The Research Center

The Art Institute’s Research Center brings together the divisions of Academic Engagement and Research, the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, and 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 currently open for on-site, in-person research, but please note that access is available by advance appointment only; walk-in appointments are not possible. 

Today's Hours


Use our online tool to book research appointments in the reading room.

Library Appointment for AIC Staff Library Appointment for Public Researchers Library Appointment for SAIC Faculty & Staff

General Guidelines

  • Archival research appointments for the public are available Thursdays and Fridays,10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. 
  • Library research appointments for the public are available Thursdays and Fridays, 2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Reading room capacity is currently limited to ten (10) 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 one week prior to arrival onsite. 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 cancelled.
  • Researchers agree to follow the museum’s safety and security guidelines in addition to established reading room policies.
  • Information regarding appointment availability and procedures for museum and SAIC staff is available here.