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, and the BGC Library is dedicated to helping patrons conduct research beyond its own collections. We encourage members of the BGC community to become registered readers of the New York Public Library (NYPL) and the Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and we encourage frequent use of New York City's many other museum and research libraries.

Links to the websites of libraries commonly visited by the BGC community follow below, and a chart outlining their access policies 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.


American Museum of Natural History Research Library


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 if you do not have an FIT or SUNY library card)

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 if you do not have an NYU library card)



METRO passes

We do not provide borrowing privileges at other academic libraries in the city, but as a member of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), the BGC Library can offer students and faculty one-time, title-by-title access to other academic libraries in the city when specific research material is needed.


BGC Library staff may issue METRO passes in the form of a yellow Title Referral Card to our readers in order to give them one-time, title-by-title access to other academic libraries.

In accordance with METRO’s regulations, librarians must follow specific protocol for METRO passes.  A pass is issued for specific title, and it may only be issued if the title is not held in any other library in the area.

Although METRO passes only permit use of the specific titles for which they are written, some libraries do not strictly uphold this rule: once you’ve obtained building access, you may be permitted to visit other areas of the library as well. 

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.


Other types of library cards

For more extensive access to the research libraries of NYPL, New York University, and Columbia University, we encourage BGC researchers who need it to apply for NYPL's Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI), which offers approved NYPL cardholders the ability to borrow select research library material for at-home use for the first time ever, and grants access to select materials owned by Columbia University and NYU. 


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Click above for a chart outlining the access policies of various NYC libraries.