Thomas J. Watson Library, the Museum's central library, is the heart of research and scholarly activity at the Museum. Its collection, together with the distinctive collections of the Museum's departmental libraries, comprises one of the preeminent libraries for research in the history of art.
Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
This magnificent first edition, two-volume book, Theatrum Statuum Regiae Celsitudinis Sabaudiae Ducis, Pedemontii Principis, Cypri Regis, from the Department of Drawings and Prints, was published in Amsterdam by the Dutch publisher and cartographer Joan Blaeu in 1682. The book contains engraved plates showing aerial views of the land that belonged to the Duchy of Savoy, along with descriptions in Latin. The Theatrum Sabaudiae, as a survey of both natural and urban views, also captures, often in the finest details, glimpses of its population and their activities. One of the plates reveals the name of the artist, Dutch printmaker, and cartographer Johannes de Ram.
Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
This summer, Watson celebrates the enjoyment of travel with a display of trade catalogs featuring Art Deco modes of transportation: trains, ships, automobiles, perambulators—you name it!
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The Thomas J. Watson Library is the research library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Very much like the Met itself, the library is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of its kind. How many books do we have? We estimate that between Watson Library's collection and those of smaller libraries throughout the Museum (such as the Robert Goldwater Library, Robert Lehman Collection Library, Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library, and the other departmental libraries), the Museum's libraries hold more than one million volumes. We also offer a broad range of online resources and a rapidly expanding digital collection.
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: Monday, July 30, 2012
When the Museum Library took its first steps toward digitizing rare materials from its collection over two years ago, one of the first groups of items we selected for scanning was a set of pamphlets that accompanied a landmark series of American industrial arts exhibitions from 1917 to 1940.
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.
Posted: Monday, October 18, 2010
On October 18, 1880, Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Luigi Palma di Cesnola urged the Museum's Trustees to create an art library that would help fulfill the institution's educational mission. The Museum's original 1870 New York State charter had specifically committed the new institution to "establishing and maintaining . . . a museum and library of art."
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010
One hundred years ago today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the doors of its library's new home to art historians, students, and the general public.
Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010
During my weekly shifts at the reference desk at the Thomas J. Watson Library, I routinely get asked the same question by inquisitive Museum visitors who pass by our doors: "The Museum has a library?" Over the years, I have learned to treat this as an opportunity to promote the library's collection, services, and resources.