The library’s collections—textual, audiovisual, print, and electronic—allow researchers to immerse themselves in the landscape of architectural and cultural discourse. A wealth of architecturally related subjects, from prehistory to the present, is contained in the growing collection of 15,000 volumes. The primary focuses are modern and contemporary architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Complementary disciplines, such as construction, art, photography and film, engineering, and ecology, are also well represented. Faculty and students are encouraged to submit requests for our monograph collection, which is also supplemented by the considerable resources of the Illinois interlibrary loan program.
Augmenting our general reference works, the library offers two special research collections. One is our “Chicago Collection,” an array of books that puts the city’s people and architectural developments into historical perspective. The second is our “Mies Collection,” which features a comprehensive bibliography and study collection, as well as materials relating to the history of IIT. In addition to print collections, researchers have access to over seventy-five databases, and our journal holdings further allow students to remain in touch with international perspectives and current developments.
With the recent renovation of the library, every table has been wired to allow the use of personal computers. The library’s additional resources include ten computer workstations, two scanners, wireless and power access for fifty seats, and a scanning copier. The most important resource, however, is a friendly and knowledgeable staff that weaves library services into the larger fabric of the design studios and research projects.