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Welcome to the Winterthur Library, an independent research library with world-class collections dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of artistic, cultural, social, and intellectual history of the Americas in a global context from the 17th to the 20th centuries. We invite you to visit us onsite or online.

Our holdings include rare books, manuscripts, original works of art on paper, ephemera, photographs, the archives of the Winterthur estate and its history as a museum, and more. Collections encompass everything from 20th-century etiquette books by Black leaders, to 17th-century atlases and style guides by European publishers, 18th-century account books of immigrant craftspeople, to extraordinary 19th-century chromolithographed ephemera by leading printers from around the world. Explore the collections through WinterCat, the library’s online catalog and through resources including digital collections, finding aids, and the Internet Archive. You’ll find documentation of household goods and their use, decorative arts and design, records by and about craftspeople and merchants, the material culture of everyday life, and much more…even poison books! We welcome a wide range of inquiry with all of our collections, whether you visit us in person or online. 

The Winterthur Library is free and open to the public year-round. Winterthur also invites applications annually for Research Fellowships. Whether you are a student, scholar, or casually curious, the library can help enrich your understanding and appreciation of America’s past in a global context.

Four main collections comprise the library: Printed Books & Periodicals, including rare books and trade catalogs; the Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera; the Winterthur Archives; and the Decorative Arts Photographic Collection (DAPC) and the Photographic Index of American Art and Design (PIAAD), a visual resource of thousands of photographs.

Learn more about the history and collections of the Winterthur Library here.

Library Hours and Protocols

The Winterthur Library is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-4:00 pm., by appointment only. Sorry, no walk-ins or weekend hours.

To make an appointment, please email reference@winterthur.org at least 24 hours in advance of your requested visit time.

Please note that masks are required within the library. Thank you in advance.

Library Resources

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Books and Periodicals
In our Collection of Printed Books and Periodicals, you will find more…

<a href="https://www.winterthur.org/the-collection-of-printed-books-and-periodicals/" class="read-more" >More Info<span class="sr-only"> about Books and Periodicals</span></a>

Research Guides
Guide to the Downs Collection and Winterthur Archives The online book Guide to…

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The John and Carolyn Grossman Collection
A world-class collection of about 250,000 items, The John and Carolyn Grossman…

<a href="https://www.winterthur.org/24294-2/" class="read-more" >More Info<span class="sr-only"> about The John and Carolyn Grossman Collection</span></a>

Library News
These are the most recent issues of Winterthur Library News, our quarterly…

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Rights & Reproductions
Digital reproductions of items from the Winterthur Library for study and/or publication…

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Explore the Library Collections

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<p><a href="http://library.winterthur.org:8001/search/query?theme=winterthur" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span></span></a><span>Explore the library collections using <a href="http://library.winterthur.org:8001/search/query?theme=winterthur" target="_blank" rel="noopener">WinterCat</a>, the Winterthur Digital Collections site, and other specialized online resources. </span></p>
Finding Aids
Search across hundreds of finding aids to get detailed descriptions of archival…

<a href="https://www.winterthur.org/finding-aids/" class="read-more" >More Info<span class="sr-only"> about Finding Aids</span></a>

Winterthur Library on the Internet Archive
Explore more than 900 trade catalogs and other resources from Winterthur’s page…

<a href="https://www.winterthur.org/winterthur-library-archive/" class="read-more" >More Info<span class="sr-only"> about Winterthur Library on the Internet Archive</span></a>

Explore WinterCat
Access the digital holdings of our library through the Wintercat online catalog.

<a href="http://library.winterthur.org:8001/" target="_blank" class="read-more" >Go to WinterCat<span class="sr-only"> about Explore WinterCat</span></a>