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Plan a Library Visit


Researchers of high school age and above are welcome to use the Franke Reading Room to consult our closed-stack collection of materials on art, architecture, and design during our public hours. All museum visitors are welcome to explore the current exhibition and artwork on display during museum hours.
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Location and Public Hours

You will need to enter the museum to use the libraries. The library is located to the south of the Grand Staircase inside the museum’s Michigan Avenue entrance.

Monday–Friday 1:00–5:00
Saturday–Sunday CLOSED

The reading room will be closed for research on the following dates:

Thursday, November 28 through Friday, November 29, 2019;

Monday, December 23, 2019 through Friday, January 3, 2020;

Monday, January 20, 2020;

Monday, February 17, 2020.

Materials are paged from the stacks until 4:00. In addition to the museum admission requirements, visitors to the reading room are required to check their outdoor coats at the museum checkroom.

A reference librarian is available in the reading room during reading room hours to assist you with locating resources in our closed-stack collection. We encourage you to review our discovery tools and our policies prior to visiting, and to email with any questions.

Researchers who require access to specific materials in the library and archival collections, and who will not be using the museum galleries, may apply for an Info Pass to cover a single research visit. This pass provides access to the reading room (though not the galleries) without purchasing museum admission. To apply for a pass, please have your local librarian email a minimum of one week in advance of your visit with the following information:

  • Researcher’s name
  • Researcher’s email address
  • Research topic
  • Ryerson & Burnham library and archives materials to be consulted and their call numbers
  • Date and time of proposed visit
  • Referring librarian’s name
  • Referring librarian’s email address.

Staff and Faculty Hours

Art Institute staff and faculty and graduate students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago are granted expanded hours and access to the library stacks upon completion of a library orientation. Please email to schedule an orientation.


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