recent acquisitions took place June 10-11, 2019. The display featured a...
09/16/2019

Watson Library's annual display of highlights of recent acquisitions took place June 10-11, 2019. The display featured approximately 220 distinctive titles out of more than 24,000 volumes added to the library’s collection in the 2019 fiscal year, and highlighted rare books and journals related to art and design, auction catalogs, trade catalogs, and artists' books, purchased primarily through the generous financial support of the Friends of Watson Library or received as gifts.

A complete list of all works shown in the display, with direct links to request them for viewing within Watson Library during library hours, is available at: http://bit.ly/AcquisitionHighlightsChecklist2019

Watson Library's annual display of highlights of recent acquisitions took place June 10-11, 2019. The display featured approximately 220 distinctive titles out of more than 24,000 volumes added to the library’s collection in the 2019 fiscal year, and highlighted rare books and journals related to art and design, auction catalogs, trade catalogs, and artists' books, purchased primarily through the generous financial support of the Friends of Watson Library or received as gifts.

A complete list of all works shown in the display, with direct links to request them for viewing within Watson Library during library hours, is available at: http://bit.ly/AcquisitionHighlightsChecklist2019

"I visited Venice, Italy, for the first time this past June, as part of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLI...
09/10/2019
La Serenissima: A Librarian Study Tour of Venice

"I visited Venice, Italy, for the first time this past June, as part of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) 2019 study tour. This study tour was an informative and fascinating look at the rich cultural history of Venice and its many institutions: libraries, research centers, museums, and archives. Each day was full of behind-the-scenes tours, and the opportunity to connect and engage with colleagues from ARLIS/NA and Venice. My participation in the study tour was made possible by the Museum's Margaret and Herman Sokol Travel Grant, for which I am forever grateful. Before this trip, the first things to come to my mind when I thought of Venice were tourists and gondoliers in their signature striped shirts, propelling their way through the Grand Canal. While, yes, Venice has all of this, my time there and the memories I now have are so much more. Meeting and engaging with colleagues in Venice and learning firsthand about their knowledge, passion, and resources was a wonderful and intensive learning experience. I also made sure to fit in as many espressos as I could between visits and tours." #incirculation

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.To browse all the works in our collection, vi...
08/30/2019

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

"Each year, the Department of Drawings and Prints collaborates with Watson Library's Sherman Fairchild Center for Book C...
08/22/2019
"Anyone, Who Can Learn to Write, Can Learn to Draw"

"Each year, the Department of Drawings and Prints collaborates with Watson Library's Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation to conserve and rehouse a selection of illustrated books from The Met collection. The conservation work is funded by a grant awarded to the Department of Drawings and Prints by a New York State Library discretionary fund. Associate Curator Femke Speelberg is in charge of identifying which books should be given priority for treatment, based on their condition and the frequency with which they are consulted. Mindell Dubansky, Museum Librarian for Preservation, and I then survey the books to determine how many we are able to conserve within the scope of the grant." #incirculation

"I have always been fascinated by mechanical clocks and watches. Not just how they look, but the way they move and work:...
08/07/2019
Revolutions in Time: A Timekeeping Tour of Watson Library

"I have always been fascinated by mechanical clocks and watches. Not just how they look, but the way they move and work: the machinations of gears, jewels, and pendulums designed to measure an indefinable concept that is universal to conscious experience and governs much of human existence. In today’s world, an average watch or clock contains not a whirligig of cogs and springs, but plastic, wire, and batteries. However, the tradition of mechanical timepieces, much like architecture or graphic design, occupies a unique space between art and engineering." #incirculation

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.To browse all the works in our collection, vi...
07/31/2019

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

One of our librarians recently visited the library at the musée Yves Saint Laurent marrakech (mYSLm) - read all about it...
07/25/2019

One of our librarians recently visited the library at the musée Yves Saint Laurent marrakech (mYSLm) - read all about it in our latest blog post (link in bio) #metlibrary #ysl #yvessaintlaurent #marrakech #fashion #fashionlibrary #shelfie #incirculation
@ Marrakech

"Thanks to a fellowship awarded by Pratt Institute, I had the opportunity to spend the past academic year working in the...
07/24/2019
Threads of History: Digitizing Textile Sample Books

"Thanks to a fellowship awarded by Pratt Institute, I had the opportunity to spend the past academic year working in the Thomas J. Watson Library. My primary project was the digitization of books from the Antonio Ratti Textile Center." #incirculation

"It was 2014 and I was watching actor Pierre Niney portray Yves Saint Laurent lounging in Marrakech on the silver screen...
07/10/2019
Yves Saint Laurent: From Marrakech to The Met

"It was 2014 and I was watching actor Pierre Niney portray Yves Saint Laurent lounging in Marrakech on the silver screen. Like Yves, I felt swept away by the Marrakech I saw in the movies, and knew I, too, had to make a pilgrimage to the city. Finally, this past March, after monitoring airfare alerts for five years, my fiancé and I boarded a plane to Morocco. We're both librarians, and of the many exciting places we had on our itinerary, we were both looking forward to one visit in particular: the library at the musée Yves Saint Laurent marrakech (mYSLm)." #incirculation

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.To browse all the works in our collection, vi...
06/28/2019

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

Here is a small sample of the thousands of new books we acquire each month.

