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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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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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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.