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SAIC Access to the Franke Reading Room: Reader Services

How to access the Franke Reading Room to consult the collections of the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries and the Art Institute of Chicago Archives

Welcome to the Research Center

The Research Center brings together the divisions of Academic Engagement and Research, the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, and the Art Institute of Chicago Archives to expand access to the museum’s rich research offerings. 

Student Research Hours

STUDENT RESEARCH HOURS

The 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. Access is available by appointment only; walk-ins are not possible.

  • Reading room capacity is limited. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be confirmed via email by Research Center staff. 

  • Researchers must complete a pre-registration process and submit requests for materials a minimum of one week prior to the appointment. Instructions are provided with the appointment confirmation. If these steps are not completed one week prior to your visit the reservation will be canceled. 

  • Researchers agree to follow the museum’s safety and security guidelines in addition to established reading room policies.

  • Archival research appointments are available Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., and may be requested here:   Make an Appointment

  • Library research appointments are available Thursdays and Fridays from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., and may be requested here:   Make an Appointment

  • Students interested in making an appointment, please continue to What to Expect When You Visit.

Fall 2022 Library Orientations for SAIC Graduate Students

SAIC GRADUATE STUDENT ORIENTATIONS: This fall, the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries are offering a series of library orientations for SAIC graduate students. Sessions will introduce students to the collections, discovery tools, services, and staff available in the Libraries to assist with research projects, and will take place onsite in the museum's Franke reading room. Click on the below links to register:

Faculty and Staff Research Hours

SAIC FACULTY AND STAFF RESEARCH HOURS
The Research Center is open to SAIC faculty and staff by appointment on Mondays:

  • Archives Appointments are available on Monday mornings between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
     Make an Appointment
  • Library Appointments are available on Monday afternoons between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
     Make an Appointment

Faculty and staff may also request appointments during public research hours on Thursdays and Fridays:

  • Archives Appointments may be requested on Thursdays and Fridays between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
    Make an Appointment
  • Library Appointments may be requested on Thursdays and Fridays between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
     Make an Appointment

 

Research Center Remote Resources and Services

Remote Reference Service

You can reach librarians and archivists on the telephone during research hours by calling (312) 443-3666. Archivists are available to assist with your research on Thursdays and Fridays between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Librarians are available to assist with your research on Thursdays and Fridays between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Email archives@artic.edu for reference assistance with the archival collections or email reference@artic.edu for reference assistance with the library collections. The Ryerson and Burnham Libraries and the Art Institute of Chicago Archives have a small staff that answers a large volume of inquiries from researchers around the world. You should receive an initial response to your email within six (6) weeks. 

We recommend that you consult our research guides and discovery tools in order to make your questions as precise as possible. Our reference services are primarily intended to support researchers who require access to our specialized and unique collections. We are unable to provide in-depth research assistance to remote researchers, and encourage you to make an appointment to consult the materials in our collections.

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 and context 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 Ryerson & Burnham Archives collections. Materials may include 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 Ryerson & Burnham librarians to assist research on a variety of art historical and architectural topics, including provenance research, 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.

Search the Libraries

Search the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries

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

Search the Art and Architecture Archives

Search the Ryerson and Burnham Art and Architecture Archives

Input a keyword into the search box and then click Search to search through the archival collections.

Unfortunately, resources in the Institutional Archives, including the Imaging Archive, are not yet searchable here; please visit this page for more information.

 

Contact Us

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries

For information on the museum collections, library collections, and library services, please contact Library staff at reference@artic.edu.

 

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 archives@artic.edu.