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Library FAQ

Using the Libraries

Research Questions

About the Libraries & Museum

Who can use the Library?

The Library is open to high-school-age readers and above. Younger researchers should contact the Libraries to inquire about access to the collections.

Do I need an appointment?

No appointment is required to use the Libraries and the Ryerson & Burnham Archives. Check here to view our current hours.

You do need to make an appointment to consult items from the Institutional Archives. Please contact the department via email at or phone at (312) 443-4777.

What do I do upon arrival?

Sign in at the reception desk and either use the computers to start researching on your own or consult with a reference librarian.

Do your items circulate?

We are a non-circulating library.

Can I get on the internet with my laptop?

Yes. Wireless Connectivity is available in the Reading Room.

Do you accept long-distance requests?

Yes, please contact the Libraries for more information.

Does the Library provide interlibrary loan services?

Borrowing Information: The Ryerson & Burnham Libraries provide interlibrary loan services for museum staff only.

Lending Information: The Library is a memeber of SHARES, the Research Libraries Group Shared Resources Service. As such, we do lend some materials through interlibrary loan to other SHARES institutions.

Students, members, and outside researchers should contact their local libraries for all interlibrary loan requests.

Do SAIC grad students have any access privileges?

After the completion of an orientation, SAIC graduate students and faculty have access to the Library stacks and reading room MTWF, 10:30-5 and Thursdays from 10:30-8:
Please contact the Libraries for more details.

How do I find out what books you have?

Please consult the Libraries' catalog.

What is a pamphlet file?

A collection of approximately 35,000 files on individual artists, architects, art galleries, and buildings. The files contain items ranging from small exhibition catalogs and pamphlets, exhibition announcements, newspaper clippings, press releases, and other ephemeral items.

What does "fair use" mean?

The term "fair use" relates to the right to copy any copyrighted materials. The right to make copies without the permission of the copyright owner is subject to some limitations. For more information, please see: