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Thomas J. Watson Library

Thomas J. Watson Library, the Museum's central library, is the heart of research and scholarly activity at the Museum. Its collection, together with the distinctive collections of the Museum's departmental libraries, comprises one of the preeminent libraries for research in the history of art.

In Circulation

Family Guides and Art Hunts in the Digital Collections

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

Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The 130 items in the collection of family guides and art hunts represent over thirty years of Museum educators' efforts to encourage children of all ages to "look at the [artworks] closely, analyze what you see, and to become curious about the meaning and functions" of art objects (Masks of Africa in the Permanent Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994).

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In Circulation

The Chromolithograph: A View into 1860s Victorian England

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

Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Chromolithograph was a British publication issued weekly from November 1867 through March 1869. Intended as a journal of "art, literature, decoration and the accomplishments," this publication used chromolithography, a then relatively novel printing technique, to illustrate the various themes discussed in its articles. The first twelve issues of The Chromolithograph—spanning November 23, 1867, through February 8, 1868—have recently been digitized by the Watson Library, and a browse through this content will provide one with a fascinating view of the artistic, cultural, literary, and social world of Victorian England just past mid-century.

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In Circulation

Art Dealers' Papers Come to Light Online: Completed Digitization of Brummer Gallery Records

Louise Knight, Library Assistant, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I'm very pleased to share that Watson Library has recently finished the bulk of in-house digitizing and have posted online a considerable amount of archival materials from the Brummer Gallery Records, completing a yearlong project generously funded by the Kress Foundation. This is the first of a series of posts dedicated to the papers of the galleries of Joseph, Ernest, and Imre Brummer, now housed in The Cloisters Archives.

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In Circulation

Japanese Theater and Textiles

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

Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In conjunction with the symposium The Art of Japanese Books: Uses, Materials, and Block-Printing Techniques, recently hosted by Watson Library's Book Conservation Department, the library is currently displaying three colorful titles on Japanese theater and textile design.

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In Circulation

The Art of Japanese Books

Mindell Dubansky, Preservation Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Earlier this month, the Thomas J. Watson Library sponsored two events devoted to the scholarship of Japanese books of the Edo period. These events were developed to create an environment of collegial collaboration surrounding the subject of Japanese books and to celebrate the Museum's acquisition of the Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow Collection of Japanese Illustrated Books, a group of over 250 ehon (illustrated books) from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.

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Of Note

Digitizing Met History: The Crosby Brown Catalogues

Robyn Fleming, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2014

In honor of the 125th anniversary of the first gift of musical instruments to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Thomas J. Watson Library recently digitized the complete set of catalogues of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments. These catalogues, dating from 1888 through 1915, document the remarkable growth of this collection during its early years at the Met—growth which was almost entirely a result of the keen eye, strong social ties, and generous patronage of Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown.

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In Circulation

Books on Street Art in Watson Library

Jessica Ranne, Associate Manager of Circulation and Technical Services

Posted: Friday, October 17, 2014

Street Art. Graffiti. Tagging. When you enter the majestic Metropolitan Museum of Art, these may not be the first things that come to mind.

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In Circulation

2014–2015 Museum Fellows Orientation to Watson Library

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

Posted: Saturday, October 11, 2014

Every fall, Watson Library is excited to welcome a new group of Museum fellows for an orientation to Watson Library, and this year was no different. Through the Museum's Fellowship Program, about fifty graduate students, museum professionals, and senior scholars from around the world come to the Met each year to conduct fellowships in art history, curatorial research, conservation, and scientific research, as well as education and public practice. For many of these fellows, the Museum's libraries are integral to the research that they do during their stay at the Met.

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In Circulation

How Can We Help You? (Seriously, We Want to Know)

Lisa Harms, Former Assistant Museum Librarian for Collections and Access, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Two forms of ID. A letter of recommendation. Coat and bag checked in the Great Hall. One of the two doors to the library locked at all times. And an interrogation so intense that all it lacked was a bright light shining in your face. This was the Watson Library registration procedure of years past. Though the library was rich in its collections and resources, the first impression we made on our patrons was far from inviting. Now let's time travel to present-day Watson Library to see how far we've come and understand why Watson Library has made outstanding service an important part of our mission.

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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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