New York City Area Research Resources

Sotheby's Institute of Art students have access to some of the top art research centres in the country such as the Museum of Modern Art Library, the Frick Art Reference Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Watson Library. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these world-class collections and resources.

The information below will help you determine the best local libraries for particular research areas and provide helpful tips on how best to prepare for your visits.

Where do you want to go?


Museum of Modern Art Library Frick Art Reference Library
Metropolitan Museum of Art Watson Library New York Public Library
NYU Bobst Library New York Historical Society Library
Whitney Museum of American Art Library Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library & Archives
The Morgan Library

General tips:


1. Search WorldCat to find which libraries have the books or journal issues you need

2. Check the library's online catalogue in advance to make sure items you need are available

3. If possible, save time and have items paged in advance - check the "Advance Requests" section in each listing below

4. Check if items are listed as "offsite" - these can often be paged in advance but may not be available for several days

5. If you are unable to page items in advance make sure you arrive before the final page time.



Museum of Modern Art Library





4 E 54th St (map) - (212) 708-9433
45-20 33rd Street, Queens (map) - (212) 708-9433

MoMA Library website
MoMA Library online catalogue (DADAbase)
  
The MoMA research libraries are in two locations with the collection split between them:
Manhattan - books published after 1939, most Special Collections, most MoMA publications and some current periodical issues
Queens - books published before 1940, bound periodicals, the rest of the current periodical issues, small exhibition catalogues and most files
  
Hours: See MoMA library website.

Access: Sign up for a MoMA Manhattan branch library card when you visit. On further visits, show your library card at the reception desk to receive an elevator pass to the library. Appointments are required. We suggest making your appointment 1 week in advance for Queens. The telephone number for making appointments is: 212.708.9433.

Advance requests: available for registered researcher card holders and placed through the online catalogue. More information.

Collection:
The Museum Library is a comprehensive collection devoted to modern and contemporary art. The noncirculating collection documents painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, photography, architecture, design, performance, video, film, and emerging art forms from 1880 to the present.The Library's holdings include approximately 300,000 books and exhibition catalogues, 300 periodical subscriptions, and over 40,000 vertical files of announcements and ephemera about individual artists. More information.

Services:
Scanners, photocopiers and a digital camera are available for researcher use. Wifi is available.

Please Note:
Lockers are available to store material not permitted in the reading room. Food and drink are not permitted in the library.

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Frick Art Reference Library




10 East 71st St.  (map) - (212) 547-0641

Frick Library website
Frick Library online catalogue (FRESCO)

Hours: 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday and 9:30am – 1pm Saturday. Appointments are not necessary with a researcher card.

Access: Appointments are not necessary. Sotheby's Institute of Art students may apply for researcher cards for use of the library resources.

Advance requests: available for registered researcher card holders and placed through the online catalogue.

Collection:
The Frick Art Reference Library's book and photograph research collections relate chiefly to paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints from the fourth to the mid-twentieth centuries by European and American artists.

Services:
Services offered include reference, reprographic, and resource sharing. Please click a link or visit the library's website for more information on these services. You may also hold books you are using at the library for 7 days. The library also offers wireless access throughout the building and registered researchers may access the library's subscription databases while onsite. View the library's list of subscription databases here: subscription databases.

Please Note:
All visitors to the Frick Art Reference Library must check their personal belongings before entering the reading room. There is no food or drink permitted in the library.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art – Watson Library



1000 Fifth Avenue (map) - (212) 570-3739 or (212) 650-2344

Watson Library website
Watson Library online catalogue (WATSONLINE)

Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:00am-5:15pm (paging until 3:30pm); Friday 10:00am-6:00pm (paging until 4pm); Saturday 10am-5pm. Please note that new visitors may not register for reading privileges on Saturdays. Books will be paged until 1.30pm and reference service is availalble until 2pm on Saturdays. More information.

