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
PLEASE NOTE: The library will be closed from 12/24/2018 until 1/1/2019.
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:
- 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.
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 2018-2019
Business meetings start at noon with a brown bag lunch followed by our speakers.
PLEASE NOTE: The January 15 meeting of the Friends of the Library has been cancelled. The speaker has been postponed to next year.
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.