Hirshhorn Plaza

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Library supports the research
and exhibition program of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and it is the
only library within Washington, DC, dedicated solely to modern and contemporary

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Using the library

The Library is located on the 4th floor of the Museum at
Independence Avenue, SW & 7th Street SW in Washington, DC. It is open to
the public by appointment Monday-Friday, 10 am–5 pm, with the exception of
federal holidays, closures, and delays, by calling 202-633-2773 or e-mailing us
at HMSGLibrary@si.edu.
Materials must be used onsite. The Library participates in remote reference,
interlibrary loan,
the museum publication exchange program, and exhibition
. Additional information on visiting the Library can be found
on the Using
the HMSG Library

Our collection

The Hirshhorn Library houses more than 60,000 volumes and 30
current serial titles, as well as 41 drawers of ephemeral art
and artist files
, and a small collection of artists’ books. We cover
the documentation and interpretation of major participants, events, trends, and
critical discourse of modern and contemporary painting, sculpture, drawing,
printmaking, photography, video, film, installation, performance, and emerging
art forms from 1880 to the present. The onsite collection particularly focuses
on artists in the Hirshhorn’s collection and on artists featured in the
Museum’s exhibition program. We also provide onsite access to Smithsonian
Libraries’ rich electronic resources, including journal and auction indexes.
Additional materials housed off-site at the Smithsonian Libraries Research
Annex (SLRA) in Landover, MD, may be delivered to the Hirshhorn Library or
consulted at SLRA by

The Hirshhorn
Museum Library’s Audio Archive
is a repository of 306 digital audio
files from 1969 to 2004 containing event recordings of the founding events of
the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, plus interviews of renowned modern
and contemporary artists, lectures, and symposia focusing on significant themes
in 20th-century art. An index of recordings and preview clips is available at
the link above, and full digital files may be accessed onsite at the Hirshhorn
Library. The original recordings are held by the Smithsonian Institution

Museum history and rights and reproductions

Most historical documents about the history of the Hirshhorn
Museum and Sculpture, Joseph and Olga Hirshhorn, and architect Gordan Bunshaft
are housed at the Smithsonian
Institution Archives
. Contact the SI Archives
Reference Desk
for assistance.

Museum object and exhibitions files are maintained by the
Museum’s registrar office, as are rights and reproductions for Museum images.
Contact HMSGcollections@si.edu
for assistance.

Get Involved

The Hirshhorn Library relies strongly on interns and
volunteers. Volunteer vacancies are posted at the Smithsonian’s Behind-the-Scenes
Volunteer Program
. The Library accepts interns from library schools
and art and art history programs. Please see Smithsonian
Libraries’ Internships and Fellowships
for upcoming opportunities.

Gift-in-Kind Policy

The Hirshhorn Library welcomes gifts of art books,
catalogues, and other research materials. It is in part through such generosity
that the Library is able to add value to the contemporary art resources
available in our community. Please see the Smithsonian Libraries’ Gift-in-Kind
for information on donations. You can also support the Library
by Adopting
a Book
from our collection.