Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2015
As a postdoctoral fellow, I have been tasked with researching our Modern and Contemporary Art collection, enhancing our object files, and preparing a wealth of information for publication online. And while this remains an exciting time to be involved in this department—which will soon expand into The Met Breuer and, later, a new wing in the Met's Main Building—I must admit that I believe the Museum's most fascinating and impressive holdings in contemporary art remain hidden in the library stacks.
Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Before Watsonline and The Collection Online, the Met relied upon good old-fashioned card catalogues. Finding books might have been slower going back then, but we still have a soft spot for these relics from the not-so-distant past. I spoke with caretakers of five of the remaining catalogues, and we took a closer look how they've helped us in the internet age. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
We have become so accustomed to documenting our trips by taking photos with our phones that it is hard to imagine a time when there were no smartphones, let alone cameras, but travel for pleasure and edification existed long before there were any cameras. From the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, many people widened their cultural horizons by going on what was known as a Grand Tour, where travelers would visit all the major European cities such as Rome, Florence, Venice, and Paris. Instead of photographs, they came away with visual aide-mémoires, like these volumes, that helped to remind them of the glorious art work that they had seen abroad.
Posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Imagine for a moment that you are a nineteenth-century satyr who is into calisthenics. Your best friend is a frog who enjoys watching as you swing from ropes, climb ladders, dangle from trees, and casually bend your legs behind your head. You are a breakdancer avant la lettre, and sometimes you scale towering beams just for fun. Now, where might you find an accurate illustrated depiction of this nineteenth-century version of yourself? In Watson Library's Digital Collections, of course.
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2015
In the past two years, Watson Library has added more than one hundred exhibition catalogues and yearbooks that document the development of modernism in Japan, a selection of which is currently on display in the Library. This collection is exceptional for a few reasons. Firstly, Watson appears to be the only institution outside of Japan to own several of these publications. In addition, the subject matter is intriguing: experimental artistic activity in Japan that was concurrent with America's trailblazing 1913 Armory Show and the vanguard European art movements including Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Finally, it's rare to find copies of Japanese art books of this period in such fine condition.
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015
What better way to celebrate the launch of the new #MetKids digital feature—made for, with, and by kids—than with a launch party?! On Sunday, September 20, more than 650 kids and adults participated in a range of fun activities that happened across the Museum such as screenings of kid-created films, Q&As with curators, a photo booth, and much more. Nolen Library was in on the action and once again became a "loud library," hosting a variety of activities all about books.
Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2015
It is officially October, a month in which most people's minds begin to think of fall—of changing leaves, trick-or-treaters, and pumpkin spice lattes. To others, however, October means the magic of postseason baseball is finally upon us, and it looks like New York has the Mets to cheer for this year (the Yankees have already been eliminated in a Wild Card game).
Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Friday nights at the Met are always special, thanks to MetFridays: New York's Night Out, and Friday, September 18, was extra special. Not only because the theme for that night was ¡Noche en el Met! Celebrate Latin America, but also because it was the first time Watson Library participated in MetFridays. In conjunction with the Museum's increased focus on modern and contemporary Latin American art, Watson Library has been steadily growing our own collection of materials from that region. The event offered a perfect opportunity for us to keep Watson open late and let others know what we have been up to, and to show off some highlights from our collection. (A recent gift of several hundred exhibition catalogues and monographs from the Brazilian art space Casa Daros gave us quite a boost!)
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, September 23, 2015
Looking for inspiration for your next crafting project? Perhaps something vintage? The Museum's libraries have pattern books and instructional manuals dating back to the eighteenth century, with projects ranging from infant pinafores to macramé bikinis.