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The Museum Library

The Museum library entrance

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Hours and Information

Admission to the library is free of charge.

Library Hours

The Library is currently closed. To reach a librarian, call 508.793.4382 or email library@worcesterart.org.

For more information about library services during closure, please visit this guide.

Online Catalog Digital Resources

The library cannot accept book donations from the public at this time.


The Worcester Art Museum Library, founded in 1909, is dedicated to the study and enjoyment of the history of art by collecting resources in support of the museum’s mission, exhibitions, and permanent collections. 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. Please be respectful of the library staff and other users of the library by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • If you wish to use a book from our Rare Book Collection please contact a librarian to make an appointment
  • Library staff are not able to scan documents for the public
  • Library staff are not able to print out private correspondence or emails for the public
  • 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.

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:

  • 65,000 books
  • Online databases
  • Auction catalogs dating back to 1887
  • Artist files
  • Special materials on the Museum's permanent collection
  • Current subscriptions to 16 leading art periodicals

Drawing of a girl dressed in Victorian clothes relaxing and reading a book