Fleet Library at RISD

Housed in an ornate, Italian Renaissance-style banking hall built in 1917, the beautifully restored Fleet Library at RISD offers an inviting setting to explore your interests, research projects and connect with other students. More than 100,000 browsable volumes and 1,500 artists’ books offer unusual depth and richness in the areas of art, architecture, design and photography. With outstanding visual resources, 20,000 materials samples, half a million clippings arranged by subject and an extraordinary rare book collection, the library provides ready access to strong historical and contemporary perspectives, along with specialized materials in landscape architecture, ceramics, textiles and jewelry. 

RISD’s knowledgeable librarians will also help guide your research as needed. They can recommend databases to search and can show you strategies and features to use them most efficiently. Librarians can help you locate primary sources, bibliographies, images, websites and digital collections. They will also write letters of introduction to off-campus research centers when your inquiry points you further afield.


How the library can help
  • Trace your own artistic and cultural influences
  • Identify experts in your field
  • Access people and information for professional needs
  • Understand copyright as it relates to your work
  • Develop a familiarity with professional organizations and publications in your field
  • Gain familiarity with relevant research centers, think tanks and institutes 
  • Learn to archive information to survive changing technologies
  • Create systems to organize and document your professional work 


Library support of research
  • Individual research assistance 
  • Tailored group library instruction
  • Sessions for research projects + seminar topics
  • ChiL (College Hill Libraries/access to Brown + Athenaeum collections)
  • Online tutorials
  • Interlibrary loan-borrowing system 
  • Setting up RSS feeds, preferred searches, etc.
Grad Studies Foreground Image 1
Students present both 2D and 3D work at the annual Graduate Thesis Exhibition