Using Other Philadelphia Libraries //

Free Library of Philadelphia
Athenaeum of Philadelphia
Moore College of Art and Design
Peirce College
Drexel University
Drexel University - Hahnemann Medical Library
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Library Company of Philadelphia
Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University - Paul J. Gutman Library
Rosenbach Museum and Library
Temple University
Thomas Jefferson University
University of Pennsylvania

University of the Arts students, faculty and staff may occasionally need to go to other libraries to do research. On this page are just a few of the libraries in the Philadelphia area that will be the most convenient and useful to you.

Please note that most of these are school or university libraries and that their hours will be different between semesters and over holidays. Always call ahead or check their hours on their website to verify that they will be open.

The word "Access" below means being allowed into the library. You cannot check books out from most of these libraries (except Moore, Peirce, and the Free Library), but you can go in and use the materials in the library during the times specified.

University of the Arts patrons may want to take advantage of interlibrary loan service, which may be easier than visiting numerous libraries in person.

Search these libraries' catalogs before you go!

Other Tips Before You Go:
Make the most of the University of the Arts Libraries before you go to another college or university library. This is considered a courtesy to the other library and to your own. If you don't find what you need in the UArts Libraries, talk one of our librarians. We need to know what you need in order to purchase library materials. We have many resources and contacts that you can't find by using the catalog. Your librarians are also quite familiar with most of these libraries and can help you plan a visit and make the best use of your time.

If you go to another library, look around for signs and handouts. These have been created to answer the most common questions.

Bring change if you plan to photocopy. Most libraries do not give out change.

Talking to the librarians: If you expect to ask the librarians at another library for help, think about your research needs carefully and what it is you're looking for. Be prepared to tell them where you have already looked and how much information you need (is this for a senior thesis or a 5-page paper? graduate student or undergraduate?).

If you do ask questions, listen carefully to the answer and ask more questions if you're not sure of what to do next.

In large libraries, the librarians cannot usually spend much time with you on your question because they have so many patrons to help. Again, think carefully about your question and what you need, and use your UArts library resources first.

Be polite and say thank you. You may need to ask the same person for help again.

And finally, be sure to write down all the information you'll need about your sources for a bibliography. If you're not sure which page of a book is the proper title page, ask a librarian or look up the title in the library's catalog for the proper way to cite it, and make sure to write down page numbers for the material you use. You'll save yourself a great deal of frustration later by being very careful about this.

Central Library, 1901 Vine Street (19th & Vine on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway)

Reference: 215-686-5322
Book Location Information: 215-686-5349
Art Dept: 215-686-5403
Education Dept: 215-686-5392
Print & Picture Dept: 215-686-5405
Database and Newspaper Dept: 215-686-2860
Theater Collection: 215-686-5427
Rare Book Dept: 215-686-5416
Business, Science and Industry Dept: 215-686-5394
Music Dept: 215-686-5316


HOURS: Central Library hours: Monday-Wednesday 9am-9pm; Thursday-Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm

ACCESS: This is the public library for the City of Philadelphia, thus it is open to everyone.

Take note: The Central Library is a research library, which means that most of the books there may not be checked out; on the other hand, that means the books are always there. The Central Library has an extensive Print & Picture file, open Mon.-Fri., 9-5, and the Art Department has a clippings file on local art and artists. The Theater Department has the second-largest theater collection in a U.S. public library.

GETTING A FREE LIBRARY OF PHILADELPHIA CARD: Apply online! You must show proof of Philadelphia residence (utility bill, driver's license, valid student ID) in order to receive a Free Library card; bring 2 forms of ID.

WHERE IS IT: The Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library is about a 30-minute walk from downtown Philadelphia. The SEPTA bus route number 32 goes right by the Central Library. Catch the northbound 32 bus on the east side of Broad Street. Please see the SEPTA Web site for a map and schedule of the 32.

A small branch of the Free Library, the Philadelphia City Institute branch, is located at 1905 Locust Street on Rittenhouse Square.

FREE LIBRARY ONLINE RESOURCES: With a Free Library of Philadelphia card you have access to many online databases. Take a look:
Note on the left of this Advanced Search screen that you can also access e-books and other electronic resources.

Athenaeum of Philadelphia
How to Conduct Research at the Athenaeum
219 S. 6th St (Washington Square). Phone: 215-925-2688
"The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is an independent member-supported library and museum that engages members, scholars and the interested general public to join actively in the cultural and intellectual life of Philadelphia and participate in historical, literary and educational activities."
ACCESS: The Athenaeum is open to the public by appointment but is not a public library. It is best to work with your UArts librarians first. If you still would like to visit the Athenaeum you must schedule a research appointment. It has particularly strong collections in architecture.


