The Gallery encourages scholars, artists, educators, students, and others to research our collections by visiting our study rooms, library, archives, and collection-related digital resources.
Library and Study Rooms
Nolen Center Library
The Nolen Center Library is the heart of the Gallery’s Nolen Center for Art and Education. The library houses a focused collection of books, exhibition catalogues, articles, documents, and databases related to the highlights of our museum, and it is open to all visitors. The library is open to all, with staff available to help guide research and answer questions.
The Gallery has three study rooms available for the research of original works of art in the collection. The Furniture Study is a working library of about 1,000 pieces of American-made furniture and wooden objects from the seventeenth century to the present. The James E. Duffy Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs contains over 35,000 works of art on paper dating from the fifteenth century to the present. The Bela Lyon Pratt Study Room for Coins and Medals holds over 100,000 coins, medals, and examples of paper money. All three study rooms are available by appointment.
Gallery Archives and Databases
Researchers can interact with our collections through many online resources. The Gallery’s online collection database allows researchers to view digital images and detailed records on over 100,000 objects from the collection. The Gallery maintains a number of archives that allow for the study of specific aspects of the museum’s history and collection. The Gallery Archives hold papers, records, and photographs dating from 1925 to the present that document the history of the museum and can be visited by appointment. The Rhode Island Furniture Archive is a searchable electronic inventory that documents furniture and furniture making in Rhode Island from the time of the first European colonization in 1636 to the early nineteenth century.
Other Yale Resources
The Gallery has worked with the Yale University Library to publish two online archives focused on the history of African art, both of which help encourage the study of the original context and public presentation of African art objects. The Ross Archive of African Images is an online catalogue of illustrated reproductions of African objects from south of the Sahara, along with accompanying text, published between 1590 and 1920. The Yale University Art Gallery–van Rijn Archive is the world’s largest photographic digital database of African art.