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Olive Higgins Prouty Library
The Olive Higgins Prouty Library holds several thousand volumes of specialist literature on arms and armor and related topics. The contents of the library are catalogued online as a part of the library catalogue of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (www.wpi.edu/Academics/Library). The library is open to patrons on Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Please call the Curatorial Department at (508) 853-6015, ext 21, to confirm hours and arrange access.
The museum also has an Educators' Resource Library, with a small collection of books mostly on arms and armor and medieval and Renaissance history. Contact the Education Department at (508) 853-6015, ext 20, to arrange access.
Take It to the Curator is a program at the Higgins Armory Museum that gives the public an opportunity to bring privately owned arms and armor objects to the museum in order to obtain identifying information or historical background. Take It to the Curator is typically held on the 3rd Saturdays of March, June, September and December between 11:00am – 1:00 p.m. Schedule is subject to change. Appointments and payment must be made by the registration deadline (usually about 1 week prior to the program date).
Individuals are allowed to bring up to three arms and armor objects for historical, non-monetary evaluations by the museum’s curatorial staff.
The program is $15 for members and $30 for non-members (includes museum admission).
If the inquirer cannot attend a Take It to the Curator session, or the inquiry does not lend itself to such a program, the Higgins Armory Museum Curatorial staff can handle the inquiry as other research requests.
Regardless of inquiry type, all fees must be paid prior to the program/research. To schedule an appointment or submit an inquiry, contact the Curatorial Department at (508) 853-6015, ext. 21.
Please click on the attachment at the bottom of the page that covers topics on armor from around the globe and across the ages. Some are even targeted at youth readers
Museums with important arms and armor collections
- Art History Museum, Vienna - Includes link to Schloss Ambras website
- Art Institute of Chicago
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Musée de l'Armée, Paris
- Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds
- Royal Armouries, Stockholm
- Stibbert Collection, Florence
- Tøjhusmuseet, Copenhagen
- Wallace Collection, London
Other museum links
- American Association of Museums
- American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
- International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM)
- International Council of Museums (ICOM)
- Google Listing of Museums by area of interest
Arms and armor links (private and commercial)
- Arms and Armor Society of America
- The Arador Armour Library - Includes a glossary of armor terms (like most online resources, to be used with caution), a discussion forum, articles, and links to other sites.
- The Academy for European Medieval Martial Arts - An organization in Toronto dedicated to the reconstruction of early martial arts. Includes extensive links, online historical sources, and a discussion forum.
- The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts - An organization dedicated to the reconstruction of early martial arts. Includes online historical sources, links, and a discussion forum.
- Man-at-Arms Magazine and Books - A journal and publisher specializing in antique arms.
- Sword Forum International - A site dedicated to sword collecting, sword making, and sword arts. Includes a discussion forum, virtual museum, and numerous links.
- Swordplay Symposium International - The website of an international organization coordinating the study of historical martial arts, with annual conferences and workshops.
- Ken Trotman - Arms & Armor-related book dealer
Links on ancient, medieval, and Renaissance history
- About.Com Ancient History Page - Classified links on the ancient world.
- About.Com Medieval History Homepage - A large site with classified links on specific medieval and Renaissance topics.
- The Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, University of Toronto - A useful source of classified medieval and Renaissance links.
- The Company of the Wolfe Argent - The website of a living history group who are regular guest presenters at the Higgins.
- The Folger Shakespeare Library - A major center for research on 16th and 17th century Europe.
- The Internet Classics Archive - Ancient texts online.
- The Internet Medieval Sourcebook - An excellent compendium of online medieval texts.
- The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies - An excellent source of online medieval texts, with classified links to websites on diverse topics.
- NetSERF - A major resource for web-based research on the Middle Ages oriented toward the needs of students, teachers, and academics.
- The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies - A rich research resource for web-based information on various topics.
- The Perseus Project Website - A rich resource on the ancient Greek world, with electronic texts and a massive archeological database.
- Plimoth Plantation - A living history museum focusing on the early 17th century.
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