Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art Library

2525 Pennsylvania Avenue
(Mailing address: Box 7646, Philadelphia 19101-7646)
Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-684-7650 voice
215-236-0534 fax

Library: Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Archives: Tuesday-Friday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Appointments are required.


Library--Founded in 1876, the Philadelphia Museum of Art was the first American art museum to establish a library at its opening, thanks to the foresight of its founders, who recognized the importance of such a resource to the institution's educational and research mission. Today, the Museum's Library is one of the major art reference repositories in the United States, housing approximately 216,000 books, auction catalogues, and periodicals dating from the sixteenth century to the present. Reflecting the Museum's rich and distinctive collections, the Library's holdings 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. Appointments to use the Library are not required. 

Archives--The mission of the Archives is to collect, preserve, and make available non-current records of enduring value for the institution. Its 1,800 linear feet of materials are the primary source of information relating to the Museum's history, including past exhibitions activities, events, and interactions with significant figures and organizations in the world of art. The Archives also holds records relating to affiliated organizations both past and present, such as the former 69th Street Branch Museum and the Rodin Museum, as well as several important manuscript collections that relate in some way to the institution's history, including the papers of artists, collectors, and scholars. Appointments to use the Archives are required. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.