Library and Archives
Visit the Library & Archives
Museum members, qualified scholars, and graduate students may visit The Research Library and Archives by appointment. To request an appointment, contact the manager of the Library & Archives by phone at 619.696.1959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. | Search library selections
Monday | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Friday | 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Notice: The Library will be closed on Friday, October 9.
Library & Archives
The Research Library, located next to the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden is the region’s largest library specializing in the visual arts. The Library’s holdings comprise more than 30,000 volumes covering a wide range of art topics, with a special emphasis on Italian Renaissance, Spanish Baroque, Indian miniature painting, and Chinese art. In addition, 15,000 bound volumes of art periodicals represent 540 different periodicals, with current subscriptions to 45 key periodicals.
The Library owns more than 18,000 auction catalogs from major and minor auction houses including Bonham’s, Butterfields, Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s.
The Library maintains an extensive collection of individual files containing information on more than 30,000 artists, from Old Masters to contemporary art makers. Several key online databases are available as well, providing access to international auction sales results, periodical article indexes and full-text articles, and other research tools.
The Museum’s Archives are housed in the Library, along with numerous scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings relating to the history of the Museum and of the arts in San Diego from the 1920s through 1989.
Located inside the Research Library, the Archives are the repository for a wide range of materials dealing with the history of the Museum and of the arts in San Diego. The collection includes items relating to key figures in the growth of the Museum such as the Bridges and Putnam families, Earle Grant and Pliny Munger, Dr. Clarence and Mrs. Ellis Spreckels Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Irving Snyder, and the Museum’s first director, Reginald Poland.
Papers, letters, photographs and sketchbooks of several important artists including Robert Henri, Donal Hord, William Templeton Johnson, Alice Klauber, Alfred Mitchell, Walter Pach, Arthur Putnam, Roland Schneider, Florence Kemmler Schneider, and Fritz Werner are also in the collection. Among the Schneider-Kemmler materials are 990 glass slide photographs, including approximately 300 autochromes dating from the 1910s to 1930s, products of the earliest practical color photography process.
Other important photographic holdings include a scrapbook containing nearly 200 images of China from circa 1910, including two dozen rare panoramic photographs, and nearly 100 glass negatives of Arthur Putnam’s bronze sculptures.
Partnerships in San Diego City & County
For more than10 years, the Museum has enjoyed a partnership with the San Diego Public Library in which the San Diego Public Library creates five exhibition Pathfinders each year. Pathfinders are listings of books, online databases, videos, and other information related to the Museum’s special exhibitions. The Public Library provides the Museum with 500 to 1,000 copies of the exhibition bibliographies, which the Museum makes available within its featured special exhibitions.
Local library branches within the San Diego Public Library system, as well as the Coronado Public Library, also serve as exhibition venues for displaying K-12 student art biennially for the Young Art exhibitions. For the 2009 exhibition, 300 additional students’ works were displayed throughout San Diego thanks to the participation of several San Diego area libraries.