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New York area resources

The ISAW Library is supported in its mission by the excellent collections of other libraries in the New York Metropolitan area with strong collections in the study of the ancient world.

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library (NYU)

Stephan Chan Library of Fine Arts (NYU)

Conservation Center Library (NYU)

Columbia University Libraries

Thomas J. Watson Library (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

New York Public Library

Harry W. Bass Jr. Library (American Numismatic Society)

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library is the main library of New York University. The library, built between 1967 and 1973, is the university’s largest library and one of the largest academic libraries in the United States.

Bobst Library houses more than 3.3 million volumes, 20 thousand journals, and over 3.5 million microforms; Bobst also provides access to thousands of electronic resources in the forms of licensed databases, e-journals and other formats both on-site and to the NYU community around the world via the Internet. Within the library, there are several distinct special collections departments, including the Fales Library, the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives, and the University Archives of New York University. Bobst's holdings, as well as the holdings of other NYU libraries, are represented in NYU's online catalog, BobCat.

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Stephen Chan Library of Fine Arts (NYU)

The Stephen Chan Library of Fine Arts at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts is a non-circulating research collection located on the second floor of the Duke House (14 East 78th Street). It supports the research and curricular needs of the Institute of Fine Arts’ graduate programs in art history and archaeology. The library contains over 100,000 volumes, subscribes to 485 periodicals, and houses a distinguished rare book collection. The majority of the library’s holdings are represented in BobCat, NYU’s online catalog. A division of NYU’s library system, the IFA Library also maintains cooperative access arrangements with major New York metropolitan art libraries. All visitors must register at the entrance to the Institute of Fine Arts.

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Conservation Center Library (NYU)

The Conservation Center Library, also located at the Institute for Fine Arts, is a non-circulating research collection located on the second floor of the Stephen Chan House, (14 East 78th Street). It supports the research and curricular needs of the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, which offers a graduate program in the technology and conservation of works of art and historic artifacts.

The Conservation Center library contains 14,000 volumes, subscribes to 220 periodicals, and includes rare book and videotape collections. All holdings are represented in BobCat, NYU’s online library catalog. The library is divided into three levels. Level 2F comprises the main Reading Room, the Reference Collection, course and personal reserve shelves, and the Lawrence J. Majewski Rare Book Collection. Level 2M consists of the periodicals stacks, a BobCat terminal, and a photocopier. Level 2R houses book stacks, a second BobCat terminal, and a videotape-viewing installation.

Four computer terminals for student use also are located here. All visitors to the Conservation Center library must register at the entrance of the IFA.

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Columbia University Libraries

The twenty-two libraries at Columbia and its affiliated institutions hold more than 10 million volumes, over 100,000 current journals and serials, and an extensive collection of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. Columbia University Libraries ranks as one of the top five academic library systems in the nation.

The Avery Library at Columbia University is an open-stack, noncirculating research library composed of three collections: Avery, Fine Arts and Ware. The Avery collection, one of the world’s outstanding collections in the field of architecture, also includes materials on archaeology and the decorative arts. The Fine Arts collection represents the range of literature in art history. The Ware collection, the library’s only circulating collection, is composed primarily of urban planning, housing and real estate development materials and also houses English language art and architecture books.

Butler Library at Columbia University houses the University’s collections in the humanities, with particular strengths in history literature, philosophy and religion. Butler also contains one of the country’s most extensive collections of materials pertinent to the study of Greco-Roman antiquity. The stacks consist of 12 floors of books and the entrance is at the third-floor Circulation Desk.

NYU faculty and students are entitled to reference (i.e. non-circulating) access to Columbia Libraries. A reader card is required for access and may be obtained at the Library Information Office in Butler Library during regular business hours upon presentation of NYU ID and other identification.

Additionally, NYU doctoral students and faculty (including ISAW Visiting Research Scholars) can apply for borrowing privileges at Columbia University's libraries through the Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI). Detailed information on the MaRLI program is available in a LibGuide. Eligible NYU scholars can apply for a MaRLI card here.

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Thomas J. Watson Library (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Thomas J. Watson Library is the research library of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its non-circulating collection of books and periodicals relating to the history of art is one of the most comprehensive in the world. The scope of the library reflects the museum’s permanent collection, with particularly strong holdings in European and American art—including architecture and the decorative arts—as well as substantial holdings in Ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Asian, and Islamic art. The library contains approximately 600,000 volumes (books, periodicals, exhibition catalogues, and auction and sale catalogues); 2,500 current serial subscriptions; collections of autograph letters; and extensive ephemera files relating to individual artists and to the history of the Metropolitan Museum.

The Thomas J. Watson Library’s primary mission is to serve the Museum’s staff. It also serves an international community of scholars. Watson Library welcomes visiting researchers who are college-level or older. All visiting researchers must register and must show photo I.D. to receive a Reader’s Card. All bags larger than 9 x 12 x 3 in., laptop cases, and coats must be checked at the Coat Check before coming to the library. ISAW-based patrons can receive an orientation from a member of the Watson Library's staff.

Watsonline is the online catalog of the Thomas J. Watson Library; the catalog provides access to the records of Watson Library’s holdings, including periodicals, a substantial portion of the library’s thousands of auction/sales catalogs, and records for partial holdings of other libraries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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New York Public Library

The New York Public Library comprises a set of scholarly research collections and a network of community libraries, and its intellectual and cultural range is both global and local. The research collections (for reference only, and organized as The Research Libraries, with four major centers) resemble the holdings of great national and university libraries, and the community circulating libraries (organized as The Branch Libraries) resemble classic American municipal libraries. The New York Public Library's holdings can be searched using its online catalog.

Additionally, full-time NYU faculty and doctoral students (including those based at ISAW) can apply for extended borrowing privileges from the New York Public Library through the Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI). Detailed information on the MaRLI program is available in a LibGuide. Eligible NYU scholars can apply for a MaRLI card here.

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Harry W. Bass Jr. Library (American Numismatic Society)

The Harry W. Bass Jr. Library at the American Numismatic Society, which houses one of the world's most comprehensive collections of numismatic literature, presently numbers some 100,000 items. These include books, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, pamphlets, auction catalogs, and microforms, all of which are cataloged.

In addition to numismatic works, the Library includes a strong reference collection and a wide selection of non-numismatic periodicals in the areas of archaeology, art history, economic history and other disciplines. The library's holdings can be searched using its online catalog, DONUM.

Members of the ANS and students with a valid student ID have free access to the library. Other visitors to the library must pay a daily fee for use of the library's collection.

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