The Stephen Chan
Library of Fine Arts

The Stephen Chan Library of Fine Arts is located on the second floor of the Duke House at 1 East 78th Street. It supports the research and curricular needs of the Institute of Fine Arts' graduate programs in art history and archaeology. The library was initially installed in the Duke House bedrooms by architect Robert Venturi in 1958, at which time collections were grouped by subject and the reading rooms were given their present-day names -- 'Renaissance,' 'Baroque,' 'Medieval,' 'Oriental', and so on. As the collections outgrew the rooms, a substantial renovation was implemented in 1975 by Richard Foster and Associates. At this time the mezzanine was constructed and all collections were removed from the reading rooms and consolidated on the mezzanine level. While the expansion was intended to accommodate library acquisitions for twenty-five years, all available space was consumed by 1987. Since then, various collections, such as Egyptian and East Asian, have been relocated within the Duke House, an ironic return to Venturi's original concept. Thus the idiosyncratic organization of the library's collections is not by design, but rather is due to the vagaries of its history, and the rapidity of its growth. The library contains over 100,000 volumes, subscribes to 485 periodicals, and houses a distinguished rare book collection. The majority of the library's holdings are represented in BobCat, NYU's online catalog. A division of NYU's library system, the IFA Library also maintains cooperative access arrangements with major New York metropolitan art libraries.

Access to the Stephen Chan Library

The Libraries of the Institute of Fine Arts are non-circulating research collections intended primarily for the use of IFA faculty and students. In addition, we welcome NYU faculty and matriculating students with relevant research needs. Click here for the Conservation Center Library access policy.

IFA Alumni Association members and IFA Connoisseurs Circle members are welcome during staffed hours. At present, there is no reciprocal relationship with the programs of the NYU Alumni Association or the Friends of Bobst Library.

Consortium students and faculty (The New School, Parsons, Mannes College of Music, and Cooper Union) are welcome during staffed hours for consultation of IFA materials identified in BobCat as unavailable at Bobst Library or Consortium libraries. An appointment is recommended.

Unaffiliated visitors are welcome during staffed hours for items unique to the Stephen Chan Library within the metropolitan area. Visitors should make an appointment and bring a METRO referral. A METRO referral card may be obtained at the visitor's host institution, or at the New York Public Library.

Extended access for visiting scholars may be arranged upon application to the library office.

As a substantial portion of the library's collection are located off-site, telephoning or emailing the library with call numbers prior to visiting is recommended.

Proper identification is required for access to the Stephen Chan Library.

Drinking, eating, smoking and cell phone use are prohibited.