I was recently offered the opportunity to explore the collection of the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives and write about it. Delighted, I approached the collection and said, “Where do I start?” This was a surprisingly difficult question; there was just so much to see! Overwhelmed, I sat down and thought about what the library was all about. I’ve learned that the main purpose of a museum’s library is to support its collection. So I was not surprised to discover that The Wilbour Library of Egyptology (a section of the Brooklyn Museum’s Libraries and Archives) is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world, as the Museum’s Egyptology collection is one of the largest and finest in the world. The Museum has been acquiring Egyptian art since the turn of the twentieth century and acquired a large collection assembled by Charles Edwin Wilbour, whose personal library also formed the core of The Wilbour Library. After learning this, I decided that The Wilbour Library was the place to begin. However, with close to 50,000 volumes, this did not make the task any less daunting.
Attention, logophiles! We invite you to visit the Frick Art Reference Library and The Museum of Modern Art Library to acquaint yourself with the Oxford English Dictionary Online (OED). Logophiles, or lovers of words, will be pleased to know that the OED is replete with more than 600,000 entries that include contemporary meanings of words as well as their corresponding chronological history and evolution. The OED includes great ways to learn how to get the most out of this online dictionary, including quizzes for those who are up for the challenge.
Ok, they were previously 0% findable. Still, by adding the MoMA Film Department Special Collections inventory to the MoMA web site, film researchers can now discover over 100 primary-source collections on film-related figures and topics. The processed (and partially-processed) collections include papers on individuals (filmmakers, distributors, animators, actors), studios (Biograph, Edison, Kalem), and groups (Film and Photo League).