Dan Lipcan is an associate Museum librarian in the Thomas J. Watson Library.
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2015
When deciding on new titles to acquire, books are easy; each is a discrete and complete package. Should we have this book in the library? Yes? Great: order it, add it to the collection, barcode and label it, and then shelve it so people can begin requesting it. That's it, you're done. Journals (also known as serials, periodicals, continuing resources, and/or monographic series) complicate all of these processes, since they are intended to be published indefinitely and in multiple parts.
Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Topography books are often consulted for their illustrations which record landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, gardens, and infrastructure, as well as examples of culture and customs from around the world. Since they are a valuable documentary tool for researchers and curators, these illustrations commonly appear in scholarly articles and exhibitions. For the first six months of 2014, an exquisite collection of 204 early modern topography books with Dutch origins underwent conservation here at the Met. These books, originally published in several countries between 1575 and 1825, are now held in the collection of the Museum's Department of Drawings and Prints. Femke Speelberg, an assistant curator in the department, served as project leader and selected the titles for conservation.
Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The holiday season brings fragrant trees into our homes, green wreaths attached to doors, and carpets of pine boughs to the dividers along the uptown stretches of Park Avenue near the Met. In concert with the season, I thought I'd highlight a few items from Watson Library's special collections that feature Christmas decorations and evergreen motifs.
Posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2014
One exciting project currently happening in the Watson Library this summer is the visit of Professor Ryo Akama and two assistants from the Ritsumeikan University's Art Research Center and College of Letters in Kyoto, Japan. They arrived on August 18 and will remain on-site until September 5, during which time they will photograph the Department of Asian Art's recently acquired Vershbow collection of Japanese illustrated books, which was featured in a recent episode of MetCollects along with some wonderful photographs.
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
One of the first projects we undertook upon establishing the Thomas J. Watson Library's digitization initiative a few years ago was a collaboration with the Department of Photographs and its Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library.
Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012
The Museum Library, authorized by the Museum's 1870 charter and formally established in 1880, is one of the world's great collections of art historical research materials. However, thousands of printed books in the Library and other departments of the Museum are deteriorating rapidly through heavy use, acidic paper, or both. In some cases, important information has already been lost.