New policies and procedures are in place to provide access to the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries' collections over the summer. This page provides information on how to request an appointment in the reading room to view items in the Libraries' collections that cannot circulate. Visit the tabs above for information on our new reading room hours; to learn more about the access and services available to you in this stage of our reopening; to review our circulation policy; for instructions on how to request loans or scans of library materials; for instructions on how to request research appointments; to view our FAQs; and to learn more about access and services in the Archives.
Please contact Library staff if you have any questions:
Aaron Rutt (x3-3936)
Autumn Mather (x3-3665)
Kevin Whiteneir (x3-3391)
Seth Vanek (x3-3667)
Research appointments to view library materials in the reading room are available Tuesday through Friday during reading room hours:
Tuesday/Wednesday (when the museum is closed to the public):
9:00 until noon
1:00 until 4:00
Thursday/Friday (when the museum is open to the public):
11:00 until 2:00
2:30 until 5:30
Appointments are for viewing and scanning specifically-requested materials only. Access to the library stacks is not possible at this time. Reference staff will be on hand to assist you with questions, but we are not able to retrieve materials from the stacks outside of our dedicated paging hours, which are 11:00-noon and 3:00-4:00.
Appointments to view up to 10 library collection items can be requested by completing this form by 5:00 on Friday of the week prior to your desired appointment date. Your appointment will be confirmed by 5:00 on Monday.
Appointments to view materials from the archives can be requested here.
Come to the reading room at 1:00 on the date of your appointment. Since the reading room is closed the doors to the grand staircase are locked, and we ask that you please use the spiral staircase or the elevator from the ground floor in order to access the space. Your materials will be available on a reading room table with any book supports and other materials necessary for you to handle the materials safely. You are welcome to bring your camera in order to take study images of the materials or to use the overhead scanner in the reading room to make scans of general collection materials. Special collection materials and materials in fragile condition should not be scanned; library staff will be available to assist you with handling these. Please take note of the specific content you would like library staff to scan for you from these materials and place a scan request.
Coats, large bags, pens, and food and drink are not permitted in the reading room, and these items will need to be stored in your office prior to your visit to the reading room. We ask that you please wash your hands prior to handling library materials. Hand sanitizer is also available in the reading room for your use.
Library staff will be available to assist with your questions.
Input a keyword into the box and click Search to begin searching the online library catalog.
Online catalogs and databases maintained by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries:
Make requests for materials that are not owned by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries:
Find library information:
Search exhibitions by keyword or browse by date. Some records include photographs or digitized exhibition catalogs.
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.
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.