Frequently Asked Questions
Who can use the Frick Art Reference Library?
Do I need an appointment to use the Library?
Do I need to be a member of The Frick Collection to use the Library?
How do I use the Library?
Can I register online?
How does the Library handle my privacy?
What are the hours of the Library?
Can I bring my child or infant to the Library?
Can I bring my purse or bag with me when visiting the Library?
Can I wear my coat or other outerwear while conducting research at the Library?
Can I bring a work of art into the Reading Room?
Can I have lunch at the Library?
Can I use a camera or digital camera at the Library?
Can I use highlighters, sticky notes, or other office supplies at the Library?
Are laptop computers allowed at the Library?
Is wireless Internet access available at the Library?
Can I request items in advance of visiting the Library?
How many items can I request when working in the Reading Room?
How do I request off-site materials?
The Library is open to adults (18 or older).
No appointment is necessary to use the Library.
First-time visitors are asked to arrive before 3:00 p.m. on weekdays or before 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays, and to bring a photo ID. Use of the Library requires registration. Library cards are for use by the individuals to whom they are issued. They are non-transferable. By accepting the cards, researchers agree to follow the policies of the Library. To pre-register and for more information about admission and use of the Library, see Visit > Library > Admission.
Online pre-registration is available. To pre-register, see the Pre-registration Form. Researchers must visit the Library to complete the registration process. For more information about admission and use of the Library, see Visit > Library > Admission.
The Library is open weekdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Library is closed major holidays; holiday weekends; Saturdays in June, July, and August; and Mondays and Fridays in August. For information about upcoming holiday closures, see Visit > Libary > Hours.
The Library is open only to adults. Therefore, children and infants are not permitted.
Purses or bags that exceed the dimensions of 9” x 12” x 3” must be checked. All laptop and camera cases must be checked. Luggage is not permitted and will not be checked.
All coats and other outerwear must be checked.
Artworks less than 24" x 24" can be brought to the Reading Room only with the prior permission of the Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian or the Chief of Public Services. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request permission.
All food, drinks (including water), candy, and gum are not permitted in the Reading Room and other public areas. A drinking fountain is available.
The Library allows the use of digital cameras in the Reading Room. For more information, see Research > Library > Copies.
The use of highlighters, sticky notes, or other office supplies is not permitted in the Reading Room. Any needed supplies in the general course of research are provided by the Library.
Wireless Internet access is available in the Reading Room for researchers who have computers with wireless capabilities. Ask at the Reference Desk for assistance with logging in to the Library's network. Please note that some Internet content is blocked in order to reduce network traffic.
Yes, registered researchers can request up to three items per day in advance of visiting the Library. Advance requests are held for three business days. Note that rare books cannot be requested in advance.
While onsite, researchers can request up to twenty items per day. Up to five requests can be placed every fifteen minutes until 4:00 p.m. on weekdays or 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
How do I determine if the Library has a book I am looking for?
How do I read e-books listed in the Library’s catalog?
Are electronic resources available from home or office?
Can I check out materials from the Library?
What materials are offsite?
How do I request off-site materials?
How do I examine archival collections?
What is the Photoarchive?
How is the Photoarchive organized?
How do I cite the Photoarchive?
Can you identify the artworks displayed in the Reading Room?
Who designed and constructed the current Library building?
Does the Library authenticate or valuate works of art?
The collections of the Library can be searched using the catalog. It contains records for the book, photoarchive, auction catalog, and microform collections, and electronic resources. The catalog is available onsite at the Library or offsite using a computer with an Internet connection and a Web browser.
The Library has access to thousands of e-books through the EBL service. To read these titles, researchers must be registered. To learn about registration, see Visit > Library > Admission. A researcher has to visit the Library in New York City to complete the registration process.
A researcher can access EBL e-books onsite and remotely by creating and/or signing in to his or her EBL account when viewing the log in webpage. A researcher can only create an EBL account while onsite at the Library.
Please note that there are many e-books, in addition to those offered through EBL, in the Libary's catalog that are freely available both onsite and remotely, and do not require a researcher to register with the Library.
The subscription electronic resources listed in the catalog can only be accessed when visiting the Library. However, non-subscription Web sites listed in the catalog can be accessed and used from offsite. For more information, see the Electronic Resources Finder.
