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Staying Connected: Watson Library Web Resources


Colatout: Teinter avec les Oxydes de Fer, de Chrome ou de Titane (Paris: Calatout, 1900), one of hundreds of items available online through our Trade Catalogs digital collection

With Watson Library's onsite location temporarily closed, we want to make sure that people are aware of all the resources we provide online, accessible from wherever you currently find yourself. Below you'll find out all the different ways you can connect with the library's resources from wherever you are during this time.

Digital Collections


A Compendium of Small Birds (Kotori rui shū 小鳥類集), 1836

Our Digital Collections are an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning about art history from their computer. We've digitized nearly every Met publication from our 150 year history, which are now freely available in our Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications collection. There are the The Brummer Gallery Records, which are an essential resource for provenance research of over twenty thousand accession cards, business papers, photographs, and other personal and family documents. Then there's our Japanese Illustrated Books collection, which includes over 650 eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese illustrated books held in The Met's Department of Asian Art.

All of this material (and much, much more) is available to look at online or download as a PDF. And if you're looking for a fun place to start, try this blog post that looks at some of the stranger material in this collection, or this post about the most popular items from our collection in 2018.

Ask a Librarian

On March 30, staff from the Libraries launched a new virtual chat-reference service to answer research questions. The service is available Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To find the chat window visit Watsonline and look for the red tab on the right side of your screen labeled, "Ask a Librarian." Click on the tab to activate a chat window and type in your question. In addition to this new chat service, the reference team continues to check the email inbox several times a day to respond to questions that are submitted to

Watsonline ask a librarian

Our new "Ask a Librarian" feature

E-books and E-journals

To optimize searching of our e-books and e-journals, we have created a new "E-Books and E-Journals" scope in Watsonline. This scope is found on the right-hand dropdown menu on the Watsonline search landing-page. Experiment by conducting searches on your topic of interest and see if there are resources available to support your work from home while you wait for Watson Library to reopen. 


You can now access more e-books and e-journals than ever through Watsonline

Catalogues to Download

Since 2001, Watson Library has been growing an unparalleled collection of contemporary exhibition catalogues thanks to the generosity of galleries around the world. More recently, we've been collecting PDF versions of these catalogues, which allows us to make them available for people to access remotely (read more about these efforts here). At this point we have over eleven hundred PDF catalogues available in Watsonline (do a title search for "CCT PDF" to find them all). These catalogues come from all over the world—galleries in over sixty countries have sent us their books—providing access to contemporary art on a truly international scale.

A personal favorite are the catalogues we've received from G13 Gallery, a contemporary art gallery located in Selangor, Malaysia. We have over thirty catalogues of theirs in our collection, many of which are available as a "Full Text PDF," which means you can read it wherever you have access to the internet! Below is a cover of a group exhibition held there in 2015, Contemporary Propulsion: Influence and Evolution, which features twelve Malaysian artists born between 1965 and 1994 (as well as one "virtual" artist created just for this show!).

G13 Gallery

Contemporary Propulsion: Influence and Evolution (Selangor: G13 Gallery, [2015])


On April 2nd Kamaria Hatcher, assistant museum librarian in Nolen Library, kicked off the weekly online Met Storytime program. This program is a collaboration among Museum staff in the Library and Education Departments. Storytime will be broadcast at noon every Thursday and recordings can be found on The Met's Facebook page for Storytime and on YouTube. We hope you will tune in for Storytime or watch the recorded episodes at your convenience.

Reading a book

You can now take part in Storytime from home

Social Media and Blogs

We're still connecting with people through social media and blogs (like this one!), and you should follow us on all our channels: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and In Circulation. One recent Instagram post that generated a lot of engagement was a special collections book featuring designs for paper products.

Paper samples

Amy Drevenstedt's designs for paper products from Supplementary Samples 1930

Follow us on any of these channels—it's a great way to stay in touch.

Connect with Us

While our library space might not be open to visitors at the moment, we hope that you're able to use some of these online resources as you continue to explore the history of art from home. Please reach out to us through our online catalog, social media, or blog comments; we're always happy to hear from people, and we're here to help. And, for any library questions, feel free to email us at


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