Stop 33. East Room



Jesse Erickson, Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings
The East Room is an architectural masterpiece designed to store and protect valuable volumes. This was the principal space Morgan used for entertaining groups and for sharing the works in his collection. Originally, Charles Follen McKim planned a single tier of bookcases to circle this room. But Morgan’s collections grew even as his Library was being built and two additional tiers were added.

Much of Pierpont Morgan’s original rare book collection is still shelved here, including early Bibles; first editions of Copernicus, Galileo, and others; and classics of French and American literature. The room holds eleven thousand volumes, only a fraction of the museum’s collection of more than one hundred thousand printed books. The majority of the rare books collection is now stored in a vault built as part of the Renzo Piano expansion.