The Watermill Center Library is open to researchers, artists, students and visitors year-round. The print collection is comprised of approximately 8,000 titles, including bound volumes, exhibition catalogs and periodicals. A singularly unique and unifying thread that connects the varied resources is the artistic direction of Robert Wilson.

The Library collection allows one to gain a better understanding of traditional and contemporary art-making practices from around the world. The cultural diversity of subjects range from ancient art to modern and contemporary visual art, architecture, design, and performance. Special collection focal points include theater, dance, and music; tribal arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia and the South Pacific; and photography. The library contains many rare books and limited editions, as well as international publications on Western and non-Western art. Alongside materials on Robert Wilson and his collaborators, one finds research books used by Wilson; these inform a visual vocabulary found in his productions, such as Einstein on the Beach and the CIVIL wars.

To explore our book catalog, click here.

The Archives of Robert Wilson, the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation and the Watermill Center provide a unique paper, photographic, audio-visual and digital record of artistic and administrative activities, not to mention the arc of experimental performance and opera in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The bulk of these records span from 1965 through 2010, from Wilson’s earliest New York performances to recent Center residencies and international exhibitions. The archives are housed primarily in New York City and are accessible to scholars and collaborators by appointment only. Please provide the archivist with 48 hours’ response time for any online request.

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Our new Library of Inspiration initiative is a digital project which supports artistic practice and engagement at The Center. This visual research tool allows resident artists and researchers to explore Watermill’s collection of art and artifacts; documentation of new works created on site; the archives of artist Robert Wilson and his collaborators; and the supporting research collection of books. Dynamic linking and tagging allow patrons to note creative relationships and document their own research process. Access to the Library of Inspiration is limited to Watermill artists, collaborators and visitors on site in the library.

To learn more, please contact our Librarian at


The Watermill Center Study Library is open to the public on Tuesdays, 12:00pm-5:00pm, September through June. If you have any questions about the library or to schedule an appointment please contact our Librarian at

The Library Campaign enables us to constantly update our resources as our collection continues to grow. The library is open to researchers, artists, students and visitors from September to June and is a major resource for the 80+ artists participating in our International Summer Program.

To contribute by mail, please download the contribution form here.

For more information about our Library Campaign, please email or call (212) 253-7487.