Barnett Newman, an enthusiastic autodidact and an avid reader, was deeply interested in a broad range of subjects. The Foundation is home to an extensive library of books and periodicals that belonged to the artist, a collection that may give researchers valuable clues about the man, his beliefs, and perhaps even his intellectual or artistic process. It needs to be kept in mind though that the volumes now housed at the Foundation represent only a part of what he read as especially in the early days he was a frequent patron of the New York Public Library system. Nevertheless it helps to convey Newman's rich and varied interests reflected in the following categories:
One of Newman's many passions was music, and the Foundation is also the steward of a large collection of vinyl records owned by the Newmans, representing many genres of music: classical, opera, jazz, religious—even showtunes.
A catalogue of the artist's library is available to search or browse below. This inventory has been updated from the version printed in Barnett Newman: A Catalogue Raisonné, which included only those books and periodicals that were present at the Foundation offices at the time of publication in 2004 (and which did not include the music collection at all). Additional items were amongst the possessions of Annalee Newman, who had held on to certain volumes, perhaps because they remained useful to her or were of particular sentimental value.