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Art History: Getting Started


Profile Photo
Cara List
Art Collection
Deering Library, 3rd Floor
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL 60208


This guide is an introduction to art & art history resources available in the Northwestern University Libraries.  It presents some of the most useful print and digital resources, but is not a comprehensive listing of all the reference and research materials available at the NU Libraries.. 

For in depth help with locating particular types of information contact:the

Cara List, Art Librarian     OR

Perry Nigro, Art Library Assistant,

The Northwestern University Art Library

The Art Library is located in two reading rooms, the Eloise R. Martin Reading Room and the Architecture Reading Room.  Bptj are located on the second floor of Deering Library.  The Martin Reading Room contains the larger portion of the collection with Library of Congress call numbers in the Ns, except for the NAs which cover architecture.  NAs are located in the Architecture Reading Room.  Some older materials have Dewey call numbers.  The Martin Reading Room collection is concentrated in the 700s, with the 720s located in the Architecture Reading Room. 

Currently, both Reading Rooms are closed to the public due to Covid 19.


How to Access the Library during Covid 19

All books can be requested using the library catalog and the libraries' pickup system.

For more information, about requesting and receiving materials see Borrowing Materials.  This page covers how to get materials if you are off campus, and how to pick up materials in person.  See this site to reserve a time to pick materials up in the library.  If you are off campus, we can mail one book to you per week.  To return your book by mail, see Returning Materials.

To request scans of articles, entries in reference sources, or book chapters, see this page on requesting scans.

Many of the books in the art library, including catalogues raisonnés and many reference sources do not circulate.  You may request these materials for use inside the library.  To do so, you will need to reserve a seat in the library, which you can do on the  Library Space Reservations page. 

If you need to scan materials, you will also need a reservation to use the KIC scannerIt may be easier to use your cell phone to scan.  See below for the Home Scanning handout on how to download and use a scanning ap on your mobile.

A few more basics

InterLibrary Loan (ILL)

Course Reserves are normally available for pick up at the circulation desk on the main floor of the University Library, but during the pandemic, Course Reserves are ONLINE ONLY.  The library is providing your professors with scanned chapters, articles, and ebooks, which you can access via the canvas site for your class.

Your Library Account

Useful Pages on NU Library Services during the Covid-19 Outbreak

Useful How-To Guides for Art and Art History