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Reading Room Access and Research Services for AIC Staff Summer 2021: Reading Room Hours

Learn about collection access and research services available to AIC staff July 12-September 3.


Requesting and Handling Archival Materials

  • Review the archival finding aids to identify what precisely you would like to view.

  • To request archival material, use the appropriate call slips supplied by the reference librarians. A maximum of six items (boxes, flat files, and/or portfolios) can be paged at any one time. The researcher may use only one archival box, flat file, or portfolio at a time.

  • The researcher is expected to preserve the existing arrangement of the material within folders and boxes. If anything appears to be misfiled, the researcher should not attempt to move it, but call it to the attention of the archivist or reference staff

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.

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries Resources

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries Resources

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:

Digital Collections from the Art Institute of Chicago

Digital Collections from the Art Institute of Chicago

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.

Contact Us

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries 

(312) 443-3666


Requesting and Handling Library Materials

  • Readers are not admitted to the book stacks and materials circulate outside the Reading Room only to the offices of Art Institute research staff who have completed a library orientation. All books other than those in the Reading Room must be requested through the circulation desk. Materials are paged from the stacks until one hour prior to closing.
  • To request general library collection materials, please use the networked computers in the Reading Room to locate records in the online catalog and place a request for each item desired using the digital request system. Instructions on requesting materials are posted next to the computers.
  • Special collections materials must be requested at the reference desk.
  • Offsite materials and materials listed as unavailable in the library catalog must be requested at the reference desk.
  • No more than five items may be requested from the stacks at a time.

  • Library materials delivered to you with special equipment (cradles, foam supports, etc.) must be used with that equipment. Please see the circulation desk or reference desk with questions.