This summer I’ve had the opportunity to profile a special library: The Museum of Fine Arts–Houston Hirsch Library. The library profile provides an intricate look at the Museum of Fine Arts–Houston Hirsch Library’s collection development policy through stages. The library profile was conducted for one of my classes from June 6, 2012 through August 1, 2012. I had no idea the that the Hirsch Library existed in the museum even though I have frequented the institution on numerous occasions.
According to Hirsch Library website, “Since the 1920s, the Hirsch Library has served the museum staff, art researchers, college students, and the public by collecting, providing access to, and preserving information about the visual arts.”
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Hirsch Library, is centrally located inside of the museum, located at 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77005. It is the largest library museum collection research institution in the South Central part of the United States.
The Hirsch Library has a large collection that can be accessed physically or electronically. Their collection compliments the curatorial departments. Once inside the physical library, all books are arranged according to artist’s names and art education section of the library. In regard to the library catalog there is a simple search and advanced search via their database online that can be accessed 24-hours.
Below is a full listing of what is currently housed inside the library:
Arts of Africa, Oceania & the Americas, American Painting & Sculpture, Antiquities, Arts of Asia, Decorative Arts & Design, European Art, Film, Arts of the Islamic World, Latin American Art, Modern & Contemporary Art, Photography, Prints & Drawings, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation—Renaissance and Baroque Art, Bayou Bend—American decorative arts, Rienzi—European arts.
Their collection includes the following:
- Collections > 140,000 book and periodical volumes
- Auction Catalogues > 30,293
- Periodical Titles > 745
- Current Periodical Subscriptions > 315
- Database Subscriptions > 18
- Artist Catalog Records > 12,745
- Ephemera Files > 16, 591
Several librarians helped with gathering information for this report this summer as it pertains to the library in general, provided a free tour, and answered after-hour questions including Reference Librarian–Lynn Wexler, Program Manager-Librarian–Marie Wise, and Technical Services Librarian– Cheryl Payne. I am grateful to them for their help this summer.
*This is just a snippet of the project. Feel free to view the profile/policy in its entirety below.