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Art Research

Interlibrary Loan, Article Orders, and Referrals

Interlibrary Loan and Article Ordering

If an item is unavailable at Cooper or within the Consortium, we can usually locate another copy for you, in New York City and beyond. We use the OCLC WorldCat database to locate items for you.

The Library will provide interlibrary loan and article ordering services to current Cooper Union students, staff, faculty, and administration, under these conditions:

  1. The item is not available at the Consortium libraries (NYU and the New School).
  2. The item is not readily available at a public library that is conveniently located for you.
  3. You would rather wait for the result of this process than use a METRO referral card to gain access to a library in New York City

Note: The Cooper Union Library will pay the first $15 for each request. We ask you to indicate whether or not you are willing to pay the cost above $15 per item. It is rare that an additional charge is necessary.

Fill out the Google Form and we will request it for you.

We use electronic methods of requesting and delivery to speed up turnaround time, when possible.

DO NOT use NYU's electronic interlibrary loan form. They will not fulfill the request.


The Library is also a member of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), and can provide referrals to most private academic libraries in the New York City area. You can visit the other library to use the item, but not to borrow it. This may be preferable if you need to see the item quickly.

Consortium Libraries for Art

The Cooper Union Library is a member of the Research Library Association of South Manhattan, a consortium of academic libraries established in 1977. Consortium libraries share an online catalog and provide faculty and students of member institutions with access to each other's collections.

Bobst Library, New York University, 70 Washington Square South, has the most comprehenisve collections in the Consortium.

University Center Library, The New School, 65 Fifth Ave, Sixth Floor, primarily has books on art, architecture and design. 

List Center Library, The New School, 6 East 16th Street, Eighth Floor, primarily books on social sciences and the humanities

Institute for Fine Arts (IFA), New York University, 1 East 78th Street, is a non-circulating, research collection. It is best to call ahead to make an appointment and check on the availability of items.

Cooper Union faculty and students may borrow at the Consortium libraries. Make sure that you have your library account activated and updated at our Circulation Desk prior to going to the other libraries.

Research Library at New York Public Library for Art

The largest of the Research Libraries of New York Public Library is the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. The catalog can be searched at

The Art and Architecture Division is located in Room 300. This is a large, comprehensive collection of art and architecture, covering fine arts, decoration, art history, architectural history, design and theory. Collected primarily in English and Western European languages, the extensive collections include monographs, exhibition catalogs, auction records, periodicals, monographic series, ephemera, oeuvre and catalogues raisonnes. All the material in this library is non-circulating.

The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division is located in Room 117. The collection includes 433,000 sheets maps and 20,000 books and atlases published between the 15th and 21st centuries. They have six computer work stations with access to ArcGIS 9.3, Quantum GIS, and the Digital Sanborn Maps: 1867-1970. The NYPL online catalog includes all maps acquired after 1971. Most of the collection is in closed areas.

You will need a NYPL library card to be able to access anything in the closed areas of the Library. You can find more information at

Mid-Manhattan Library's Picture Collection

The Mid-Manhattan Library is the largest circulating branch of the New York Public Library. It is located diagonally across the street from the Schwarzman Building on 40th St.

The Picture Collection contains original prints, photographs, posters, postcards and illustrations from books, magazines and newspapers, classified into 12,000 subject headings.  Users may borrow up to 60 pictures at a time on any subject with a library card. Color and black & white copiers are available as well.

There is also a digital component available through the NYPL Digital Gallery.

You will need a NYPL library card to be able to borrow anything from the branch libraries. You can find more information at


WorldCat on the FirstSearch platform (restricted, full version) (free, unrestricted version)

Follow this link for WorldCat mobile.
Follow this link to explore apps for Android and iPhone that are powered by WorldCat.

The OCLC Union Catalog, with records for materials held in member libraries around the world. Follow this link for facts and statistics.

  • Full text: none.
  • Update frequency: daily.
  • Coverage dates: From BCE 1000 to present.
  • Number of titles, as of July 24, 2014: 0ver 300 million bibliographic records, with holdings information for 72,000 libraries.
  • Access restrictions for restricted version: Off Campus.
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The Cooper Union Library
7 E 7th St.
New York, NY