Fleet Library is currently closed to visitors. We are still providing services online.
Until it is deemed safe to work in shared facilities, library staff are working remotely. Currently, there is no access to items physically located at Fleet Library. For now, we encourage you to explore our vast collection of online resources and reach out to librarians for help with your research!
Do you have library books? Don't worry - most due dates have been extended. Visit the "Returning Library Materials" page of this guide for details on returning items, including material samples and picture collection files.
What is available while we are closed?
What is not currently available?
The Providence Athenaeum: due to the current circumstances the RISD community cannot check out books from the Athenaeum. We will keep you informed as circumstances change.
Library access anytime!
You can access our databases and other digital resources when you're off campus, just login.
Follow these 3 easy steps:
1. Go to the library website library.risd.edu
2. Select My Account in the top right hand corner
3. Enter your surname (last name) or your given (first) name should work and your 14-digit barcode number (starting with 3444400...) on the back of your RISD ID .
If you are trying to download an item from EBSCO you will also have to create or login to your EBSCO account when prompted.
Make sure you have entered your name and information correctly?
Is your library registration is up to date?
I receive an error when I try to login, what should I do?
Fleet Search is the perfect place to start your research! You can quickly find relevant resources on a subject without having to decide which databases to search. You can filter your search results in a variety of ways such as date range, source, source type, subject, and scholarly designation. The library's cataloged resources are also integrated into the search results.
Not all databases are searched when you use Fleet Search. If you are looking for images, it is best to search the image databases directly. See the list below for databases which are not searchable through Fleet Search.
Our largest collection of eBooks. Contains a large selection of multidisciplinary titles representing a broad range of academic subject matter. There are over 140,000 eBooks including titles from leading university presses such as Oxford University, State University of New York, Cambridge University, University of California, MIT, Harvard University and others. Additional academic publishers include Elsevier, Brill Academic, Taylor & Francis, Sage Publications, and John Wiley & Sons.
All titles are available with unlimited user access.
As you search for information on your topic you will develop your own vocabulary and terms related your topic. Keeping track of searches that worked well or creating lists of synonyms for your keywords can be very helpful. RISD librarians are here to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for help finding resources you might need.
Whether you are searching on the library Catalog or in Fleet Search, searches will default to Keyword searches.
A Keyword search looks for words anywhere in the title, summary, or metadata of an item. Keyword searches are a good substitute for a subject search when you do not know the standard subject heading. Keyword may also be used as a substitute for a title or author search when you have incomplete title or author information.
This search looks for the name of the artist, author, editor, or translator of an item. It is helpful to think of the artist as the author of his/her/their own work.
A subject search is more specific than a keyword search. Subject headings are a predetermined list of possible terms, which reflect the content of the item. Most academic libraries use Library of Congress Subject Headings. Subject headings are not intuitive, here is a cheat sheet for subject headings related to art.
This search looks for the exact words you entered as the title of an item. If you don't know the exact title try using a Keyword Search instead.
There are many databases which contain images, but here is a short list of helpful databases many of which focus on photographic images.
Google is an easy way to search for photographs and photographers. There are advanced search features that let you search for specific aspect ratios, restrict the color, specify the image size and much more. Try Google's Advanced Image Search.
Understanding rights is helpful if you want to use a photograph you found online. Copyright can be complicated, if you are unsure about the rights of an image ask for help. Google allows you to limit your search by certain rights and licenses.
This info graphic is from the Technology Enhanced Learning Blog, and helps to explain Creative Commons Licenses.
Students, faculty, and researchers have access to the Picture Collection which contains almost 500,000 hardcopy images of people, places and things. The images are searchable by Subject and Art File. You may check out up to 200 images at one time. Contact Alecia Underhill with questions.
Please check our Open Educational Resources page for more!
One of the best ways to learn about what other artists have done is by viewing and studying the graduate thesis projects of past RISD students. Check out the Graduate Theses Index by Department. This will allow you to explore theses by specific parameters and terms.
Many of RISD's Graduate Theses are available to view and download online on RISD's Digital Commons.
Formulate your questions: are you interested in background information (culture, history, geography, etc.), scholarly discussion of a topic, technical guidance about writing, inspirational material? Where do you think this information might be published -- books, journals, magazines, newspapers?
The Fleet Library collection is heavily focused on art and design topics. Members of the RISD community also have borrowing privileges at the Providence Athenaeum and Brown University Libraries.
If you are having any trouble finding what you need, please get in touch with us!
Citation & Style Guidelines:
P - General Language and Linguistics
PA - Classical Languages and Literature
PL - Languages and literature of Asia, Africa, Oceana
PN - Literary Criticism, Drama, Journalism & more
PQ - Romance literature (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
PR - English Literature (includes former commonwealth such as South Africa)
PS - American Literature
PT - German, Dutch, Scandinavian literature
PZ - Children's literature