To browse all the works in our collection, visit our online catalog here http://bit.ly/16ZC0N4

#newacquisition

"My project at Thomas J. Watson Library this past year required me to become familiar with The Met's digital asset manag...
06/26/2019
Revelations from the Digital Collections: Special Exhibition Gallery Views

"My project at Thomas J. Watson Library this past year required me to become familiar with The Met's digital asset management (DAM) repository, NetX. It was my task to search through this DAM by exhibition title to find previously unpublished images of special-exhibition gallery views, and link them to the Watsonline record for each exhibition. By uploading and linking these images, users are able to experience how these exhibitions looked when they were on display. I enjoyed the opportunity to discover images that haven't previously been seen by the public." #incirculation

Former Intern Chelsea Fritz discusses various digitization projects she worked on in Thomas J. Watson Library

"Summer is upon us, and for The Met, that means a new batch of summer interns has arrived. The staff in the Museum's Edu...
06/12/2019
Find Your MuSe in the Stacks

"Summer is upon us, and for The Met, that means a new batch of summer interns has arrived. The staff in the Museum's Education Department do an incredible job of putting together a ten-week-long Museum Seminar (MuSe) Internship Program for college and graduate students to get practical experience in departments across the Museum. The arrival of this summer's interns is a special occasion for me, in particular, because it marks a full year since I started my journey here at The Met. I'm now a full-time employee of Watson Library, but I got my start here as a MuSe intern in the summer 2018 cohort." #incirculation

06/11/2019
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Today, we’re joining Ken Soehner and other staff of the Thomas J. Watson Library for a viewing of special materials acquired for the library's collection over the past year. The display includes notable books and journals from a wide range of regions and time periods on art, architecture, and design, book arts, paper arts, and trade catalogs.

Stop by the library tonight during the Museum Mile Festival from 6–8 pm to check them out for yourself! If you miss it, no need to worry—all of the books are available for consultation to researchers.

For more information about using Thomas J. Watson Library, visit met.org/2XJMgMI

Today, we’re joining Ken Soehner and other staff of the Thomas J. Watson Library for a viewing of special materials acquired for the library's collection over the past year. The display includes notable books and journals from a wide range of regions and time periods on art, architecture, and design, book arts, paper arts, and trade catalogs.

Stop by the library tonight during the Museum Mile Festival from 6–8 pm to check them out for yourself! If you miss it, no need to worry—all of the books are available for consultation to researchers.

For more information about using Thomas J. Watson Library, visit met.org/2XJMgMI

06/08/2019
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

What might you expect to see at Watson Library's acquisitions highlights event on June 11, from 6-8pm? This video walk through of last year's display, with commentary by Watson staff in English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Serbian, will give you a pretty good idea! #fbf (Event info at: https://www.facebook.com/events/451179609031262)

Welcome to the Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art where some of the staff will be sharing acquisitions from the last year.

Address

1000 5th Ave
New York, NY
10028-0198

General information

Visit our homepage: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/libraries-and-research-centers/thomas-j-watson-library Visit our blog: http://www.metmuseum.org/research/libraries-and-study-centers/in-circulation

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:15
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:15
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:15
Thursday 10:00 - 17:15
Friday 10:00 - 17:15
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(212) 650-2225

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Our Story

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 welcomes a broad range of students and researchers college age and above. Public Hours:

Weekdays: Monday–Friday 10 am–5:15 pm; book retrieval until 3:30 pm. Request from home and you will be notified by email when your books are available (except for Special Collections books, which will be retrieved when you come to Watson Library).

Saturdays: 10 am-5 pm; book retrieval until 2:45 pm; Reference services 1-5 pm. We do not retrieve books from Departmental Libraries on Saturdays.

Staff Hours:

Weekdays: 9 am–5:30 pm (Stacks close at 5:15 pm).

Saturdays: 10 am–5 pm; book retrieval until 2:45 pm; Reference services 1-5 pm. We do not retrieve books from Departmental Libraries on Saturdays.

Closed on national and staff holidays, including Election Day and the day after Thanksgiving. The library closes at 3 pm on the Fridays before holiday weekends (book retrieval ends at 1:30 pm).

Holiday Closures These 2018 closures apply to both Watson and Nolen Libraries.

December 22, Saturday: Watson and Nolen Libraries will be open regular hours. December 23, Sunday: Nolen Library will be open regular hours. December 24, Monday. Paging ends at 1:30 pm, libraries close at 3:00 pm December 25, Tuesday, Closed December 29, Saturday, Closed. December 30, Sunday, Closed. December 31, Monday. Paging ends at 1:30 pm, libraries close at 3:00 pm

These 2019 closures apply to both Watson and Nolen Libraries.

January 1, Tuesday, Closed January 19, Saturday, Closed January 20, Sunday, Closed January 21, Monday, Closed

February 12, Tuesday, Closed February 16, Saturday, Closed February 17, Sunday, Closed February 18, Monday, Closed

May 6, Monday, Closed May 24, Friday. Paging ends at 1:30 pm, libraries close at 3:00 pm May 25, Saturday, Closed May 26, Sunday, Closed May 27, Monday, Closed

July 3, Wednesday. Paging ends at 1:30 pm, libraries close at 3:00 pm July 4, Thursday, Closed

August 30, Friday. Paging ends at 1:30 pm, libraries close at 3:00 pm August 31, Saturday, Closed September 1, Sunday, Closed September 2, Monday, Closed

October 12, Saturday, Closed October 13, Sunday, Closed October 14, Monday, Closed

November 5, Tuesday, Closed November 9, Saturday, Closed November 10, Sunday, Closed November 11, Monday, Closed

November 27, Wednesday. Paging ends at 1:30 pm, libraries close at 3:00 pm November 28, Thursday, Closed November 29, Friday, Closed November 30, Saturday, Closed December 1, Sunday, Closed

December 24, Tuesday. Paging ends at 1:30 pm, libraries close at 3:00 pm December 25, Wednesday, Closed

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