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  • The Worcester Art Museum Library

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    The Worcester Art Museum library, which has been closed for a collection reclassification and automation project, will reopen on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a librarian, please call 508.793.4386 or email rebeccamorin@worcesterart.org.

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    Friends of the Library

    Enjoy behind-the-scenes programs and special speakers.

    Hours & Information

    Admission to the library is free of charge.

    Library Hours

    Wednesday – Saturday, 10am-4pm

    Closed: Saturdays Memorial Day – Labor Day

    Online Catalog Research Tools

    Phone: 508.793.4382
    E-mail: library@worcesterart.org


    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. Please be respectful of the library staff and other users of the library by adhering to the following guidelines:

    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:

    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.

    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.

    Membership Levels

    New Friends of the Library members are always welcome! If interested, please email library@worcesterart.org.

    WAM Friends of the Library Schedule 2018-2019

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

    Friday, September 21, 2018
    James A. Welu. Vermeer and Cartography.

    Jim will discuss the role of cartography in the paintings of the 17th century Dutch painter, Vermeer. All of the maps and globes in Vermeer's paintings can be identified, though few originals still exist.

    Tuesday, November 6, 2018
    Belinda Rathbone. The Boston Raphael.

    The daughter of the Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Belinda Rathbone reveals the true story behind the Museum's acquisition of a purported Raphael painting in the sixties that turned out to be a fake.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2019
    Peter Moriarity. Warm Room: Photographs from Historic Greenhouses.

    Peter Moriarity, a well-known photographer with works in many major institutions, will discuss his newly published book, Warm Room: Photographs from Historic Green Houses. Warm Room is a unique portfolio of 56 gelatin-silver prints of distinctive greenhouses of major cities in America and Europe.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019
    Elise Hooper. Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange

    In this amazing new novel by the author of The Other Alcott, we see the world of Dorothea Lange, creator of one of the most iconic photographs of twentieth-century America. Learning to See follows the life of an ambitious woman and her awakening to art and activism.