This non-circulating research library features thousands of hard-to-find resources on global textiles and traditional dress. Resources are multilingual and cover artistic, cultural, historical and technical information. While visiting, you can access serials, rare books, monographs, auction catalogs, ephemera and films. We also hold the personal archives of important textile scholars including Irene Emery and Charles Grant Ellis.
During the academic year, the library is open to walk-in visitors on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. In the summer (May 15-August 15) visits are by appointment only. Email Librarian Tracy Meserve at [email protected] for research assistance or to schedule a visit.
The library collection contains archival materials donated to the museum by significant textile scholars, as well as institutional archives related to the history of The Textile Museum Collection.
Mehmet Aga-Oglu (1896-1949) was an Islamic art expert who founded the journal Ars Islamica. He was a consultant for The Textile Museum from 1948 to 1949 and specialized in Caucasian rugs. Aga-Oglu Inventory (PDF)
Klavdiya Antipina (1904-1996) was an ethnographer of the nomadic Kyrgyz people of Central Asia during the Soviet period. She wrote two books on their rug weaving practices.
Irene Emery (1900-1981) was a pioneering textile scholar best known for her seminal 1966 publication The Primary Structures of Fabrics: An Illustrated Classification.
Charles Grant Ellis (1908-1996) was a research associate at The Textile Museum and a leading 20th-century scholar of oriental carpets. He authored the museum's 1975 publication Early Caucasian Rugs. Ellis Inventory (PDF)
Sarah Sherrill is a retired professor of the Bard Graduate Center where she taught courses on textiles. Her archive is the culmination of her years of work studying the textile traditions of the nomadic Qashqa’i and Bakhtiari people. Sherrill Finding Aid (PDF)
To learn more about the library's collecting strategy, download its collections policy (PDF).
Hosted by the library, this annual spring event brings together emerging local scholars to share their research on textiles with professionals and the public. Topics span the fields of decorative arts, art history and museum studies, and include research on the museum collections, fashion, costume, conservation, dye analysis, sustainability and more. Join in person at the museum or watch the livestream online. Learn more about Textile Research Day
Students, recent graduates and emerging researchers who are interested in presenting are invited to email Librarian Tracy Meserve at [email protected].
701 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: +1 202-994-5200
Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro
(Blue, Orange and Silver lines)