Archives Collections Index
Visiting the Libraries and Archives
Open to the public, the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives offer non-circulating resources that serve the needs of students, scholars, and others who have conducted preliminary research elsewhere.
The Libraries and Archives are open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the first Saturday of every month from 1 to 4 p.m. with the exception of July through September.
Visitors who wish to use the Libraries and Archives are asked to consult the online catalogue and to e-mail citations for material needed for research. To inquire about visiting please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (718) 501-6307. Reference and photocopying services are available.
About the Libraries and Archives
The Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives comprise one of the largest art museum libraries in the country, with approximately 300,000 volumes and 2,000 linear feet of archival collections. The collection was founded in 1823 with the establishment of the Brooklyn Apprentices Library Association, which later evolved into the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, the parent organization of the Museum. This collection has been developed to encourage understanding of the Museum’s object collections and cultural history. The fine arts are well represented, with research material on painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, photography, decorative arts, costumes, and textiles. The research collections also cover anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology with resources in various formats, including books, exhibition and auction catalogs, pamphlets, files, multimedia, and electronic resources. The research collections are divided into two Libraries and the Museum Archives.
Main Museum Library
The main Museum Library is particularly strong in the arts of the Americas (North and South), Africa, Asia, and Islam. Special collections include costume and fashion sketches, documentary photographs, rare books, and artists’ books. An extensive collection of artists’ files, supplemented by databases, on Brooklyn-based artists is also available.
The Wilbour Library of Egyptology
The Wilbour Library of Egyptology is one of the world’s most comprehensive research libraries for the study of ancient Egypt. The nucleus of the collection comes from the personal library of Charles Edwin Wilbour, an American Egyptologist who also assembled the Museum’s extensive Egyptian antiquities collection. With over 35,000 volumes, the Wilbour Library is an important resource for textual and visual information about the history of ancient Egypt. It also holds material on art and culture of the ancient Middle East.
The Museum Archives contains institutional records, curatorial correspondence, expedition reports, and other related textual and visual records dating to the founding of the institution. Of particular note are the papers of founding curators Stewart Culin, Curator of Ethnology from 1903 to 1929, and William Henry Goodyear, Curator of Fine Arts from 1899 to 1923. The history of the Museum is well documented in records dating back to 1913 and an extensive collection of photographs.