Thomas J. Watson Library is the central research library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its collection of books and periodicals relating to the history of art is one of the most comprehensive in the world. The primary mission of the library is to support the research activities of the Museum staff; in addition, it serves an international community of researchers. It is open to visiting researchers of college age and above upon registration. Housed within the library are the Florence and Herbert Irving Reading Room, the Arthur K. Watson Reference Room, and the Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation.
General Information About the Library
Hours, Contact Information, and Access
Consult WATSONLINE, the online catalog of the Museum's libraries.
Register online to use the library. Once registered, you may request books for use in the library.
The library contains more than eight hundred thousand volumes (books, periodicals, exhibition catalogues, and auction/sale catalogues); eleven thousand periodical titles; collections of autograph letters; and files relating to individual artists and to the history of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Watson Library is a noncirculating collection. Books requested from Watson Library and from most departmental libraries are paged for visitors for use in Watson. For more information, please call 212-650-2225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on works of art in the Museum, please consult Collection, the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, and Museum collection exhibition catalogues.
The Lita Annenberg Hazen and Joseph H. Hazen Center for Electronic Information Resources, an integral part of Thomas J. Watson Library, provides access to an extensive collection of databases, full-text online journals, and indexed online resources for the history of art. It is the base for the library's extensive program of instruction in the use of art-related electronic resources.
Get more information about instruction offered in Watson Library.