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Images for Designers and Art Researchers

NYPL Picture Collection

Update from Picture Collection, dated 5/4/21

Hello friends,

I'm happy to let you know that the research libraries are once again open for appointments  (please see the announcement below). We will be serving Picture Collection subject folders from Room 300 (the Art & Architecture room on the 3rd floor). Appointments require an email/phone consultation to determine subjects of interest first and can be booked here. Pictures may be checked out with your library card. Spread the word!

Please reach out with any questions ( We're looking forward to seeing everyone again.




Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce that The New York Public Library's research centers will reopen for limited onsite access to our collections starting Monday, May 10. You may request an appointment starting today for access to collections and services at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Thomas Yoseloff Business Center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL). When you request an appointment, you will be scheduled for a virtual consultation with a staff member, which will determine your ability to work onsite.

Also beginning May 10, those who participate in the Library's Research Borrower Programs will be able to pick up select requested material without an appointment at the Schwarzman Building, the Library for the Performing Arts, and the Schomburg Center as part of our Grab-and-Go for Researchers program. Circulating materials will also be available for pickup at the Library for the Performing Arts.

We are excited to expand services offered to you, but please note that researchers are required to complete a virtual consultation with one of our staff members before onsite visits can be scheduled. Additionally, anyone entering one of our libraries must agree to wear a mask, socially distance, and complete a temperature check upon entry. I encourage you to read our safety policies, available on our website, before scheduling an onsite appointment or visiting a research center to collect materials.

We look forward to serving you and hope to continue expanding access to researchers.


Bill Kelly
NYPL Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries

Request a Research Appointment


NA at the University Center. 
Search for the architect's name in BobCat. 
Search by building type: "Greek Temples," "Museums," "New York Apartments" or "Restaurants and Bars."

TR 729 at the University Center and QL at the List Center.
Search BobCat for "animals pictorial," "wildlife photography," and related terms.

N for Fine Art, NB for sculpture, NC for drawing, ND for painting and NE for prints at the University Center Main Collection. 
Search for the artist's name in BobCat.  If you don't know the artist's name, search BobCat for the culture/religion/country associated with the object.

NC at the University Center.  NA 2695-2709 for architectural drawing, T 353 for technical drawing, TT 509 for fashion illustration. Search for the artist's name in BobCat.  If you don't know the artist's name, search BobCat for the type of drawing you are looking for ("figure drawing") or the country or culture the drawing is from ("French drawing", "Renaissance drawing").

Fashion Collections
TT 505
at the University Center.  Search BobCat for the designer's name.

Fashion Drawing/Illustration
TT 509 at the University Center

NK 2205-2270 at the University Center
Search BobCat for the manufacturer ("Knoll") or type of furniture ("chairs", "American antique furniture.").

Search BobCat for the name of the interior designer, or for the type of interiors ("Scandinavian interiors") ("kitchens").

TR 660 for landscape photography, or try searching for a specific region.  For example, "Sahara" if you are looking for images of deserts, "Costa Rica" if you are looking for images of rain forests.

G and GA at the List Center , or search for "Maps" in the subject field in BobCat.

New York
F 128 at the List Center and NA 735 at the University Center.  Also search for "New York Photography."

TT 520 for women's clothing and TT590 for men's clothing.

NK 1390-1476 and NK 1530-1560 at the University Center or search for the type of pattern you are looking for ("Islamic Patterns").  Also try browsing the sections on Textiles/Fabric (NK 8806-8880 and TS 1300–1860) and Wallpaper (NK 3395-3340).

TR 680-1 at the University Center for portrait photography.  
For images of famous people, try searching by name ("Marilyn Monroe"), or for "celebrities portraits," "glamour photography," or "Hollywood photography."

Search by the photographer's name, or browse using the Photography Research Guide. 

Search BobCat for keywords [place]+pictorial.

Plants / Trees / Flowers / Gardens
SB at the List Center or TR 724 at the Universisty Center.
Also search BobCat for "trees pictorial," "nature photography," "English gardens," and other related terms.

NC 1805-50 at the University Center or search for the name of the poster artist ("Milton Glaser") or country of origin ("Cuban posters").

NE at the University Center or search by the artist's name, country of origin, or type of print ("etchings").

TS 23-194 for product design. 
Search BobCat for the type of product: ("toys," "tableware," or "clocks") or for the designer's name ("Karim Rashid").


The Library of Congress subject subheading for books with images is "pictorial."  So if you want pictures of the Civil War, try a search using the keywords "civil war pictorial" in BobCat, the library catalog.

When viewing the details page of a book in the library catalog, click on "More Bibliographic Information."  If the "Description" includes the abbreviation "ill.", this means the book is illustrated.


Print Periodicals are available from the New School University Center Library, and Special Collections.