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Franke Reading Room: Requesting Archives Appointments

Access and Services for Research Center Collections

Archives Contact, Usage, & FAQ: Visiting the Archives

Visiting the Archives

  • Visitors to the museum may consult archival collections in the Research Center’s Franke Reading Room by advance appointment only. Walk-in appointments are not possible.
  • Archival research appointments for the public are available Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 1:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., and may be requested here: Make an Archives Appointment

  • Information regarding appointment availability and procedures for museum and School staff is available here.

  • Reading room capacity is currently limited. Research 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 their request for materials one week prior to arrival on site. Information regarding this process will be provided to researchers along with their appointment confirmation. If these steps are not completed one week in advance of the requested date and time, appointments will be canceled.
  • Archival collection researchers should review the Archives access guidelines and procedures before their appointment.

Safety and Security

Researchers agree to follow the museum’s safety and security guidelines in addition to established reading room policies, including:

  • Researchers must wear a mask for the duration of their research appointments.

  • Please do not move reading room chairs and please keep a six-foot distance from Research Center staff and other researchers.

  • Please cancel your appointment if you are feeling ill or exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. Appointments may be cancelled by emailing or by calling (312) 857-7676. Research Center staff will work with you to reschedule your appointment as quickly as possible.

  • Visitors from outside Chicago are subject to the policies and procedures outlined in the City of Chicago’s travel advisory.

Contact Us

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 via our Contact and Application for Access form.