Watson Library welcomed the Museum staff to our third annual Acquisitions Highlights on June 8. All Museum staff were invited to drop in to Watson Library for a special viewing of select highlights from the past year's acquisitions. The display included books and other research material purchased through the generosity of the Friends of Watson Library, as well as general collection acquisitions and notable gifts.
The books on display comprised less than two percent of the total number of titles added to Watson's holdings in fiscal year 2017; approximately 200 were shown, but over 15,000 titles were added to the collection last year! Most of the books on display were acquired for Watson's special collections, a designation usually given to items that are unique, may require additional care or caution when handling, and/or may be prohibitively expensive or impossible to replace if lost or damaged.
The books on display reflected Watson's core strengths (monographs, periodicals, and auction and sales catalogs), as well as Watson's collecting in support of new Museum initiatives, for example, 20th-century Latin American art, architecture and design, and contemporary art.
We had high attendance this year, with over 130 museum staff stopping by. With Watson Book Conservation staff and librarians on hand to turn pages, the Museum staff were able to mix and mingle with the books and their colleagues.
The event was a fun and friendly reminder that Watson Library is open and available to all Museum staff and visitors college age and older upon registration, and we hope many visitors at the Acquisitions Highlights programs will return to Watson to consult these works on their own. A list of titles on display at the program can be found by searching "Acquisitions Highlights FY17" in Watsonline.
We are constantly growing our collections, filling in gaps, and working to support research and scholarship at the museum. Many of the titles on display were purchased by request or upon the recommendation of The Met curators and other research staff. Staff are encouraged to submit purchase requests to Watson through the Suggest a Purchase feature on our portal. We're already planning for next year's Acquisitions Highlights!