Thomas J. Watson Library

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Thomas J. Watson Library
Thomas J. Watson Library is located in Manhattan
Thomas J. Watson Library
Location within New York City
Established 1870
Location 1000 5th Ave
New York, NY 10028 (United States)
Coordinates 40°46′45″N 73°57′47″W / 40.779165°N 73.962928°W / 40.779165; -73.962928Coordinates: 40°46′45″N 73°57′47″W / 40.779165°N 73.962928°W / 40.779165; -73.962928
Type Library
Collection size 900,000
Director Ken Soehner (Chief Librarian)
Public transit access Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M79, M86
Subway: 86 St

The Thomas J. Watson Library is the main research library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and supports the research activities of the Museum staff, as well as outside researchers and can be accessed without appointment. At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, each Department maintains a library, most of which have materials requestable online through the libraries' catalog.

Watson Library’s collection contains approximately 900,000 volumes, including monographs and exhibition catalogs; over 11,000 periodical titles; and more than 125,000 auction and sale catalogs.[1] The Library includes a reference collection, auction and sale catalogs, a rare book collection, manuscript items, and vertical file collections. The Library is accessible to anyone 18 years of age or older simply by registering online and providing a valid photo ID.[2]

The Watson Library is named for Thomas J. Watson, chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM).[3]

Digital Collections[edit]

The Digital Collections seeks to digitize rare and unique materials that have not yet been digitized anywhere else on the web.[4]

Highlights from the Digital Collections include:

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications
  • Rare Books in the Thomas J. Watson Library Collection
  • The Brummer Gallery Records
  • Costume Institute Fashion Plates
  • Manuscripts


External links[edit]