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Finding Materials in the Collections

Reference Books

The Print Collection’s reference collection is limited to books on prints and illustrated books; literature on artworks in other media, including drawings and posters, are found in the Art and Architecture Collection. Subjects covered in the reference collection include the history of printmaking, catalogs on individual printmakers, selected technique books, history of illustrated books, and general histories of caricature. More in-depth information can be found in the Guide to Researching Prints.

Readers are advised to begin their research on printmaking topics with a search in the Library's online catalog, which is current for all book materials in the Research Libraries. The Dictionary Catalog of the Research Libraries in the General Research Division includes materials cataloged before 1972, as do the separate divisional dictionary catalogs of the Art and Architecture Collection and the Print Collection, which can be found in the General Research Division (Room 315) and in the Art and Architecture Collection, Room 300 (Dictionary Catalog of the Prints Division also available in the Prints and Photographs Study Room, 308).

Original Prints and Drawings

Original prints in the Print Collection are indexed by printmaker in unique card files in the Prints and Photographs Study Room. Only isolated portions of the original print collection have been cataloged online, and prints are also not included in the various book catalogs. Some bound volumes of prints are catalogued in the Library's online catalog and the Dictionary Catalog of the Prints Division as books. Drawings are indexed by artist, and are cross-referenced in the original print card files.

Subject access is very limited, with the exception of American historical views, indexed in Gloria Deák, Picturing America (Princeton, New Jersey, 1988), and New York City views, selectively included in Picturing America, and listed in their totality in Frank Weitenkampf's Guide to the Eno Collection (New York, 1925). Portraits are selectively indexed (see also Specialized Subject Collections), but for most, particularly 20th century subjects, the reader will probably be better served by the Mid-Manhattan Library's Picture Collection.  

A small number of original prints and drawings have been cataloged in the Library's online catalog; they have extensive subject headings. 

Graphic Materials Elsewhere in the Research Libraries

There are also subject-specific collections of prints (and drawings and photographs) throughout the Research Libraries collections, including the Arents Collection, the Berg Collection and the Pforzheimer Collection at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Photographs and Prints Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Dance Collection, Music Collection and Theatre Collection at the Library for the Performing Arts.

The Photography Collection shares a study room with the Print Collection, but is administered separately. Some of these materials have been catalogued in Library's online catalog, but it is advisable to contact the individual divisions to determine the extent of their holdings.