Established in 1962, the Clark Library has become one of the major art reference and research libraries in the country. Focusing on post-medieval European and American art, the collection is outstanding in the fields of Italian and Northern Renaissance, Baroque, and nineteenth-century French art, and the history of photography. Recent grants have expanded collections of non-Western contemporary art. The Library’s resources include approximately 235,000 books, bound periodicals, and auction sales catalogues, with current journal subscriptions numbering around 650.
Founded on the libraries of the former firm of Duveen Brothers (New York) and of the late Dutch art historian W. R. Juynboll, the Clark Library also holds an important collection of books on the decorative arts given by Mary Ann Beinecke and a collection of works on early twentieth-century art (with particular strengths in Dada and Surrealism) given by George Heard Hamilton, former director of the Institute. Robert Sterling Clark's outstanding collection of rare books is notable for its illustrated books, fine bindings, and literature in rare editions. Additionally, the library’s holdings include a collection of twentieth-century artists' books.
Arranged in open stacks, the Library is non-circulating outside the premises but study areas are available throughout its four floors. Terminals providing access to the on-line catalogue and an extensive suite of electronic databases are available on most floors. Wireless access is available throughout the Library.
The Library is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.