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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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In Circulation

Thank You Very Much, Mr. Roboto

Andrea Puccio, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library; and Catherine Paolillo, Senior Library Associate, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In early June Watson Library unveiled a new digital sign-in "book" to help us get a better picture of who is using the library. Attendance statistics provide a concrete, rather than an anecdotal, portrait of who is using the library, where they're coming from, and what their research needs are. This information can then be used to tailor our outreach efforts, direct our collection development, and improve or adapt our reader services. Though we have always had data on new users when they register for a reader's card, it is only now that we can track information about who is actually in the library at any given time.

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In Circulation

Watson on Tour: Le Morte d'Arthur on Display

Nancy Mandel, Manager for Library Administration, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

As the main research library for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Thomas J. Watson Library focuses its collecting and services on providing materials for scholars. Among our hundreds of thousands of reference works, though, many are beautiful and significant, and sometimes they are requested by curators inside and outside the Museum for inclusion in exhibitions. Most recently, Watson's copy of the 1892 edition of Thomas Malory's fifteenth-century classic Morte d'Arthur, published by J.M. Dent with decorations by the young Aubrey Beardsley, went on display in the Met's current exhibition The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design, on view through October 26. The exhibition explores the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement on a range of fine and practical arts—from painting, drawing, and printmaking, to textiles, ceramics, furniture, stained glass, and book design.

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In Circulation

A (Disappearing) Fore-edge Painted Book at The Cloisters Library

Michael Carter, Librarian, The Cloisters Museum and Gardens

Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fine book designers, binders, publishers, and collectors delight in unique methods to distinguish their objects. A book's cover or its spine is generally the first area a prospective purchaser or reader is likely to see, so it's natural that you'll often find eye-catching features there.

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In Circulation

Watson Library Collaborates with Wikipedia

William Blueher, Senior Library Associate, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Just over two years ago, I began collaborating with Wikipedia in an attempt not only to enhance the largest encyclopedia in world history (and growing!), but also to drive traffic to the Museum Libraries' Digital Collections. Wikipedia is currently the sixth most popular website in the world, so I thought engaging with Wikipedia might be an effective way for us to reach a broader audience. After two years I can unequivocally assert that it has been a great way to engage with new users, and Wikipedia now drives over fifty percent of the traffic to our Digital Collections.

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In Circulation

Conservation Treatment of a Seventeenth-Century Topographic Book

Sophia Kramer, Assistant Book Conservator, Thomas J. Watson Library; and Andrijana Sajic, Volunteer, Thomas J. Watson Library

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.

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In Circulation

Beyond the Exhibition: Researching Charles James Using Electronic Resources

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

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

If you enjoyed Charles James: Beyond Fashion and want to find out more about the designer and his creations, the Museum and its libraries offer a number of rich online resources.

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In Circulation

Art Deco Modes of Transportation

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

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!

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In Circulation

Welcome to In Circulation

Kenneth Soehner, Arthur K. Watson Chief Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

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.

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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.