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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

About Appointments: Special Collections

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Archives + Special Collections
Fleet Library at RISD, 2nd floor, Room 201

General Information

How to identify materials in Special Collections:

All materials are in the RISD Library online catalog and distinguished by call number location prefixes: SPECIAL or ARTISTS'.  Searches can be limited to just items in Special Collections by choosing "RISD Special Collections" under Location.


By appointment only.

Food and drink are not allowed in the Reading Room.

Please wash your hands (sink across the hall from the Reading Room as well as bathrooms before the double doors on the 2nd floor).

All bags and coats must be hung up on the coat rack in the lobby or keep behind the Reading Room desk.

Sketching and Note-taking:

Allowed: pencils, sketchbooks, notebooks, paper, laptops, tablets, phones.

Not allowed: pens, markers, colored pencils, charcoal, paint, ink, etc.

Duplication Options:

All duplication requests for scanning and photocopies are subject to copyright fair use restrictions and condition of the materials. Readers may take digital photographs, with permission.

How to view items in Special Collections

Know what you want to see in Special Collections?

Use the "Request Appointment to View" link in the online catalog or click the "Make an Appointment" button.


Not sure what you would like to see?

Email us at and discuss with us what you would like to find. Please note we need at least 24 hours to prepare for an appointment and all services are contingent upon staffing being available.


By appointment only (no drop-ins).

We are offering in-person and virtual appointments.

In-person appointments:

  • Masks are optional. 
  • Hands must be washed before handling materials.
  • Appointments can be for individuals or up to three people.
  • Outside researchers are welcome.  

Virtual appointments

  • Via Zoom, we will send you a google calendar invite with the Zoom link.

For both in-person and virtual appointments up to ten items can be pulled per appointment and must be done prior to the appointment.  

Making an Appointment

Making an appointment in Special Collections: 

Making a Special Collections Appointment - PDF

1. Visit and Select Special Collections

2. Click Make An Appointment

3. Create an account and login:

RISD users login with their RISD login

Non-RISD users create an account

The first time you login you will be asked for your email and phone as well as accepting the Reading Room guidelines.

4.  To select items to view for an appointment click New Requests.  

Choose one:

Books & Printed Materials Request

Periodicals Request

Archives Request

5.  Enter Title, Call Number, and Location (if you are not looking for specific item, please tell us what you are looking for using the required fields)

To find this information you can search the online catalog and limit location to RISD Special Collections

6.  Scroll down and under heading Schedule Appointment

Choose Reading Room - Dale Reading Room (In-Person) or Virtual

Click New Appointment - choose date and time and name your appointment

Click Submit Request

7.  Step 5 and 6 can be repeated as necessary to add more items to your appointment list - under Schedule Appointment choose your appointment by name.

8.  To edit or cancel your appointment

Click on Appointments

Find your appointment name

Click on Actions beside your appointment name

You will have the following choices:

Edit Appointment

Cancel Appointment

Download iCalendar