Other NYC Libraries

A great many academic libraries, museum libraries, and public research libraries in New York City contain excellent collections for research in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture.

Links to the websites of libraries most frequently visited by the BGC community follow below, and a chart outlining the access policies of ten of the most essential libraries is on the right. Some are open to the public, with or without an appointment, while others are private academic libraries. Visiting another private academic library outside of your own institution requires a research pass called a METRO pass (see below) and usually requires an appointment as well.


Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives


Columbia University Libraries


   (METRO pass required if you do not have a CUL library card)

Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum Library


Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)


   (METRO pass required)

Frick Art Reference Library


The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Watson Library


Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Libraries


The New York Public Library (NYPL)


The New-York Historical Society


New York University Libraries


   (METRO pass required)


METRO passes

The BGC Library's membership in the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) allows us to issue "METRO passes" to our readers in order to give them access to other libraries in the New York metropolitan area. METRO passes come in the form of a blue Subject Referral Card or (most often) a yellow Title Referral Card.


In accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by METRO, librarians must follow a very specific protocol before issuing a METRO pass. The preferred pass among METRO members is the yellow Title Referral Card, which may only be issued for a single, specific title that is not held in any other area library accessible without a METRO pass.

Although METRO passes usually only permit use of the specific titles for which they are written, some libraries do not strictly uphold this rule. In some cases, a library will also accept the blue Subject Referral Card, which grants wider access to a library with significant holdings in a particular subject area.

Receiving and Using a METRO pass

Please see a BGC librarian if you have any questions about METRO passes, or to be issued a METRO pass if necessary. Once you receive a pass for a title, it is always prudent to contact the library you're visiting in advance so you can find out their hours and determine if the title you require is currently available.

Back to top
Enlarge image

Click above for a chart outlining the access policies of these ten libraries.