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:

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Art and Architecture Law
Automobiles and Automobile Repair Literature
Banking and Finance Media and Technology
Biography and Autobiography Miscellaneous
Biology and the Natural Sciences New York
Birds (Ornithology) Periodicals
Botany Philosophy
Catalogues and Advertisements Photography
Drama Physics and Astronomy
Ethnology, Anthropology, Archeology and Sociology Poets, Poetry, and Verse
Geography Politics
Geology Programs and Menus
History Psychology
Horse Racing and Betting Religion and the Religious Life
How-To Science and Mathematics
Language Travel and Tourism

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.