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In Circulation

The Art of Japanese Books

Mindell Dubansky, Preservation Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Earlier this month, the Thomas J. Watson Library sponsored two events devoted to the scholarship of Japanese books of the Edo period. These events were developed to create an environment of collegial collaboration surrounding the subject of Japanese books and to celebrate the Museum's acquisition of the Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow Collection of Japanese Illustrated Books, a group of over 250 ehon (illustrated books) from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.

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In Circulation

Books on Street Art in Watson Library

Jessica Ranne, Associate Manager of Circulation and Technical Services

Posted: Friday, October 17, 2014

Street Art. Graffiti. Tagging. When you enter the majestic Metropolitan Museum of Art, these may not be the first things that come to mind.

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In Circulation

2014–2015 Museum Fellows Orientation to Watson Library

Katherine Borkowski, Digital Resources and Instructional Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Saturday, October 11, 2014

Every fall, Watson Library is excited to welcome a new group of Museum fellows for an orientation to Watson Library, and this year was no different. Through the Museum's Fellowship Program, about fifty graduate students, museum professionals, and senior scholars from around the world come to the Met each year to conduct fellowships in art history, curatorial research, conservation, and scientific research, as well as education and public practice. For many of these fellows, the Museum's libraries are integral to the research that they do during their stay at the Met.

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In Circulation

How Can We Help You? (Seriously, We Want to Know)

Lisa Harms, Former Assistant Museum Librarian for Collections and Access, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Two forms of ID. A letter of recommendation. Coat and bag checked in the Great Hall. One of the two doors to the library locked at all times. And an interrogation so intense that all it lacked was a bright light shining in your face. This was the Watson Library registration procedure of years past. Though the library was rich in its collections and resources, the first impression we made on our patrons was far from inviting. Now let's time travel to present-day Watson Library to see how far we've come and understand why Watson Library has made outstanding service an important part of our mission.

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In Circulation

"Pre-Coated Repair Materials": A Book-Conservation Workshop

Mindell Dubansky, Preservation Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation in Watson Library recently hosted a hands-on workshop taught by Sarah Reidell—conservator of rare books, paper, and parchment at the New York Public Library's Barbara Goldsmith Conservation Laboratory—entitled "Pre-Coated Repair Materials." This intermediate-level program was developed for conservators and advanced technicians with a thorough knowledge of common repair techniques for paper and parchment conservation. The workshop included training in the preparation of toned and untoned water-, solvent-, and heat-reactivated, pre-coated repair materials used for the conservation and stabilization of book and paper artifacts. During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to experiment on sample materials and to create comparative sample sets for future reference.

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In Circulation

The Ernst Herzfeld Papers at the Met: A Digital Resource Documenting the Study of Near Eastern Civilization

Matt Saba, Mellon Curatorial Fellow, Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It is my pleasure to introduce In Circulation readers to the Ernst Herzfeld Papers, a new resource that will be developed as part of the Digital Collections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries. Ernst Emil Herzfeld was a German archaeologist, historian, and philologist of the Near East active during the early twentieth century. The Met acquired a portion of Herzfeld's personal papers in 1943, while a larger portion went to the Smithsonian Institution and another group deposited in the Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin.

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In Circulation

Color, Design, Shape: Architecture from the 1920s and 1930s

Holly Phillips, Associate Manager for Acquisitions, Thomas J. Watson Library; and Diane De Fazio, Volunteer, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Watson Library currently has on display an international selection of architecture books on subjects including Bauhaus philosophy and Art Deco decor.

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In Circulation

A Guide for the 1820s Traveler

Deborah Vincelli, Electronic Resources and Instructional Services Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This delightful travel book, entitled L'Ami des Voyageurs, was donated by Jayne Wrightsman in 2009 and is part of the Wrightsman Fine Bindings collection. Published in Paris around 1820, the book's binding is embroidered in green silk, embellished with gold thread and silver, pink, and gold spangles. The front cover (above) and back cover (below) each feature a painted portrait of a woman under mica.

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In Circulation

100円ショップ スキャニング (Hyaku-en Shoppu Sukyaningu): Digitizing Priceless Books with Dollar-Store Materials

Dan Lipcan, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

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.

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In Circulation

Playing with Paper: Suminagashi and Orizome

Jae Carey, Senior Book Conservation Coordinator, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation hosts regular open houses for all staff, volunteers, and interns who work with the Museum's library collections. While usually focused on preservation-related themes, sometimes we host workshops related to books and paper in general, or to complement a theme or current exhibition. This year one focus has been Japanese books, and Book Conservation staff member Yukari Hayashida recently demonstrated two Japanese decorative paper techniques using kozo fiber paper and sumi ink.

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About this Blog

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.