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Finding and Requesting Research Center Materials: Welcome

How to find and request research materials using the online catalog

Welcome to the Research Center

The Research Center brings together the divisions of Academic Engagement and Research, the Ryerson and Burnham Librariesand the Art Institute of Chicago Archives to expand access to the museum’s rich educational and research offerings. 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 for onsite, in-person research but please note that access is available by advance appointment only; walk-in appointments are not possible.

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

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

  • Reading room capacity is currently limited to 12 researchers per session. 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 a minimum of four (4) business days 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 four (4) business days prior to your appointment the appointment will be cancelled. 

How to Use this Guide

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Contact Us

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries

For information on the museum collections, library collections, and library services, please contact Library staff at


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