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In Circulation

Haggadot Highlights

Dana Hart, Manager for Library Administration, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Over the past ten years, Watson Library has built a rich collection of facsimiles of medieval illustrated Haggadot, the texts read at the Passover Seder meal. These purchases, made possible by Friends of the Thomas J. Watson Library, support the Museum's ongoing series of installations focusing on single masterworks of Hebrew manuscript illumination such as the Washington Haggadah, the Lisbon's Hebrew Bible, and the Rylands Haggadah. These facsimiles also complement Watson's collection of research material on Latin illustrated manuscripts from the same period, since illuminators occasionally worked on both Hebrew and Latin manuscripts.

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In Circulation

If You're Selling, I'm Buying: A Sample Book Sampler

Tamara Fultz, Associate Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

If you have something to sell, it makes sense to let people sample your wares before buying. That's why gelato shops will hand you those tiny plastic scoops with a delicious dollop of gelato: they want you to know firsthand what an outstanding product you will be getting. Businesses have been giving out such samples for ages, sometimes as a bound book. Naturally, there weren't books for ice cream samples (that would be messy), but rather for things like wallpapers, textiles, and fabrics—anything that could be mounted more easily on paper. Salesmen could take these books to show door to door, and businesses mailed them directly to customers. Thomas J. Watson Library has a number of these sample books in our special collections, and here in this post are two of my all-time favorite sample books.

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In Circulation

Children's Books in So Many Languages!

Gwen Mayhew, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2015

¿Sabías que Nolen Library tiene libros para niños en varios idiomas? Or should I say . . . Did you know that Nolen Library collects children's books in many languages?

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In Circulation

The Fragility of Joints and Hinges

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

Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2015

In our previous post, we discussed the safe handling of books with a specific emphasis on headcaps. In this post we'll review book joints and hinges, which also easily incur damage—often as a result of opening books too quickly and/or without adequate support. We'll then conclude by offering a few simple solutions to prevent this type of damage from happening to your favorite books.

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In Circulation

A Decorated City Restitched in Time

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

Posted: Wednesday, August 5, 2015

For a few days in the spring, summer, and fall of 1917, the buildings and public spaces of New York City were festooned with decorations to welcome the visiting commissions of America's wartime allies—namely the British, French, Italian, Russian, and Japanese war commissions. Watson Library has digitized four albums documenting these visits with photography by the Wurts Brothers Company, whose studio, founded in 1894, specialized in architectural photography.1 The photographs are fascinating both for the historical context in which they were produced—the United States had just entered the war on April 6, 1917—and for the evidence they provide of buildings and monuments which have remained, have been altered, or have disappeared altogether.

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In Circulation

Heavy Metal

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

Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2015

From finials and doorknockers to gateways and stair railings, ornate iron has been an important medium for decorative expression since the Middle Ages.

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In Circulation

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: Digital Contemporary Art Catalogues at Watson Library

Andrea Puccio, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library; and Tina Lidogoster, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Since 2001, Watson Library has been growing an unparalleled collection of contemporary exhibition catalogues thanks to the generosity of galleries around the world. Our collection of over fifteen thousand print catalogues spans sixty countries, with more than thirty languages represented. Many artists featured in these catalogues have little else published about them, making these publications a vital resource for researching or discovering emerging artists.

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In Circulation

Czech Out These Trade Bindings

Walter Schlect, Graduate Assistant, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Battle of White Mountain, in 1620, was a watershed moment in Czech history. For the next three hundred years, Czech lands would be ruled by the Habsburgs of Austria, leaving Czech language, literature, and culture to fall into disfavor. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, however, as waves of nationalism spread across Europe, Czech academics, writers, and artists moved away from using German and revived Czech language, folklore, and history to refashion a cultural identity that was independent of Austria. As more schools and universities offered instruction in Czech instead of German, the Czech-speaking middle class increased in size and created a demand for a wide variety of Czech-language books.

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In Circulation

After Hours, Things Get Crazy at Nolen Library

Naomi Niles, Associate Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nolen Library has been bustling with activity as of late. On Friday, June 5, the second Teens Take the Met event brought over two thousand New York City high school students to the Museum for all sorts of fun activities. Museum educators and more than forty community partners came together to encourage teens to create, share, and connect with art—and create, share, and connect they most certainly did, making this one of the most lively, energetic, and fun-filled nights of the summer here at the Met.

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In Circulation

Oh Say, Can You See . . . Hot Dogs!

Ross Day, Collection Development Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

As we approach the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, there's no better time to think about redecorating those boring walls in your home with something a little livelier: red-white-and-blue bunting, patriotic songs, or, best of all, hot dogs. If the idea seems appealing, we have the source book for you: The Great American Happy Birthday Book by Jack Denst Designs, Inc., published in 1975 and held in Watson Library Special Collections.

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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.