Montclair State Acquires Prized Art Research Collection from Montclair Art Museum

Montclair, New Jersey --- The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) has announced that it has transferred the majority of its LeBrun Library to the Harry A. Sprague Library at Montclair State University. The transfer marks a new level of partnership between two Montclair institutions and will make these important research holdings far more accessible to scholars and the general public.

"Montclair State is delighted to receive and provide a home for this special collection from the Montclair Art Museum," said Montclair State President Susan A. Cole. "Our partnership with the Museum enhances our mutual public offerings and creates additional resources for our students and the community."

MAM's collection will increase considerably the depth and breadth of the complementary art history holdings of the Sprague Library, where it will be recatalogued and conserved. At MAM, the LeBrun Library had limited hours and a non-circulating policy, but at the Sprague Library, as the library of a public institution, the collection will be open to everyone during library hours for consultation, and registered borrowers will be able to check books out. MAM's staff, docents, volunteers, and members will have the same access as Montclair State students, faculty, and staff. Montclair State also extends library privileges to registered borrowers residing in municipalities within Essex and Passaic Counties. An initial exhibition will take place in Fall 2009, when the majority of the collection has been catalogued.

"This is the largest gift of volumes ever received by Sprague Library," remarked Judith Lin Hunt, Montclair State Dean of Library Services. "With volumes that support the art and art history curriculum, including works about stained glass and architecture, this gift will strengthen our already rich collection."

Named for Montclair State's second president, the Harry A. Sprague Library contains more than 1.5 million items including books, periodicals, government documents, microforms, and media, and offers access to a variety of electronic resources to the Montclair State community and to the public. The Library participates in several regional and national library consortia that provide reciprocal borrowing privileges and share materials through mail, fax, and the Internet.

Patterson Sims, departing director of the Montclair Art Museum, said: "In the seven years I've worked at the Museum there have never been closer ties to Montclair State University; both MAM and the community prosper from the strength of those ties. Our long-running Montclair State/MAM Artist Talks series has benefited both institutions, and our more recent joint programming initiative, a lecture series with the Center for Heritage and Archaeological Studies at Montclair State, has extended that relationship. Our Native American curator is a longtime faculty member at Montclair State. There are also strong Board interconnections between Montclair State and MAM. The MAM Board and staff are immensely pleased that Montclair State President Susan A. Cole will be joining the Board of the Museum in July 2009. The accessible and well-staffed Montclair State Sprague Library just seemed the perfect place for this extensive and valuable research collection."

All books donated by MAM will bear bookplates designed by the Montclair Art Museum that will include the name of the specific donor, when applicable. The books will also be electronically recorded as gifts from MAM's LeBrun Library.

Released: January 9, 2009