• Collections Search
  • Collection Highlights
  • American
  • Arms and Armor
  • Ancient
  • Chinese
  • European
  • Indian
  • Islamic
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Precolumbian
  • Library
  • Conservation
  • Academic Collaboratives
  • Information
  • Provenance Research
  • The Worcester Art Museum Library

    library photo

    Jump to

    Friends of the Library

    Enjoy behind-the-scenes programs and special speakers.

    Hours & Information

    Admission to the library is free of charge

    The Museum Library Hours


    School Year
    (Labor Day to Memorial Day)
    Wednesday-Friday, 11am-5pm
    Saturday, 10am-5pm

    (Memorial Day to Labor Day)
    Wednesday-Friday, 11am-5pm

    The library will be closed, Friday, July 3.

    Online Catalog

    Research Tools

    Phone: 508.793.4382


    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. For Worcester area college students the Museum is a stop on the Consortium's shuttle service.

    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.

    Online Catalog

    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, as well as a database of 1700 images from the Museum's permanent collection.

    Research Tools

    Special access to online research tools including:

    Art Resources
    Art Organizations
    Art and Research Libaries
    Worcester Area Libraries
    Exhibition Listings
    Auction Information
    Reference Tools

    Digital Collections

    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:

    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.

    Library Brochure

    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 library@worcesterart.org or click the links below.

    Membership Levels

    Reader $50

    Bookworm $100

    Bibliophile $250

    Bibliomaniac $500


    WAM Friends of the Library Schedule 2014-2015

    Business meetings start at noon with a brown bag lunch followed by our speakers.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014, - Introduction of Nora Maroulis, WAM’s new Director of Philanthropy.  Nora will update us on plans for the future of WAM’s library.  Speaker will be Dr. James A. Welu  on, Stephen Salisbury’s Grand Tour.     
    “The only heir of one of Massachusetts’ leading colonial merchants, Stephen Salisbury II (1798- 1884) first visited Europe in his early thirties, a trip that lasted two years.  During his travels intended for “information and pleasure”, Salisbury made purchases in a number of different countries.  Each of these acquisitions reflects the interests of a family that would play a major role in developing the cultural and educational life of Worcester. “

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - Devon Gray, Department Director of Skinner Auction House’s Division of Fine Books and Manuscripts, will speak on the important role specialized libraries play in our society and the continued importance of printed books.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - Nancy Burns, Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at WAM will speak about WAM’s recent acquisition of a Picasso print and it’s important place in the development of Cubism. 

    Tuesday, March 20, 2015 - Michael Blanding will speak about his latest book, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps.   Blanding tells the story of E. Forbes Smiley, an esteemed and respectable antiquarian map dealer, who spent years doubling as a map thief delicately tearing maps out of books in the Yale University Library until he was arrested. He would confess to the theft of 97 maps valued at over $3M and serve 42 months in prison.  “ Blanding expertly reports a tale of personal destruction  and redemption played against  the dog-eat-dog world of a secretive subculture”.