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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

About Classes: Special Collections

Contact Us

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

Summer and Fall 2020

We are currently offering virtual classes via Zoom.  Due to COVID-19 we are unable to offer in person classes at this time.


Each year Special Collections is visited by over 100 RISD classes and groups from the greater Providence, RI area.  Faculty members or group leaders can request a date and specific items for a class or group visit to Special Collections here.

  • Requests must be made at least two weeks in advance.  Due to space and staffing we are limited to four classes and/or groups a week and no more than two a day.

  • If your visit request falls outside our normal hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30 pm)  please contact us by email

  • All new classes/groups and/or new faculty/leaders are required to make an appointment before your class/group visits to discuss class structure and review items.  Appointments are recommended for all returning faculty/leaders as well.

Handouts listing items used in previous class or group visits to Special Collections are available at the top of this page (sorted by department or affiliation).

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'.


Open hours for 1 to 2 items are 3-4:30 pm Monday, Wednesday-Friday (except when a class visit is scheduled).  For more in depth assistance, please make an appointment.

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 or put in the corner by the coat rack in the Reading Room.

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.