Featured Art Library: Biblioteca Walter Wey and Documentation Center

Featured Art Libraries,

The Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo is the oldest art museum in São Paulo, SP, Brazil. It is committed to improving the public experience with visual arts, by studying, preserving and supporting its collections. By following this principle, Pinacoteca has maintained the Walter Wey Library since 1959. In 2005 the library added a Documentation Center that manages the Museum’s archives.

Currently, the library has more than 30,000 titles, including books, brochures, and catalogs. It is one of the most important collections specializing in Brazilian arts. The Library also contains more than 60 linear meters of artist files. The files are comprised of ephemera such as invitations, programs, tickets, booklets, pamphlets, catalogs, postcards, exhibit brochures, advertisements, posters, newspaper clippings, telephone cards, photographs, biographical information, bibliographies, bookmarks, agendas, and exhibit tickets. 

In celebration of the Museum’s centennial in 2005, the Pinacoteca established the Documentation and Memory Center (CEDOC), a project supported by Fundação Vitae. The CEDOC provides access to documents that support research, and provides for the preservation of institutional memory. The initial scope was limited to organizing and making accessible the museum’s historical archives, but has grown to include personal papers of artists, curators, art critics, and former employees of the institution.

In order to improve access, all the collections are available through a federated search. The Pinacoteca continues working on collaborative projects to develop controlled vocabularies, and has contributed Brazilian artists’ names to the Union List of Artists Names (ULAN) at the Getty. The library is currently working to develop a digital repository for born-digital records that would provide both preservation and access. The Pinacoteca is deeply committed to the research and diffusion of Brazilian art by promoting exhibitions, and by providing research materials through the Library and Museum Archives.

The Walter Wey Library specializes in visual arts and can be consulted with no need for prior appointment. Normal hours are as follows: Mondays, and Wednesday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm – Saturdays and holidays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm. E-mail: biblioteca@pinacoteca.org.br  – Telephone: +55113335-4997 / 3335-4998 / 3335-5196

The CEDOC consists of the institutional and private archives, with essential primary documents for research in the visual arts in Brazil. Assistance to researchers is done by prior appointment, by e-mailing cedoc@pinacoteca.org.br or calling:  +55113335-4995

All images photographed by Isabella Matheus.