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Art/ Libraries and Research Centers/ Thomas J. Watson Library Digital Collections/ Rare Materials in The Met Libraries
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Rare Materials in The Met Libraries

This collection contains rare, valuable, and important works held in the Thomas J. Watson Library and other curatorial department libraries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gifts from J. Pierpont Morgan, Samuel Putnam Avery, and other founders and early trustees of the Museum established the foundation of the Libraries' rare book collections. Generous donors provide funding for the continuing growth of this already strong collection of treatises on art and architecture, early travel books, archaeological studies, rare collection catalogs, early trade catalogs, artists’ manuals and handbooks, complete runs of seminal journals, fencing books, scrapbooks, fine bindings, and examples of fine printing.

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Artist Obituary Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks of newspaper obituaries of American and European artists, 1906-1929, compiled by Met curator Arthur D’Hervilly and other Museum staff.

Early Photography Trade Catalogs and Manuals

Photographic trade literature, primarily catalogs and manuals from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Knoedler and Company Exhibition Catalogs

898 catalogs and checklists published by Knoedler between 1869 and 1946, comprising almost fourteen thousand pages of content.

Macbeth Gallery Exhibition Catalogs

Over 450 exhibition checklists and pamphlets from 1895-1953, held by the Thomas J. Watson Library and the Frick Art Reference Library.

Museum of Primitive Art Publications

A complete set of all known publications produced by The Museum of Primitive Art from its founding in 1957 to its closing in 1974.

Paper Legacy Project

The Paper Legacy Project documents the work and histories of prominent professional American decorative paper artists active from the late 1960s to the present.

Pictorialist Photography Exhibition Catalogs, 1891-1914

103 catalogs donated to The Met by Alfred Stieglitz and housed in the Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library.

Rare Books Published in Imperial and Early Soviet Russia

Primarily from nineteenth- and early-twentieth century Russia or the Ukraine, this collection includes a wide array of themes and formats.

Tiffany Publications and Ephemeral Materials

Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century publications and ephemera from the various early iterations of Tiffany and Company.

Trade Catalogs

A collection of international manufacturer, wholesale and retail catalogs from the eighteenth century to the present.

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The Chromolithograph

Twelve issues of this seminal mid-nineteenth century British journal of “art, literature, decoration and the accomplishments” illustrated with original chromolithographic prints.

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Kraushaar Gallery Exhibition Catalogs

Seventy exhibition catalogs published between 1920 and 1936, when the Kraushaar Gallery was located at 680 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

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Photo Albums

Various bound and unbound photograph albums held in The Met libraries' collections, dating from the 1880s to 1938.

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Rare Books in The Onassis Library for Hellenic and Roman Art

Rare monographs, auction catalogs, museum collection catalogs and archaeological treatises on Egyptian and classical antiquities.

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Rare Books in The Robert Goldwater Library

Titles that reflect the subject matter and wide geographical breadth of Goldwater Library's collection and the curatorial department it serves, The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing.

At top: Photograph [5], Agra Fort and Taj Mahal (detail), from [An album of photographs of Indian architecture, views and people], 19th century.