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  • The Ringling Art Library

    One of the Ringling Art Library’s most important and essential tasks is making its collection available to students and scholars of art.

  • Ringling’s Personal Collection

    More than 500 titles from John Ringling’s art book collection survive and are honored with their own space in the Art Library.

  • Scholarly Support

    The Ringling librarians assist scholarly research in support of our collections and special exhibitions.

  • For the Love of Art

    The public is always welcome to explore the resources provided by the library in support of our collections and special exhibitions.

  • Preserving Rare Books

    To preserve the library’s treasured rare books in order to make them more accessible to the public, a digitalization project is underway.

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Art Library

Established with The Ringling’s opening in 1946, the Art library is one of the largest and most comprehensive art research libraries in the southeastern United States. Located in the Education Center, the collection strengths reflect those of the Museum’s collections and The Ringling experience.

The Reading Room overlooks the scenic grounds of the Museum and provides a comfortable area for reading and research.  While the collection does not circulate, the Library is available to the public and the stacks are open for browsing. Some materials are available to university students through Interlibrary Loan. Librarians are available to help with research questions in person between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by appointment. Reference questions can also be submitted by using the Ask a Librarian form available on this website in the section “Art Library Resources” or by calling the Library at 941-359-5700, ex. 2703. 

View the Art Library's  Resources

Collection Highlights

  • Total holdings of 70,000 items
  • Specialized art databases, including auction-results databases, and access to FSU 600+ databases
  • Books and other materials spanning the history of art and architecture
  • Extensive holdings in the areas of European Art, especially Renaissance and Baroque; the circus; Studio Glass; museum studies, collectors and collecting; and Asian Art
  • The personal library of John and Mable Ringling
  • A collection of rare books from the 16th century to the present
  • Auction catalogues from the 1930s to the present
  • Juvenile literature about art
  • An Artists’ File of contemporary artists
  • More than 100 journal/magazine subscriptions
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