The North Carolina Museum of Art

Museum Library

Welcome to the Art Reference Library of the North Carolina Museum of Art. From its beginnings in a secretary’s office when the Museum opened in downtown Raleigh in 1956, the Museum Library has grown to house over 40,000 volumes.

The Museum Library serves as a research-oriented, noncirculating collection, and its core holdings include the personal collection of the Museum’s first director, Dr. William Valentiner. The holdings reflect the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibitions held in the past and present, and the history of art. In addition to books, patrons can access periodicals, artists’ files, auction catalogues, and electronic resources. 

Reference Services

  • Assistance with researching works in the Museum’s permanent collection.
  • Bibliographic or historic information about specific artists or periods.
  • Information about upcoming exhibitions.
  • Other art-related inquiries. 

The Museum Library does not authenticate or give valuations of works of art or out-of-print books. 

Location and Hours

Found on Level O of East Building, the Museum Library is open to the public Tuesday–Friday, 10 am–4 pm. The Library is closed on Mondays and designated holidays. Parking at the Museum is free.

Notice: The Art Reference Library will be closed to the public from December 23–26, 2014. 

Art Periodicals

The Library has a collection of current and back issues of several important journals related to art trends, art history, and museum studies. See featured titles

  • African Arts 
  • Apollo
  • Art Bulletin
  • ArtForum 
  • Art in America 
  • Art News
  • Art Papers
  • Burlington Magazine
  • Modern Painters
  • Museum

Ask the Librarian

Reference services are provided in person, by telephone at (919) 664-6770, or by email.