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The Cooper-Hewitt has had to make a lot of adjustments in its programming during the renovations of their Upper East Side location, which will be closed for the next two years. For starters, the Design Talks series hosted by the museum’s director, Bill Moggridge, are being held at WNYC’s Greene Space, and their upcoming exhibition “Graphic Design: Now in Production,” will take place on Governor’s Island.
The other consideration they’ve had to make is for their massive National Design Library. The library itself was established in the 1890s by the Hewitt sisters, and the collection has occupied the third floor of the museum since the it was obtained by the Smithsonian in the 70s. More than two years of planning has gone into moving the 80,000 volumes, 4,500 trade catalogues and several collections of pictures to two new spaces, the Miller and Fox House, a townhouse adjacent to the museum, and a conservation and storage facility in New Jersey.
Not to worry, two chandelier-lit public reading rooms at the Miller and Fox House will allow access to bound serials an reference volumes. There’s another space, too, a quiet reading room where serious researchers can pull volumes of magazines and exhibition catalogues from bookcases nestled into the wood-paneled walls. Most of the collection, however, is housed in a temperature-controlled facility in New Jersey.