The Worcester Art Museum Library
Enjoy behind-the-scenes programs and special speakers.
Hours & Information
Admission to the library is free of charge
The Museum Library Hours
The Worcester Art Museum Library, founded in 1909, is a bibliographic resource dedicated to the history of art reflecting the collection strengths of the Museum. The Library is managed in association with the College of the Holy Cross, a collaboration that began in 2001.
The Library is located on the second floor of the Museum. The reading room is the original Sculpture Gallery in the Museum's 1898 building and houses frequently used monographs and art publications.
Using the Library
The Library serves the staff of the Museum, and also extends its resources and services to the community, including teachers, students, faculty, collectors, museum docents, scholars, and the general public.
- If you wish to use a book from our Rare Book Collection please contact a librarian to make an appointment
- Belongings may be checked at any of the Museum entrances
- Backpacks are not allowed
- Food and drink are not permitted
- Free WiFi
A photocopier is available ($.15 per page black and white, $.50 per page color) and a printer is attached to our public access computer terminals.
The Library's online catalog provides access to most of the holdings of the Worcester Art Museum Library and the libraries of the College of the Holy Cross.
Special access to online research tools including:
Art and Research Libaries
Worcester Area Libraries
The library provides on-line access to over 260 early Worcester Art Museum exhibition catalogs. The digitization of the catalogs was provided by the Digital Commonwealth and Boston Public Library and funded by an LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant. The digitized exhibition catalogs are available on the Internet Archive.
The Library's bibliographic collection encompasses all periods and media of art, with an emphasis on European, American, and Asian art. The collection includes:
- 53,000 books
- Online databases (such as ARTstor and Oxford Art)
- Auction catalogs dating back to 1887
- Artist files
- Special materials on the Museum's permanent collection
- Current subscriptions to 25 art periodicals, and archived holdings of over 200 art periodicals
The collection is non-circulating.
The Library welcomes both monetary donations and books that could be included in the Library's holdings. The Library accepts books that are in good condition and art related. You may also help the Library by donating a book from our wish list.
Download the Library Brochure for more information on the library.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Library group was started in 2002 to support and enhance the Library's activities and collections. Its purposes are: to provide and attract new financial support to enrich the basic collections and activities of the Library; to provide and attract special collections, rare books, and manuscripts; to sponsor special projects or programs; to provide a thorough understanding of the Library and its role in the Museum's future; and to serve as a medium through which persons may advance their own intellectual pursuits and share their enthusiasm for books and art.
The group meets four times a year and enjoys behind-the-scenes programs and special speakers. The group sponsors the triennial art book sale which is the Library's major fund raiser.
New Friends of the Library members are always welcome! If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click the links below.
WAM Friends of the Library Schedule 2016-2017
Business meetings start at noon with a brown bag lunch followed by our speakers.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - Author talk by Mark Fins about his book, Imagine That, the story of a lonely eight year old boy uprooted from his familiar home in Queens to a new home in Worcester who befriends an eccentric industrialist in his new neighborhood. The story is based on Fins’ encounter as a child with John Woodman Higgins, the founder of Worcester’s Higgins Armory.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - Author talk by Susan McDaniel Ceccacci, Education Director for Preservation Worcester, about her new book, Living at the City’s Green Edge: Bancroft Heights, A Planned Neighborhood in Worcester, Massachusetts.Ceccacci, an architectural historian, “has created a rich tableau that captures Worcester’s cultural and industrial development over the past two centuries”.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - Discussion by Birgit Strähle, Assistant Paintings Conservator at WAM, of the History of Libraries from Antiquity to the Present. Birgit Strähle first joined the WAM in 2003 as a graduate level intern, and held two fellowships from the Samuel H. Kress and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundations from 2006-2009. She received an M.A in art history from the University of Braunschweig and a Diploma in paintings and sculpture conservation from the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - Author talk by Stephanie Yuhl, Professor of History at the College of the Holy Cross about her book, A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston, UNC Press, 2005; “with a dazzling mixture of social and cultural history, this book represents a major contribution to our understanding of American arts and society during the 1920’s and ‘30’s”. Her book was awarded both the 2006 Willie Lee Rose Prize from the Southern Association of Women's Historians for the best book published in southern history in 2006 by a woman and the 2006 Historic Preservation Book Prize.