Pierpont Morgan's immense holdings ranged from Egyptian art to Renaissance paintings to Chinese porcelains. For his library, Morgan acquired illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints. To this core collection, he added the earliest evidence of writing as manifested in ancient seals, tablets, and papyrus fragments from Egypt and the Western Asia. Morgan also collected manuscripts and printed materials significant to American history.
Over the years—through purchases and generous gifts—the Morgan has continued to actively acquire rare materials as well as important music manuscripts, a fine collection of early children's books and manuscripts, and materials from the twentieth century (as well as earlier periods). Nevertheless the focus on the written word, the history of the book, and master drawings has been maintained.