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Special Collections Center: Visit

Hours & Location

*New Hours (Fall and Spring Semester)*

Monday - Friday: By appointment from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., no drop-ins
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Reading Room Occupancy: 3 people (2 researchers + 1 staff member max)

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

Download a campus map

Contact Us

Schedule an appointment, in-person or virtual

Sign-up for a research consultation, virtual

Virtual services: Special Collections staff are available to answer reference questions and meet for research consultations by phone, email, or Zoom. To request a scan from physical library materials, please use our Scan Request Form.

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

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

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How To Use the Center

We welcome students, staff, faculty, art and design practitioners, and the general public to visit our Center and use our collections. We are located on the 2nd floor of the Alfred R. Goldstein Library. Materials are for use within the Center and cannot be checked out. We will also do our best to facilitate a virtual visit using a document camera and Zoom, if requested. However, items from the vault can be set aside for a researcher to consult over multiple visits. There is a large-format overhead scanner in the reading room available to researchers.

We are taking extra precautions to mitigate the health risks for our communities. Some processes have changed. Currently:

  • Up to 2 researchers plus 1 staff member will be allowed in the reading room at one time.
  • Researchers are required to wear a facial covering.
  • Researchers are required to maintain social distancing.
  • Please pack light to reduce the number of personal belongings stored in the check-in area. 
  • Hand sanitizer is available.
  • Tables and equipment are sanitized by staff between researchers.
  • After physical materials are handled by a researcher, they will be quarantined for 4 days before being reshelved or made available to the next user.

Prior to visiting:

  1. Please make an appointment or drop by during our open hours. If you know what materials to request, you can schedule an individual appointment. If you do not know what materials to request, please schedule a research consultation. We would be happy to help you find relevant sources.
  2. To locate sources on your own, brainstorm keywords, concepts, and search terms. Our SC Collection Guide is a great tool for identifying popular research categories and subjects represented in our collections. You may also want to search for physical item characteristics--in which case, decide on terms for printing or production methods (e.g. letterpress printing), binding types (e.g. accordion), and/or the materials used (e.g. wax). The Artists' Book Thesaurus is helpful for book binding terms. 
  3. Search the library catalog.
  4. You can request items directly through the catalog after you log in or you can email us your requests:

During your visit:‚Äč

  1. Wash hands. Restrooms are located near the elevators.
  2. Ring door bell and sign in with a staff member.
  3. Stow belongings and any food or drink in the cubbies in the check-in area.
  4. Handle materials carefully. The materials will be brought out from the vault and set-up on the tables for you. Keep materials supported on foam cradles or tables, as instructed by staff.
  5. Take notes with pencils or electronic devices--no inks.


Classes and Group Tours

  • We recommend contacting the Special Collections Librarian at least two weeks in advanced for group tours or class lessons. (More time is better.)
  • Schedule a brief meeting or a virtual coffee with the Special Collections Librarian prior to discuss ideas and objectives.
  • Provide the class syllabus, project unit, and/or assignment details to the Special Collections Librarian.
  • The reading room on the 2nd floor can accommodate up to 24 persons. We schedule larger classes (up to 40 persons) in the 3rd floor space behind the elevators or the project room (GLDLB 140) on the first floor. We currently have a 3 person maximum capacity in the reading room. In practice, this means up to 2 researchers plus 1 staff member at a time. (Subject to change.)
  • Visit the SC Educator Guide (new!) for more information about our educational offerings, lesson plan ideas, and ways to browse and learn about the collections.

Reproduction Guidelines

  • All duplication requests for scanning and photocopies are subject to copyright and fair use restrictions and condition of the materials. Readers may take digital photographs and use the overhead book scanner for research use.
  • For rights information please contact the Special Collections Librarian.
  • For one-on-one training on the overhead book scanner please contact the Archivist. Group training sessions are also available throughout the fall and spring semesters.