Research Library

The museum research library is open during normal museum hours to local Chicagoans, as well as scholars and academics from institutions around the world. Visitors can browse the library online and reserve books before their visit. Books are to be viewed in the library and may not be checked out. Additionally, a Library Research Application must be filled out and visitor guidelines observed.

Please contact the museum to schedule a library visit ahead of time.

Library Guidelines

Bags and other personal items should be kept off of the library tables, on the ground and closed.

Food and beverages are not allowed in the library spaces.

Only pencils, paper, laptops, and tablets are allowed on desks with the books. No ink pens please.

Please observe standard library etiquette.

To ensure the preservation of the library, visitors are not allowed to browse the bookshelves. A Library Assistant will pull and return books for you.

Certain books may require special handling restrictions.

Browse Online

The complete Museum Library is cataloged online at

Reserve Books

Visitors must submit a Library Research Application first. Then, a visitor account will be created, at which point the visitor can request a password through the website using the email address they provided.

Visitors can then place books on hold. They appear on the bottom of the screen until they select complete.

Visitors must then contact a staff member and arrange to view the books they selected.

Search Tips

Visitors can search by title, author, or subject in the top search bar, or by the tag list at the top right hand corner.

Multiple tags can be searched at a time using the format, “tag: japan,prints”