Guide to the Art Library
About the Art Library
Photo by Ueno Norihiro
- 13/3/2020 Now we have decided to extend the period of temporary closure for the time being to comply with the request from the government. “More information”
- 10/3/2020 New content has been added to the English version of the Art Library web page.
- 9/10/2019 “The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo – Repository” is open to the public. The repository is a system that allows the public to view written works created at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo on the Internet free of charge. Currently, parts of the Bulletin of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Annual report, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; and Newsletter of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo are accessible. More content is scheduled to become available in the future.
- 1/4/2019 The “Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries “ is now available. In order to use this service, we ask you to provide identity verification documents. Thank you for your cooperation.
- 11/14/2018 Information for the Art Library web page has been updated.
• General Information
Guide to Use PDF (1.64MB)
Seats: 10 / Reading Room Area: 250m²
• Opening Hours
10:30 am–5:00 pm (Tue–Sat, last entry at 4:30 pm)
• Requests for the materials in the closed stacks
Until 4:30 pm
Until 4:30 pm
• Closed on
Sundays, Mondays, national holidays, and the days when the museum is closed. The Library may also be closed during closure of the museum, as well as for maintenance.
2nd Floor, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
(1) Enter the museum from the entrance or the museum shop side entrance, then take the stairs or elevator to the terrace on the 2nd floor.
(2) Take the stairs next to the ticket booths and pass through the terrace on the 2nd floor.
About the Art Library
Having been established in 1952 as Japan’s first national art museum, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT) is located in central Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace. It houses many Japanese masterpieces in various genres from the early 20th century to the present including works from abroad, and holds various exhibitions.
Having opened in 2002 as a library specializing in modern art, the MOMAT’s Art Library collects, and provides public access to, a broad range of materials including art books, exhibition catalogues, and periodicals on art.
Anyone hoping to consult our collection can use our library free of charge.
The library collection
- Books about modern art
- Exhibition catalogs
- Art related magazines
- The materials may be used only in the reading rooms. They do not circulate out of the library.
- Do not use materials for other purposes than consultation.
You may use your own computer in the library after letting the staff know about it.
- Refrain from the following behaviors: smoking, drinking, eating, photography, videography, use of mobile phones, and actions that disturb other users.
- Take good care of library materials.
- An in-advance application is required for use of materials in the Rare Book Room or the Stacks II.
How to Use the Art Library (Simplified)
How to Use the Art Library (Detailed)
How to Use the Art Library
- Obtain a Library Card at the reception counter and fill out the required fields on the form provided.
- Please keep the Library Card somewhere visible on your body while you use the library.
- Please return the Library Card at the counter before leaving the library.
- Materials from the Art Library are not available for loan and must be viewed inside the library. A copying service is available.
- Please refrain from using your mobile phone, eating, drinking, or smoking in the library.
- You are free to view any books, catalogs, and magazines kept on the open shelves of the reading room.
- Many of the materials archived at the Art Library are kept on closed stacks. To access closed stack materials, find the material(s) you wish to view on a PC (OPAC), fill in “Call Slip (Book Access Application Form)” with the name of the work/author and the application number, and bring the completed form to the counter.
- Of the materials in the closed stacks, you may view up to 5 items at a time. To apply to view more materials, first return the materials you are currently viewing and apply again.
- In the interest of preservation, some special materials may not be available.
- Copying Fees (Electronic Copies)
1 page: 30 yen (black & white), 100 yen (color) (tax included)
Sizes: A4, B4, A3 *Copies cannot be enlarged or reduced.
- How to Apply
Fill in the required fields on “Photocopy Request Form.” Place bookmarks in the first and last page of the section of the material you wish to copy and bring it to the reception counter along with “Photocopy Request Form.” A member of our staff will verify which parts and how many pages you wish to copy.
Please make copies using the self-service copy machine. A receipt will be printed after the number of pages you paid for have been copied or when the Return button is pressed. Please take the receipt with you.
Materials collected at the library can be copied as long as doing so does not violate the Copyright Act. For rare books or materials in poor condition, we will make copies for you. In the interest of preservation, copying may be prohibited for some materials. Refunds are not given for any accidental copies made. Please make copies carefully.
- If you have any questions about art materials or would like to know the status of any collected materials, please feel free to ask at the counter.
How to Search for Materials
MOMAT Art Library Collection Search
- The MOMAT OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog)
- The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Repository
- Nanbata Tatsuoki Archive
- Former Possessions of Yamada Masaaki
- Kishida Ryusei Materials
- Mudo Gallery Archive
- Henri Michaux Related Materials
- Paul Klee Related Materials
* A request must be made in advance to access these materials. For details, please refer to the Q&A posted in “How to Use the Art Library.”