The Library is a noncirculating art research library. Materials must be consulted in the Library's Reading Room.
Periodicals published between 1931 and 2009 and auction catalogs published between 1996 and 2010, as well as other materials, are stored at an off-site facility. To determine if a needed item is offsite, search the catalog.
To request items stored offsite, see the Off-site Form available through the catalog. Please note that off-site materials are not immediately available for examination and require up to four business days for retrieval. You do not need to be present in the Reading Room to request off-site items. See the delivery schedule below.
Placed Monday by 12:00 p.m. > Available Wednesday
Placed Monday after 12:00 p.m. > Available Thursday
Placed Tuesday by 12:00 p.m. > Available Thursday
Placed Tuesday after 12:00 p.m. > Available Friday
Placed Wednesday by 12:00 p.m. > Available Friday
Placed Wednesday after 12:00 p.m. > Available Monday
Placed Thursday by 12:00 p.m. > Available Monday
Placed Thursday after 12:00 p.m. > Available Tuesday
Placed Friday by 12:00 p.m. > Available Tuesday
Placed Friday after 12:00 p.m. > Available Wednesday
Placed Saturday or Sunday > Available Wednesday
Archival materials are accessed in the Reading Room of the Library by appointment, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Contact the Archives department at email@example.com to schedule an appointment. Researchers are required to register to use the Library and complete an Application for Access to the Archives. All researchers must abide by the terms and conditions set forth in this application.
The Photoarchive is a collection of photographs and other reproductions of works of art for study purposes. It does not contain stock photography or fine art photography.
The Photoarchive is arranged first by national school, second by artist name, and third by subject. The Library uses a unique subject classification system. For information about the subjects included see the painting and drawing, and sculpture guides.
Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive files, [Artist], "[Title]," [catalog number] or supply files, accessed [date].
Example, classified mounts: Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive files, S.F.B. Morse, "Moss Kent," 121-15 k2, accessed April 7, 2010.
Example, supply mounts: Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive files, S.F.B. Morse, "Portrait of an Unknown Man," supply files, accessed April 7, 2010.
Sculpture in the vestibule on the third floor:
- Madonna of the Impruneta, after Andrea (di Marco) della Robbia, n.d.
The Main Reading Room is decorated in the Italian Renaissance style. Paintings, clockwise, beginning with west wall:
- Portrait of Henry Clay Frick, by Sir Gerald Kelly, 1924
- Regatta in Venice, by Francesco Guardi, c. 1775–1780
- View of Venice, by Francesco Guardi, c. 1765–1775
- Madonna between Saints Francis and John, copy by Nicolas Lochoff, 1930, after Pietro Lorenzetti's fresco in the Lower Church of San Francesco, Assisi, c. 1320–1329
- Portrait of Andrew W. Mellon, by Sir William Orpen, 1924
The Small Reading Room is paneled in the Jacobean oak that was formerly in the bowling alley of the Frick residence.
See the architecture and construction information handout for more information.
The Library does not authenticate or valuate works of art. The staff is happy to provide researchers with information and/or materials to allow them to draw their own conclusions. The Library usually refers researchers to the professional appraiser and dealer associations listed below. Proceed at your own discretion.
Art Dealers Association of America
205 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016
National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America
220 East 57th Street
New York, NY 10022
Appraisers Association of America Inc.
212 West 35th Street
11th Floor South
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-889-5404 x10
Private Art Dealers Association of America
Vince Hickman Administrator
P.O. Box 872, Lenox Hill Station
New York, NY 10021
IFAR Authentication Research Service
500 Fifth Avenue, Suite 935
New York, NY 10110
To ask a research question, see Research > Library > Ask a Question. You can also ask questions in person in the Reading Room or by telephone (212-547-0641) during business hours. For more information about when the Library is open, see Visit > Library > Hours.
The Library offers non-self-serve, photocopying/scanning services. For more information, see Research > Library > Copies.
The Library can borrow books and other materials not held in its collections from other research institutions for on-site examination. Please note that not all library materials are available through interlibrary lending and use of this service is limited to registered researchers. To place an interlibrary lending request, see the Interlibrary Loan Form. For more information about access and use of the Library, see Visit > Library > Admission.