Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
art institute of chicago logo

Reading Room Access and Research Services for AIC Staff: Reading Room Hours

Information on Using the Libraries and Archives for Art Institute of Chicago Staff

Reading Room Hours


The Research Center’s Franke reading room is a shared space in which researchers can consult the collections of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries and the Art Institute of Chicago Archives. The reading room is open to all Art Institute of Chicago staff who have received a library orientation to pick up circulating materials, work with the open shelf reference collection, consult items on staff reserve, work with reference librarians, use scanning equipment, and return materials during the following hours:

Mondays through Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

On Mondays, library staff focus on stacks maintenance and group visits for the SAIC community. Museum staff research appointments are not available on Mondays, and we do not retrieve materials from the stacks that day. 

  • Library research appointments for museum staff are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Library appointments may be requested here:   Make a Library Appointment

  • Archival research appointments for museum staff are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Archival research appointments for the public are available Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Museum staff may make appointments to view archival materials during public research hours if space permits. More information is available here.

  • Library orientations are offered at 11:00 a.m. on the first Friday of the month. Please email to request an invitation.

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries Search

Search the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries

Input a keyword into the box and click Search to begin searching the online library catalog.

Research Center Resources

Research Center Resources

Online catalogs and databases maintained by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries and the Art Institute of Chicago Archives:

Make requests for materials that are not owned by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries:

Find library information:

Digital Resources from the Art Institute of Chicago

Digital Resources from the Art Institute of Chicago

  • Ryerson & Burnham Art and Architecture Archives: Digital Collections
  • Finding Aids: Finding aids are inventories or indices that describe the contents of an archival collection and are the primary method of accessing information about any given group of records.
  • Images and Media: Catalog of electronic surrogates of selected original archival materials from the Archives collections, including photographs, slides, architectural drawings and prints, correspondence, and printed papers.
  • Oral Histories: Browse over 250 artists and architect oral histories.

A list of online guides and bibliographies developed by librarians to assist research on a variety of art historical and architectural topics, including provenance, building history, appraisal and preservation resources, Chicago neighborhood research, and the history of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Digital collection catalogs available freely online. Catalogs offer detailed art historical context, provenance history, and scientific analysis of artworks in the Art Institute of Chicago's collections.

Contact Us

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries for reference assistance, library orientation information, questions on interlibrary loan, and questions on library access and services. The following staff can also assist with these types of questions:

Aaron Rutt (x3-3936)

Jenn Smith (x7-7103)

Autumn Mather (x3-3665) for questions on circulation, offsite materials, bulk returns, and scanning requests. The following staff can also assist with these types of questions: 

Abby Adams (x3-3667)


The Art Institute of Chicago Archives

For information on our collections, the history of the Art Institute and the School of the Art Institute, donation proposals, corrections, comments, and general questions, please contact Archives staff at