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Special Collections Center: Welcome

Hours & Location

Spring Hours

Monday - Friday: Open by appointment 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., no drop-ins
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Closings: Special Collections will be closed April 1, April 8, April 15, April 29, and May 9-16, 2022.

Summer Hours: Beginning May 17, 2022, limited appointments will be available.

Ringling College of Art + Design
2nd floor of the Alfred R. Goldstein Library
2700 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234

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Contact Us

Schedule a viewing appointment

Sign-up for a research consultation

Janelle Rebel
Digital Curation and Special Collections Librarian
(941) 359-7583

Alexandra Vargas-Minor, CA
(941) 309-4055

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New Items in Special Collections

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Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center

The Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center specializes in artists’ publication projects, prints, and illustrated rare books.

Our educational mission is to introduce our publics to diverse voices and ideas that challenge staid constructions of the canon and the master work. The Center routinely juxtaposes the familiar and widely recognized with the lesser known and the underrepresented. Through our work, we hope that the next generation of thinkers and makers will draw inspiration from a nuanced web of references.

Hands-On Object-Based Research
At the Special Collections Center, you can gather ideas for a creative project, engage in scholarly research, or discover something new. Gain hands-on experience utilizing primary sources in our reading room, and explore our unique collections through an active exhibition program and campus events. From social justice activism to international folktales to the latest in fabrication techniques, the material objects at the Center can be a great way to explore questions about conception, production, circulation, readership, and cultural histories. 

Collection Types
The collections namely consist of artists’ books and photo-bookworks from the 1960s to the present; illustrated books and periodicals from the 1700s forward; historic and contemporary prints and printed matter from the 1450s forward; specialty archives and collections; and a new institutional archive.

You'll find: broadsides, campus materials, democratic multiples, documentation of time-based and performance projects, engravings, exhibition publications, experimental writing, fine press books, flip books, handmade editions, historic facsimiles, parlor toys, photographs, pop-up books, prints, rare books, zines, and more. See our Collection Highlights (new!) for details.

Open to Everyone
Open to students, staff, faculty, art and design practitioners, and the general public. Our Center functions as a reading room, classroom, print study center, and
gallery. To schedule an individual appointment, research consultation, class visit, or group tour please contact our Center staff in advance.

Faculty Resources & Curricular Support
As a teaching resource for faculty, the Center can be utilized for class visits, critique sessions, performances, and extracurricular activities. For class visits, see How to Use the Center for a brief overview and the SC Educator Guide (new!) for more information about our educational offerings, lesson plan ideas, and ways to browse and learn about the collections. Interested faculty/classes are also invited to collaborate with the Center on Exhibitions and Special Projects.

Current Exhibition


90 Years in the Ringling College Archives
Curated by Alexandra Vargas-Minor
January 17 through May 13, 2022
Art Walk: Friday, March 4 from 4:30-7:30pm*

The Ringling College Archives invite you to take a glimpse into its collections through its inaugural exhibition, 90 Years in the Ringling College Archives.

Founded in October 1931 as the School of Art of the John and Mable Ringling Art Museum and Junior College, Ringling College of Art and Design has become a pillar of the art and design community in Sarasota. 90 Years in the Ringling College Archives commemorates nine decades of Ringling College’s accomplishments, hurdles, and happenings that were pivotal to the institution’s growth.

Walking through the exhibition, each shelf has items organized by decade to invite the viewer to learn about a sampling of the administrative happenings, campus planning developments, and student life activities at Ringling College. From a letter written and signed by John Ringling, to student publications and sketches of old campus buildings by former students, the exhibition also lets viewers see some of the primary sources preserved and made accessible by the Ringling College Archives.

90 Years in the Ringling College Archives barely scratches the surface on the story of Ringling College’s history and the Ringling College Archives’ collections. As the Archives continue to grow, we look forward to showcasing and collecting materials that document student activities and experiences, and the activities of campus offices.

*For one night only, the 90 Years in the Ringling College Archives exhibition will expand into the Special Collections Reading Room. Art Walk is a special open-campus, family-friendly evening organized by the Ringling College Galleries.