The Ringling Art Library is one of the largest art reference libraries in the southeastern United States. Located in the Education Center, it houses thousands of volumes from the 16th-21st centuries, on subjects such as fine and decorative art, art history, architecture, fashion, and theater. It also features a number of special collections and the personal library of John Ringling.
The personal collection of John Ringling features a collection of some 500 books that once belonged to John Ringling. These books reflect his various interests. Some relate to the places he traveled, while others were used to expand his knowledge of art history, which, in turn, helped inform his activities as a collector of art and antiquities.
John Ringling’s collection features a number of rare limited editions, as well as folios with beautiful, hand-colored plates. Many of the works have fine bindings, which are the subject of an on-going conservation effort. The entire collection is housed in a special room of the Ringling Art Library, and is accessible by appointment.