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Art Research

New York Art Research Consortium

New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC)

The New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) consists of the research libraries of three leading art museums in New York City: The Brooklyn MuseumThe Frick Collection, and The Museum of Modern Art. With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NYARC was formed in 2006 to facilitate collaboration that results in enhanced resources to research communities.

The NYARC Consortium provides access to books, journals, artists’ books, artist files, auction catalogs, special collections, archives, photo archives, and a growing number of scholarly digital resources, including many rare and unique materials through Arcade, our united catalog.

Together, the NYARC collections support art historical research across the entire span of art history—from ancient Egypt to contemporary art.

NYARC’s noncirculating collections are open to adult researchers on a drop-in or appointment basis, and we offer excellent research services in-person or via email.

To learn more about each library’s collection strengths or to plan your visit, please consult our library profiles.

The NYARC catalog is called Arcade. It provides free access to almost 1 million bibliographic records describing art research materials, inluding many freely available full-text digitized items and art-rich websites. However, subscription-based electronic resources, such as ARTstor and JSTOR, are only available to public researchers within the walls of our institution. The bibliographic record for each resource indicates if access is restricted in this way.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries

Thomas J. Watson Library 

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 welcomes a broad range of students and researchers college age and above.

Register to be an outside researcher here.

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.

WATSONLINE The catalog of the Libraries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Watson Library is a closed stack, non-circulating collection. It is best to page books from the stacks before you arrive at the Library. They will notify you by email when the books are available. You may page up to 10 items at a time. More information on paging material can be found here.

Nolen Library in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

Nolen Library is open to all Museum visitors, without appointment, and welcomes readers of all ages to consult a wide range of materials about the Museum's collection, exhibitions, and the history of art. The library's collection of over ten thousand items, arranged on open shelves, includes general histories of art, artists' monographs, exhibition catalogues, periodicals, graphic novels, and art-related videos. All material must be used in the library, with the exception of educator resources. The library also offers onsite access to extensive online resources, wireless access, and color scanners.

Information on all the Libraries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art can be found here.

The Collection Online The curatorial departments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art maintain files of information about the objects that are in their collections. You can browse the objects or search for something specifically. 

Digital Collections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries

Museum of Modern Art Library and Archives

Museum of Modern Art Library

4 West 54th St, 212-708-9433,

Hours: The MoMA Manhattan Library is open to the public Tuesday–Friday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., by appointment or via library card.

The Museum of Modern Art 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 catalogs, over 1,000 periodical titles, and over 40,000 files of ephemera about individual artists and groups.

The library is open to all researchers, though elementary and secondary students are advised to start their research at school and public libraries.

Library Access FAQs

DADABASE The catalog of the MoMA Library. FAQs about DADABASE.

Museum of Modern Art Archives

The Museum Archives was established in 1989 to collect, organize, preserve, and make accessible documentation concerning the Museum's art-historical and cultural role in the 20th and 21st centuries. It is also an internationally recognized center of research for primary source material concerning many aspects of modern and contemporary art, including private archives that may be the papers of artists, collectives, galleries, dealers, art historians, critics, etc.

Click this link to find a list of the Archives holdings with links to the finding aids, as well as search box to search across all the finding aids.


Frick Art Reference Library

Frick Art Reference Library

10 East 70th Street, 212-547-0641,

Hours: M-F, 10am-5pm, last request 4pm; Sat, 9:30am-1pm, last request noon, click on this link to get full list of hours and holidays.

The Library's book and photograph collections relate mainly to paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints from the fourth to the mid-twentieth centuries by European and American artists. Known internationally for its rich holdings of auction and exhibition catalogs, the Library is a leading site for collecting and provenance research. Archival materials and special collections augment the research collections with documents pertaining to the history of collecting art and of Henry Clay Frick's collecting in particular.

The book collection consists of more than 228,000 titles and 3,300 periodicals. Approximately 6,000 books are acquired annually through purchase and gift by museums, art dealers, private collectors, and authors. 

FRESCO The catalog of the Frick Art Reference Library

Library FAQs

Subject Guide

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Claire Gunning
Subjects: Architecture, Art
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