John M. Flaxman Library

The John M. Flaxman Library is located at the heart of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago campus. Library staff collaborate with every program at the School to support teaching, learning and research across the entire curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Hundreds of thousands of books, magazines, movies and sound recordings are available on interdisciplinary topics in late 20th and 21st century art and design, with several thousand new items added annually. A continuously growing number of scholarly resources are available online, including ebooks, ejournals, databases, digital images, and streaming videos. Popular Special Collections include: the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, the Randolph Street Gallery Archives and the 16mm Film Study Collection.

SAIC Digital Collections is available for researchers worldwide.



The mission of the Flaxman Library is to advance student learning and enrich the research environment at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

We enact our mission by participating in and preserving evidence of the teaching, learning, research, and making activities of value to the SAIC community. The library is empowered by the School’s Mission and fully engaged in the work and play of the campus. Library staff members collaborate as peers with students, faculty, and colleagues throughout and beyond the institution, to further the scholarly and artistic achievements of all. We take responsibility for developing and sustaining our own curiosity, skills, and professional accomplishments—as individuals, as a team, and as an essential component of an extraordinary community. 

Complementing the School’s Core Values, library staff also affirm these guiding principles: 

Yes: Say yes whenever possible. Engage the community in creating positive outcomes for the teaching, learning, research and making activities that unite us. 

Curiosity: Curiosity drives creativity and knowledge. It is the reason that libraries and archives exist. Free access to the intellectual and imaginative works of the past, present and future is necessary for both the satisfaction and the survival of curiosity. 

Cooperation: Our work is achieved through mutually-beneficial cooperation with a wide range of partners. Sustaining and promoting cooperation makes it possible for the School to enjoy, share, preserve and increase a wealth of scholarly and artistic resources.

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Visit the John M. Flaxman Library

Flaxman Library is open to SAIC students, faculty, staff, and alumni without an appointment. If you are not a member of the SAIC community, including I-Share members, email to visit the Main Collections or to visit the Library Special Collections (artists’ books and archives). Include the reason for your visit and your preferred dates and times. Info on hours, visiting, and borrowing.

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Contact Us

John M. Flaxman Library

37 S. Wabash Ave., 6th floor
Chicago, IL 60603

Phone: 312.899.5097

Flaxman Library (Sharp Building, 5th and 6th floors)

Monday–Thursday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Friday: 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Sunday: Closed

Library Special Collections (Sharp Building, room 503)

Monday–Thursday: 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Friday: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.; Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (scheduled class visits only); Sunday: Closed