Next time one is looking for something to do in Manhattan, consider visiting the Morgan Library & Museum - especially if one is an avid bookworm. It is a museum and research library and houses many priceless, rare, and historical works. The library is more of a museum than an actually usable library today but is a great attraction while exploring the Big Apple.
The largest library in the world is said to be the British Library, located in London with another campus in Yorkshire (it more or less ties in size with the American Library of Congress). The largest monastery library in the world is the Admont Abbey library in Austria. Bookworms have plenty of libraries around the world to put on their bucket list.
The Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan Library & Museum was formerly known as the Pierpont Morgan Library. It is located in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan at 225 Madison Avenue.
- Location: 225 Madison Avenue
- Founded: In 1906
The museum occupies several structures, and the main building and its interior is a New York City designated landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
The Morgan Library was founded in 1906 to house the banker J. P. Morgan's private library. His private library included manuscripts, drawings, printed books, and more. In 1924 the library became a public institution by his son, John Pierpont Morgan, Jr., as per his father's will.
Today the library, with its impressive collection of books and other works, is open to the public. The collection includes some very rare and fragile works.
It is generally not possible to go and read at the Morgan Library. Instead, visitors are welcome to see and admire the beautiful library and rooms without touching anything. If everyone reads and touches the old books would endanger them.
The Morgan Library does work with researchers who can demonstrate their needs to access books. It has a dedicated Reading Room for them to access its collections.
The Sherman Fairchild Reading Room
The Morgan Library is today a museum and not so much an active library. That being said, they do have the Sherman Fairchild Reading Room, where one can request an appointment to read some of their rare and historical books. At the time of writing (September 2022), visitors need to be vaccinated, and they are still operating on a reduced schedule.
- Access: To Researchers Who Can Demonstrate A Need To Access The Books
The Read Room is intended for researchers who can demonstrate a need to see Morgan's rare materials in the fields of history, art, and literature of the Western world. The collection is made as accessible as possible within the limitations of the work's fragility and rarity.
- Opening Hours: 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
The appointment is granted free of charge to researchers. The Reading Rooms is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
Regular visitors can just admire the books at the library from a distance.
Planning A Visit To the Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan Library & Museum is open most days of the week and is open to the public. To really browse and enjoy the library, plan on taking up to two hours to visit the Morgan Library & Museum.
- Time Needed: Up To 2 Hours
- Tuesday-Thursday; Saturday-Sunday: 10.30 am to 5.00 pm
- Friday: 10.30 am to 7.00 pm
- Mondays: Closed (Also Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day)
- Adults: $22.00
- Students: $13.00
- Children: Free (12 And Under)
Additionally, admission to the historic rooms of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library is free Tuesday and Sunday from 3 pm to 5 pm. They also have a Free Friday program from 5.00 am to 7.00 pm every Friday (reservations required).
The Morgan Garden is open on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to closing (depending on the weather). On other days, the Morgan Garden is only accessible as part of a tour that takes place at 12.30 pm.
There is a café on site where visitors can get a selection of beverages and snacks at the Morgan Café. It is open from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm (11.00 am to 6.30 pm Fridays).
Besides J. Pierpont Morgan's Library, check their website to see more about their current exhibits and any upcoming events.