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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design


An introductory guide to library resources for Printmaking.

Welcome to the Printmaking Research Guide

Here you will find useful books, links, and resources to complete assignments and conduct research. This guide is a good way to get started with your research. If you have more questions or need additional help, just ask! There are librarians available to help you find answers.

The Art of Browsing

Here are some helpful tips:

Books in the RISD Fleet Library are organized by topic using Library of Congress classification system. Printmaking is under the letters NE. You can browse the collection digitally by clicking on this link. If you are interested in browsing the shelves, you can use this map and these call number ranges as a guide:

NE 1-3002 Print Media

NE 1-978 Printmaking and engraving

NE 1-90 General

NE 218-(330) Engraved portraits Self-portraits

NE 380 Conservation and restoration of prints

NE 390-395 Collected works

NE 400-773 History of printmaking

NE 830-898 General works

NE 951-962 Special subjects

NE 965-965.3 Tradesmen's cards

NE 970-973 Study and teaching

NE 975-975.4 Competitions

NE 977-978 Equipment

NE 1000-1352 Wood engraving

NE 1000-1027 General

NE 1030-1196.3 History

NE 1220-1233 General works

NE1310-1326.5 Japanese prints

NE 1330-1336 Linoleum block prints

NE 1340 Fish prints

NE 1344-1345 Potato prints

NE 1350-1352 Other materials used in relief printing

NE 1400-1879 Metal engraving

NE 1400-1422 General

NE 1620-1630 General works

NE 1634-1749 History

NE 1750-1775 Copper engraving

NE 1850-1879 Color prints

NE1940-2232.5 Etching and aquatint

NE 1940-1975 General

NE1980-2055.5 History

NE 2120-2140 General works

NE 2141-2149 Special subjects

NE 2220-2225 Dry point

NE 2236-2240.6 Serigraphy

NE 2242-2246 Monotype (Printmaking)

NE 2250-2570 Lithography

NE 2685-2685.8 Lumiprints

NE 2690 Engraving on glass

NE 2800-2880 Printing of engravings

NE 3000-3002 Copying art. Copying machine art


Suggested SUBJECT searches:

Prints -- History.

Prints -- Technique.




Lithography, American.

Searching Tips

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.


Keyword Searches

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.

  • Use this type of search technique when you are getting a feel for your topic and you are finding general information on a topic or subject.
  • For example, a keyword search for "Adrian Piper" will give you results for items about and written by her. If you want to find items written by Adrian Piper use an author search and enter "Piper, Adrian."


Artist/Author Searches

This search looks for the name of the artist, author, editor, or translator of an item. It can be helpful to think of the artist as the author of his/her/their own work.

  • Use this search when you know the name of the artist, author, editor or translator of a item.
  • Tip: search last name, first name, for example "Piper, Adrian." If you don't find the artist or author you are looking for, try a keyword search instead.
  • Tip: Galleries or museums can be listed as authors. Try searching museums and galleries to see exhibition catalogs and other publications by institutions. For example Museum of Fine Arts Boston or Museum of Modern Art.
  • For example, if you want to find items written by Adrian Piper use an author search and enter "Piper, Adrian." If you enter a name as a subject, the items you see in the search results will be about them, not necessarily written by them. A keyword search will return anything containing the name.


Subject Searches

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 always intuitive.

  • Use this type of search when you want to find information which reflects the about-ness of a topic.
  • For example, if you enter "Piper, Adrian" as a subject, the items you see in the search results will be about her, not necessarily written by her. If you want to find items written by Adrian Piper, use an Author search. A Keyword search will give you results for any items that contain the name.

Title Searches

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.

  • Use this when you know the exact title of a book, exhibition catalog, or journal.

Graduate Theses

Thesis books are deposited at Fleet Library at the end of each graduate student's time at RISD. Most recent theses can be browsed freely in the library's mezzanine-level Grad Thesis area; older and more delicate work is housed in Archives and can be viewed by appointment. Theses designated as Storage can be requested during open hours on the first floor of the library. See the Index to Graduate Theses to explore theses in detail. Some of RISD's recent Graduate Theses are available to view and download online on RISD's Digital Commons.

Citation Management

For more information and additional options, see Citation Guides and Information Management Tools

Additional Resources

Requesting an Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a library service that allows the Fleet Library to "check out" materials from other libraries. If we don't have something you need, request it and we'll notify you when it's available.

Through ILL you can request:

  • Books
  • Book Chapters (PDF)
  • Articles (PDF)
  • DVDs/Videos
  • CDs, Musical Scores

Sign into the Interlibrary Loan portal here with your RISD account.


You can also request items from within Fleet Search (look for the "Request through Interlibrary Loan" option).
This is handy because it will pre-fill the item request form for you.

Renewing Books Online

Step 1: Visit the library homepage and click "My Account" in the top right account

Step 2: Follow the instructions on the screen to log in.

Step 3: Click "# Items currently checked out" and click "Renew All" or select the items you'd like to renew. 

If you are prevented from renewing, you may have hit your limit (see "Borrowing" on the website for info). For help, reach out to us: or (401) 709-5901

Brown University Libraries

RISD faculty, staff, and students have borrowing privileges at Brown Libraries. You must have a current RISD ID for access. Be sure your account is active with RISD's Fleet Library.

Brown Visiting Policy

To receive an access card for Brown libraries, RISD community members must check in at the Circulation Desk. Find their policies on this page

Database Access

RISD community members can only access Brown's Databases on-site. You can search and download from Brown's databases using their visitor/public computers. The public computers are located on the 1st and 2nd floor of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library and in the basement of the Sciences Library. If you have questions, ask at the Circulation Desk for help.


RISD community members can borrow up to 5 books for 4 weeks.