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Drawing & Illustration Research Guide

A guide to print and digital library resources for drawing and illustration.

Finding Books

When looking for a book or eBook, use the search bar on The New School Libraries website
Some tips & tricks for searching are:
  • Simple Search results contain all the words used. These may match words in a title, author names, subjects, abstract, or other fields.
  • Advanced Search pre-limits a search to specific fields, material types, and publication dates
  • The asterisk (*) can be truncate a word. [octop* = octopuses, octopi, octopods, octopodes]
  • Enclosing a search in quotes (" ") returns results that are an exact match ["happy birthday"].
  • Boolean Logic is supported.- Use precision search queries such as AND, OR and NOT.
    • "honey bee communication" – the library catalog treats the entire query as an exact phrase.
    • '"Honey bee" AND communication' will garner results with the phrase "honey bee" and the word communication, but not as a phrase.
    • '"Honey bee" OR communication' will show all results with the phrase "honey bee," all results with the word 'communication,' and all results with both.
    • 'Programmers NOT php' retrieves all items which have the word 'programmers', but will filter/remove results containing the term 'php'.
To look for a specific book, go to The New School Libraries website & type in the title of the book in the search bar.

You will find your book on the results page. You may even find multiple versions of the same book! But be careful -- some of these results may be book reviews rather than the actual book itself.

Click on the title of the edition you want to find to learn which library the book is in, to see if it's available electronically, or to request it from another library!

To browse for books in the library catalog, go to The New School Libraries website & type the subject you would like to study in the search bar.

On the results page, you'll find books, articles, audio, video, and much more related to your subject!

On the left-hand side, you can narrow down your results by topics such as resource type, library location, subject, author, date, and more!

Most books on Illustration are located at the University Center library.
The section related to drawing, illustration, and graphic design is NC (6th Floor) 
General Drawing - NC1-45
History of Drawing - NC50-266
Modern Drawing - NC95
American Drawing - NC108

American Drawing - NC139
British Drawing - NC242
French Drawing - NC246-248
German Drawing - NC251
Italian Drawing - NC257
Dutch Drawing - NC263
Spanish Drawing - NC287

Drawing Guides - NC710
Technique - NC730-758
Perspective Drawing  - NC750

Anatomical Drawing - NC760
Figure Drawing - NC765
Animal Drawing - NC780
Landscape Drawing - NC790
Art Materials - NC845-915

Illustration - NC950-996
Book Illustration - NC960
Children's Book Illustration - NC965
Book Covers - NC973
Magazine Covers - NC974
Illustration Annuals - NC975
American Illustration - NC975
American Illustrators - NC975.5
British Illustration- NC978
British Illustrators - NC978.5
French Illustration - NC980
French Illustrators - NC980.5
Pictorial Humor, Caricature, Cartoons - NC1300-1766
Cartoons and Comics - NC1320
Comics - NC1429
British Comics - NC1479

French Comics - NC1499
Comic Drawing Techniques - NC1764
Animation -

Keep In Mind: there are more books available offsite! Look in the Library Catalog for more!

How to Read Call Numbers

Call numbers are simple once you get the hang of it!

First, when you look at a call number, you will read it alphabetically: AB comes before BB, which comes before CB. 

Then, you read it numerically: BB20 comes before BB100, which comes before BB200
Remember: even though 20 starts with a 2, it is still a smaller number than 100!

So, if we put CB395, AB100, CB40, and BB600 in order, it looks like: AB100, BB600, CB40, CB395

There are multiple ways to get a book if we do not have it at The New School Libraries:
  • Some of our books are labeled as Offsite. Offsite books are kept just outside the city & can be delivered to The New School library of your choice in just 1-2 days. Place a Hold on these materials by going to the book's catalog page, logging in, clicking on the 'Offsite' listing, and clicking 'Hold.'
  • Does the catalog say it's available at NYU or Cooper Union? We are 'in consortium' with them, which means that you can check out books from their libraries! Your New School ID card gets you in the door & acts as your library card.
  • You can request a book through EZ Borrow, and it will arrive at The New School library of your choice in 3-5 days. You can check out this book for 16 weeks. To do this, you can 'Request a Physical Copy' on a book's catalog page. 
  • You may have heard about Interlibrary Loan (ILL) from your local public library or high school. We are happy to facilitate ILL requests for you, but please keep in mind that they make take 2-8 weeks to arrive, and the checkout period is at the discretion of the lending library.

Recommended Books

Illustration Now!
Julius Wiedemann

Call Number: NC999.I56 2009
Location: University Center Library, 6th Floor

Check if this book is available
Illustration: A Visual History
Steven Heller & Seymour Chwast

Call Number: NC998.H66 2008
Location: University Center Library, 6th Floor

Check if this book is available

The Fundamentals of Illustration
Lawrence Zeegan, rev. Louise Fenton

Call Number: NC997.Z44 2012
Location: University Center Library, 6th Floor

Check if this book is available

Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing
Matt Price

Call Number: NC96.V58 2013
Location: University Center Library, 6th Floor

Check if this book is available


Artists books can be found both in the Main Collection and in the Special Collections, and many are classified under the call number NC7344.4
To preview 100 of our artists books, please visit