Search for Exhibitions, Art Works, and Artists
- MOMAT – exhibition history list
- Union Catalog of the Collections of the National Art Museums, Japan
- (Mainly non-book materials such as ephemera)
- (Clippings of articles about deaths)
About Museum Publications, etc.
- Newsletter of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
- Bulletin of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
- Annual report, Independent Administrative Institution, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
About “The Art Library Consortium Search”
It is possible to cross search the archives of 12 institutions: The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama; National Film Archive of Japan; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; The National Art Center, Tokyo; National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Tokyo National Museum; The Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Tokyo Photographic Art Museum; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; and Yokohama Museum of Art.
About External Databases
- “Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries” [ ] >> This is a digitalized document sending service for libraries (library sending) available at university and public libraries nationwide that allows users to obtain materials that would otherwise be difficult to obtain due to being out of print, etc. from a selection of materials digitalized by the National Diet Library. Service available since January 2019 (identity verification documents are required for access).
- >> Abstracts/index information for Western art in the Bibliography of the history of art (BHA) (1990-2007) and Repertoire de la litterature de l’arta (RILA) (1975-1989) have been integrated and can be searched simultaneously.
- Search Tools and Databases >> This database allows you to access other digital resources including materials at the Getty Research Institute.
- JSTOR [At the MOMAT only] >> JSTOR is an academic archive containing over 170 titles of art magazines managed by an American nonprofit foundation. (As of September 2019)
- Oxford Art Online (OAO) [At the MOMAT only] >> OAO is an online version of The Dictionary of Art previously published by Grove. In addition to Grove Art Online, which contains the full text of The Dictionary of Art, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, and Benezit Dictionary of Artists can also be cross searched.
- ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) [At the MOMAT only] >> This is the only specialized source for bibliographic information about modern and contemporary art. The information covers all forms of art from painting to sculpture, photo and video art, body art, and even graffiti. ABM offers complete abstracts and indexes of articles created since the late 1960’s.
- Arts & Humanities Database [At the MOMAT only] >> A compilation of several hundred titles related to art, architecture, design, history, philosophy, music, literature, drama, and cultural research. This database is designed to supplement the following indexes: ABM, DAAI, British Humanities Index, MLA International Bibliography and Philosopher’s Index, etc.
- Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals (Avery) [At the MOMAT only] >> An index of articles relevant to the fields of architecture and urban planning. This is an index of journal articles related to architecture published since 1934 and covers topics such as architecture, architecture history, landscape design, urban planning, historical preservation, interior design, interior decoration, etc.
- Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) [At the MOMAT only] >> A compilation of various articles related to design and crafts. Users can search journal articles, exhibition reviews, and news entries published between 1973 and today. This index covers a wide variety of fields including crafts, graphic design, fashion, interior, architecture, web design, animation, and landscape gardening.
- International Bibliography of Art (IBA) [At the MOMAT only] >> This is a public online database of the successor to the most reliable source in the field, the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA). It continues to follow the BHA editorial policy. This database includes records created by the Getty Research Institute between 2008 and 2009 as well as a record newly created by ProQuest using the same thesaurus and reference files.
Q: How can I view materials kept on “MOMAT-AL Stack II”?
A: As a general rule, we only allow access to materials that are not available anywhere else. Please check the Library’s Calendar and contact us using the phone number below at least 1 week (excluding the New Year holiday period) in advance of your planned visit. Before calling us, find the materials you wish to view on OPAC and make note of the name and ID of the materials. When you call us, please state your planned day of visit, name, and contact information (phone number, etc.). You can apply to view up to 5 items of material at the same time. If you would like to view more than 5 items of material, please consult with us separately.
Q: How can I continue using a document that was retrieved for me from “MOMAT-AL Stack II” on my next visit?
A: When first accessing the document, inform a staff member at the counter of your next scheduled visit. The document can be reserved for you for up to 2 weeks.
Q: How can I view materials that are kept in the MOMAT-AL Rare Books?
A: Please check the Library’s Calendar and contact us using the phone number below at least 1 week (excluding the New Year holiday period) in advance of your planned visit. Before calling us, find the materials you wish to view on OPAC and make note of the name and ID of the materials. When you call us, please state your planned day of visit, name, and contact information (phone number, etc.). As a general rule, you can apply to view up to 5 items of material at the same time. If you would like to view more than 5 items of material, please consult with us separately.
