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Special Collections

Starting on January 31st, Special Collections materials will be available by request from the reference desk on the first floor of the Brooklyn Library, Monday through Friday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. You may request three books at a time. Appointments are needed to view more than three items or the oversized items in the collection. For more information about access to Special Collections and to inquire about an appointment, please contact

About the Collection

Library -- Tiffany StacksSpecial Collections at the Pratt Institute Libraries encompass a wide range of formats, content areas, and time periods. Our primary mission is to support undergraduate and graduate teaching at the Institute. The Libraries are committed to purchasing materials for Special Collections based on available budget with an emphasis on providing faculty and students with direct access to original and unique items that are too rare, fragile, or valuable to be included among the regular circulating collections. For this reason Special Collections materials are noncirculating and must be paged and viewed in specially designated areas, with some exceptions. Actively collected formats that grow through a combination of collecting, gifts, and transfers from elsewhere in the collection include: printed books, periodicals, ephemera, folios of prints and photographs, pop-up books, artists’ books, zines, DVDs and Blu-Rays, streaming video, and digital images. The following formats are retained and preserved, but not actively collected: slides, picture files, 16mm films, and VHS tapes.

Image Credit: Interior view of the Pratt Institute Library, from the center aisle looking east of the 3rd floor stacks. c. 1980.  
Source: Pratt Institute Archives Image Collection.

Using the Collection

The collection is housed in the Brooklyn campus library and the items do not circulate but you may view them by requesting them at the reference desk on the first floor of the Brooklyn campus library. All you need to do is:

  • Identify up to three titles in the Library's catalog and make a note of the title, author, and call number
  • Go to the reference desk and provide the librarian with the information about the books you would like to see
  • Don't forget to wash your hands before handling the materials.  If you would like to capture images of the books, you may use your phone or ask the librarian at the desk if the book may be scanned on one of the library's scanners.
  • Enjoy the books and be inspired!

If you are a faculty member and would like to schedule a time to have your class come in and look at materials, please submit an Instruction Request and include information about the materials you would like to use and whether or not you need a Librarian to provide any additional instruction.