Access: Appointments are not necessary. Reading privileges are available for Sotheby's Institute students. The library offers online registration. Begin the Reader Card registration process online, to complete the process show photo ID at the Watson Library registration desk. You may begin using the online request feature (see below) immediately after registering.

Advance requests: Up to 10 items at a time may be requested in advance using the REQUEST button in the item record in the Watson Library online catalogue (WATSONLINE). The last six digits of your Reader Card barcode will be required. Items will be held in open shelves in the Reference Room for up to one week.

Collection:
The Thomas J Watson Library is a world-renowned research collection with over 700,000 volumes serving as the Metropolitan Museum of Art's central research library. The collection has an emphasis on European and American art, architecture and decorative arts as well as ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Green and Roman, Asian and Islamic art but also includes one of the city's largest collections addressing contemporary art.

Services:
The Watson library has a large reading room with wireless access, as well as four computer work stations for research purposes.
The Hazen Center for Electronic Resources at the Met offers qualified researchers access to an extensive list of online resources. Researchers can access the library's subscription databases while onsite.
Other services include four book scanning stations, one on one reference assistance with in depth research questions. A full list of services at this library can be found here.

Please Note:
All visitors to the Watson Library must check their personal belongings before entering the reading room. Researchers my lock their items in lockers available within the entrance of the library. There is no food or drink permitted in the library.

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New York Public Library – Steven A. Schwarzman Building



Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street (map) - (917) 275-6975

NYPL website
NYPL Art & Architecture Collection webpage
NYPL online catalogue

Hours:
Schwarzman Building Research Library
Art & Architecture Research Collection
Also of note:
Mid-Manhattan Branch
Terence Cardinal Cooke-Cathedral Branch

Access: Appointments may be necessary for some of the specialized research collections but in general they are not needed. An NYPL library card is not required for entry.

Advance requests: An NYPL library card is required to request both on- and off-site material in advance. Information for requesting on-site material is available on the Advance Request Services page. For material in the Art & Architecture Collection, advance requests can be sent by email to: artref@nypl.org. Material that is housed off-site may be requested using the "Request from Offsite" form available in the item record in the online catalogue.

Collection:
The New York Public Library, the largest public library system, has four specialized research libraries with non-circulating material in closed stacks (material must be paged) and many more branch libraries with circulating collections in open stacks. The Schwarzman Building houses the Humanities research collection and includes the Art & Architecture Research Collection. The Mid-Manhattan branch library has a large circulating art section. The Terence Cardinal Cooke-Cathedral branch is the closest to the Institute located on the same block at 560 Lexington Ave.

Services:
NYPL offers remote access to over 100 subscription databases. You will need to enter your NYPL card barcode for access. An electronic document delivery service allows NYPL card holders to request scans of up to 50 pages from books held off-site. For more information see the Electronic Delivery section.

Please Note:
Large bags and parcels must be checked at the Checkroom. More restrictions may apply for the individual research collections.

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New York University - Bobst Library




Washington Square South (map) - (212) 998-2500

More information

New York Historical Society Library




170 Central Park West (map) - 212-485-9225

NYHS Library website
NYHS Library online catalogue

Strengths are local history of New York City and New York State, American art and art patronage, 19th and 20th century portraiture. Appointments are not necessary. Copies are made by staff, limit of 20 pages.

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Whitney Museum of American Art Library




610 West 26th Street (map) - (212) 570-3648

Whitney Library website
Whitney Library online catalogue (WhitneyCat)

Limited library access by appointment only.

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The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library and Archives




345 Hudson Street, 12th floor (map)

Guggenheim Library & Archives website
Guggenheim Library & Archives online catalogue

Limited library access by appointment only.

The Morgan Library




225 Madison Avenue (map)- 212-590-0315

Morgan Library website
Morgan Library online catalogue (Corsair)

Researchers must submit an online application to consult materials at The Morgan Library. For more infomration click here.

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