Q: How can I change or cancel my planned visit?
A: Please contact us using the phone number below.
Q: How can I copy a whole publication?
A: According to Article 31 of Japan’s Copyright Act, reproduction of materials from libraries is permitted “when providing a single user of the library, etc. with a single copy of a part of a work that has been made public (or the whole of a work that has been made public, if it is an individual work that has been printed in a periodical and a considerable period of time has elapsed since its publication) in response to the user’s request and for the purpose of the user’s research or studies.” For this reason, we do not allow copies of whole books to be made at the Art Library. It is permitted to copy a part of a work at a library. This is generally interpreted to mean that “up to half” of a written work may be copied.
Q: May I take photographs inside the reading room?
A: You are permitted to take scenic photographs of the reading room. However, please ensure that other visitors and members of staff are not pictured. Furthermore, taking photographs of materials is generally prohibited. Please use the copy machine.
Q: Can I take home the Book Access Application Form I filled out to keep as a record?
A: TheBook Access Application Forms are kept as records at the library, so they may not be taken with you. Please make your own records if necessary.
Q: Is there anything I need to consider with regards to the handling of personal information?
A: Some materials may contain personal information such as the home addresses of authors. Please be aware that parts of materials that contain such information may not be copied.
Q: Can I take materials home?
A: Materials are not available for loan and must be viewed inside the library. Please use them inside the Art Library.
Q: Do you offer an interlibrary loan service?
A: We do not offer such a service.
Q: I live far away and cannot visit the Art Library. Can you send me copies of materials?
A: We are very sorry. Unfortunately, we do not offer a service to mail copies of materials. Please consult your university library or a local public library.
TEL: +81-3-3214-2561 (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Representative)
Reception Hours: Tue–Fri, 10:30 am–4:30 pm (on open days only)
The Reference Corner is located on the 4th floor of the museum.
The Reference Corner is used for the following purposes.
- To search for works collected at the museum
- To read the Newsletter of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (all issues)
- To read exhibition catalogs at the MOMAT (for the 16 most recent exhibitions)
- To read MOMAT publications such as Bulletin, or collection catalogs etc.
To view more materials, please go to theon the 2nd floor.
Beyond the Awakening: Art in Asia Since 1990
- Exhibited Materials: “Beyond the Awakening: Art in Asia Since 1990,” a project related to the “Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s” exhibition
- Organized by: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Art Library, Japan Foundation Asia Center
- Date: November 16 (Fri)–December 22, 2018 (Sat)
- Place: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Art Library
- Click here for details
- Click here for a list of exhibition materials (1.04 MB) (Also available on OPAC)
* This event has ended.
Archives of American Art (AAA) from A to Z
- Public Lecture: Archives of American Art (AAA) from A to Z
- Organized by: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
- Sponsored by: Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Basic Research Program (B)): Program Number 26280125 (2014–2016)
“Building a Database on Visual Arts in Collaboration with Art Research Institutions and Museums”
(Representative: Marukawa Yuzo [National Museum of Ethnology]) / Keio University Art Center
- Support: Japan Art Documentation Society/The Japan Society for Archival Science/The Japanese Council of Art Museums
- Date: June 18 (Sat), 2016 Open: 12:00 pm Lecture: 12:30 pm–5:00 pm
- Place: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Auditorium
Free to attend / Language: English (with consecutive interpretation)
- Click here for details
* This event has ended.
JAL Project 2016
In cooperation with the National Art Center, Tokyo; Tokyo National Museum; and Tokyo Research National Institute for Cultural Properties, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo launched the project for inviting, giving training to, and exchanging with, Japanese-art librarians from outside Japan 2016 (abbreviation: JAL Project) as a continuation of last year’s efforts.
- Information for JAL Project 2016 (Released 4/22/2016)
* This event has ended.
JAL Project 2015
In cooperation with the National Art Center, Tokyo; National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; and Tokyo Research National Institute for Cultural Properties, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo launched the project for inviting, giving training to, and exchanging with, Japanese-art librarians from outside Japan 2015 (abbreviation: JAL Project) as a continuation of last year’s efforts.
- Information for JAL Project 2015 (Released 5/2/2015)
* This event has ended.
JAL Project 2014
In cooperation with the National Art Center, Tokyo; National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; and Tokyo Research National Institute for Cultural Properties, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo launched the project for inviting, giving training to, and exchanging with, Japanese-art librarians from outside Japan 2014 (abbreviation: JAL Project).
- Information for JAL Project 2014 (Released 5/27/2014)
* This event has ended.