UArts has reciprocal access and borrowing aggreements with Moore College of Art & Design Peirce. UArts students, faculty, and staff with a valid ID must get a letter each semester from the Greenfield or Music Library indicating that they are a patron in good standing in order to borrow.

Moore College of Art & Design
Connelly Library
Library catalog
20th & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Phone: 215-568-4515 x1203
ACCESS: Take your letter of good standing to the Connelly Library to register and borrow books. Moore College's library is a good source for interior, fashion and textile design materials. They also have good collections on women artists and women's studies.


Peirce College
Library:1420 Pine St., 7th floor. Phone: 215-670-9269
Library website: ACCESS: Take your letter of good standing to Peirce's library, located on the 7th floor of their main building. Present your valid UArts ID to the Peirce security guard and take the elevator to 7, which opens directly into the library. Peirce carries many general interest and business magazines not subscribed to by the UArts Libraries.

Drexel University
Drexel's library: SW corner of 33rd and Market Streets.
Library website:
Library catalog: Catalog searches Drexel and MCP Hahnemann
ACCESS: You must show some kind of ID at all times to enter Drexel's Hagerty Library, and you may enter the library on weekdays ONLY from 7:30am - 5:00pm. No borrowing. Drexel is good for engineering and industrial design; they have a College of Design that includes fashion and interior design, and their art and literature collections are substantial. Easy to get to by bus, subway, or trolley. Drexel runs on a quarter schedule: their breaks and between-semester schedules are different from most other schools, so always check their hours before you go.

Hahnemann Medical Library 245 North 15th Street - SE corner of 15th and Vine Streets
Hahnemann is now part of Drexel University. You can search Hahnemann's catalog within Drexel's catalog by selecting Health Sciences Libraries on the catalog search page.
ACCESS: 8am-5pm Monday through Friday for people not affiliated with the university.
Good for psychology, art therapy, and medical information.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
Just around the corner from UArts are two of the finest special collection libraries in Philadelphia: the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) and the Library Company of Philadelphia. For more information about what's in the HSP Library, please see About Our Collections. If you'd like to go to the HSP Library, please see Plan Your Visit. Be sure to bring your UArts student ID for free admission.

Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust Street
A very fine special collection library. Please see About LCP and also Hours, Access, and Location. Admission to the Library Company (and their very fine exhibits) is free.

Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University. Paul J. Gutman Library.
Library website:
Good collections on design (including textiles, fashion and costume design), business, science and architecture.
ACCESS: Non-Philadelphia University users must call and speak to a reference librarian to get permission to enter and use the library. Check the library hours and access policy before you go. See the University's Web page on directions for how to get there. The SEPTA Route 32 bus from Center City goes right to the campus.

Rosenbach Museum and Library
2008-2010 DeLancey Place, Philadelphia PA 19103
Phone: 215-732-1600
The Rosenbach is a world-famous library known especially for the collections of materials by and from Maurice Sendak, James Joyce, and poet Marianne Moore. They also have significant collections on Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker (author of Dracula), Joseph Conrad, William Blake, Lewis Carroll, and many more. It is a research library of many primary materials, i.e., original manuscripts, letters, etc., and as such they are very careful about the use of and access to their collections. See their Web page for research policies. You must make an appointment if you wish to use the library. The Rosenbach is in two lovely buildings on a beautiful street. Go!

Temple University
Library website:
Library catalog:
ACCESS: Any time the library is open. Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania are the largest general university libraries in Philadelphia.

Thomas Jefferson University.
Scott Memorial Library, 1020 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA.
Library website:
Access policy
If your research is related to anatomy, biology, medicine, or other physical sciences, Scott Memorial Library may have what you need and is located near UArts.
ACCESS: 8:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday. No borrowing. Check their access policy before you go. Visitors must buy a $7 pass for each visit to the library. Individuals may purchase a maximum of 4 passes per month. An individual membership program is available for more frequent access. A valid form of government-issued identification must be presented for admission into the Library at the time of purchase.

University of Pennsylvania
Library website:
Library catalog:
Library access policies:
ACCESS: Non-Penn patrons may enter the Van Pelt and Fisher Fine Arts Libraries between 9:00am and 6:00pm Monday through Friday. No borrowing. The libraries are open til midnight during the week, but non-Penn people must enter before 10:00pm. You must show some sort of ID to enter. UPenn has excellent education, literature, fine art, and architecture collections. Easy to get to on public transportation. View the access policy for Van Pelt, the main library, and for the Fisher Fine Arts Library.

Philadelphia is rich in special collection libraries. Visit the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries Web site - Members include libraries such as the Rosenbach Museum and Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and more.

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