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Studio Art Library Resources: Firestone

A short description of the collections, tools, and research help available to Studio Art enthusiasts.


One Washington Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098

Resources at Firestone

While Firestone does not collect art resources as extensively as some of the other libraries, here are some elements in the collection and in the Firestone building that could be of use:

In the general collection: On floor C (the bottom level), there are a few shelves of regular and oversize art materials.  You can identify them by their call numbers beginning with N.  (For more information about call numbers, see Browsing for Inspiration.)

In the Special Collections division: Special Collections contains within it several interesting and unique collections:

  • The Graphic Arts Collection: Learn more about this fantastic collection on the Graphic Arts page.
  • Rare Books: To the right of the inside entrance of Firestone is the Rare Books room, which you do not need an appointment to visit.  While the books may not be specifically focused on art (Marquand has its own rare books room), they may be interesting both from a book arts perspective (if you are interested in binding, printing, graphic design & typefaces, etc.) or for the sake of the illustrations some may contain (such as a collection of rare books concerning John James Audubon).  For a guide to the works contained in the Rare Books collection, try this index.
  • Cotsen Children's Library: According to its website, Cotsen "is a major historical collection of rare illustrated children's books, manuscripts, original artwork, prints, and educational toys from the 15th century to the present day in over thirty languages." Some highlights listed on the website include sketchbooks by Hans Christian Andersen, Beatrix Potter's letters, puzzles, and childrens' drawings.  You can view items from the research collection in the Dulles Reading Room in the Rare Books division, but you should also check out the Cotsen gallery designed by James Bradberry.  It's cool!
  • Historical Maps: Considering how many artists use maps as an inspiration for their work, it might be worthwhile to check out this amazing collection, which is especially strong in historic maps of the American West and Western Europe and consists mostly of flat and cased maps. Many of the maps in the collection can be found in the catalog, some of which have links to digital images.  For more maps: there is also a rich collection of maps bound in books within the Rare Books collection, and contemporary maps at the Lewis Library.
  • Manuscripts: There are several collections of manuscripts within the Special Collections.  The Scheide Library, for instance, contains medieval manuscripts and incunabules (you need an appointment to visit this library).  The Manuscripts Division includes several interesting collections, such as some beautifully illuminated Islamic manuscripts, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, and a collection of art and photography, including materials such as photos by Charles Dodgeson/Lewis Carroll and the papers of Auguste Rodin. If you'd like to see some things from the Manuscript Division online, try here.
  • Numismatics: Numismatics, or the collection and study of money, is a collection housed in Firestone that includes Greek and Roman coins, colonial money and mint & proof sets, medals, and paper currency.  To search this collection, try here.

Contact Firestone

Humanities and Social Sciences Reference Desk

The Special Collections Department

Rare Books Blog

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