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library
Our library’s distinctive collections and installations are accessible to all.

Library

Hours: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Tuesday–Friday (excluding holidays)
Location: 2nd Floor, Perelman Building


As one of the major art reference libraries in the United States, we house materials dating from the 1400s to the present.

The approximately 285,000 auction catalogs, books, e-books, ephemera, periodicals, and online database subscriptions in the library reflect the museum’s collections, which focus on European, American, and Asian painting and sculpture; furniture and decorative arts; arms and armor; costume and textiles; prints, drawings, and photographs; and modern and contemporary art. We also provide the public with access to the museum’s images.

Additionally, our Archives provide documents and artifacts that chronicle the museum’s history. Visit Archives >>

LibGuidesSearch the Library and ArchivesLibrary CatalogArchives CatalogDatabasesDigitized Collections

Access

We are open to the public. Access is free. Just request a Researcher’s Pass at the Perelman Building entrance.

Materials require advance paging, which occurs twice daily (once in the morning and in the afternoon). Please call in advance so that your research can begin as soon as you arrive.

Library materials can’t be checked out, but you may use our book scanner free of charge or take your own digital photos. We participate in the PALCI Reciprocal On-Site Borrowing Program.

Contact Us

For more information, to request image files, or to ask a reference question, please e-mail or call 215-684-7650.

If you need any kind of appraisal, please contact the American Society of Appraisers, P.O. Box 17265, Washington, D. C., 20041 at 1-800-272-8258 for a list of appraisers in a specific geographic area.


National Digital Stewardship Residency

From 2016–19, the museum, in partnership with ARLIS/NA, implemented a National Digital Stewardship Residency program for art information professionals through generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) via a 2016 Laura Bush 21st-Century Librarian Program grant.

The National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) program continues to foster digital information expertise through meaningful hands-on experiences. NDSR Art supports art librarians and visual resource curators in their endeavor to provide long-term, durable access to born-digital works of art and publications, images, institutional repositories, and interactive technologies. NDSR Art enhances skills to ensure quality access, presentation, and preservation of our digital cultural heritage for twenty-first-century users and future generations. Over the course of two years, eight residents were matched with host institutions across the country for twelve-month paid residencies.

Visit the NDSR Art website for more information.