SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Image from An Encyclopaedia of Colour Decoration from the Earliest Times to the Middle of the Xixth.
The Clark Library's Special Collections comprise an eclectic range of materials that span several centuries and represent every kind of art from many areas of the world.

ARTISTS' BOOKS COLLECTION

The Artists' Books collection includes about 1000 titles that represent a wide range of creative activity dating from the 1960s to the present, including works by seminal conceptual artists.
Search the library catalogue’s title list of Artists' Books.

ROBERT STERLING CLARK COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS

The Robert Sterling Clark Collection of Rare Books comprises nearly 1600 titles collected by the museum’s founder. The collection is particularly rich in examples of fine bindings, many with complex gilding, and includes illustrated editions of French and English literature.
Search the library catalogue’s list of titles.
Image from the Mary Ann Beinecke Decorative Art Collection

MARY ANN BEINECKE DECORATIVE ART COLLECTION

The Mary Ann Beinecke Collection, some of which is in the Rare Book Room but much of which is in the library stacks, spans the period from 1550 to the 1970s and focuses on decorative arts, with particular strengths in costume history, handicrafts, and textile design.
 View rare works from this collection that have been digitized.
Search the library catalog list of all titles.

DAVID A. HANSON COLLECTION OF THE HISTORY OF PHOTOMECHANICAL REPRODUCTION

The David A. Hanson Collection of the History of Photomechanical Reproduction spans all aspects of photographic images produced in printer’s ink, from the first heliographic etchings in 1826 through the perfection of three-color printing in the early twentieth century. All major intaglio, planotype, and relief printing methods are represented. The collection includes examples of virtually all categories of photographically illustrated books, reports, accounts, treatises, catalogues, pamphlets, and ephemera.
 View digitized images from this collection.
Search the library catalogue's list of all titles in this collection.

JULIUS S. HELD COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS

The Julius Held Collection of Rare Books is most notable for the broad and eclectic range of its scholarship, including books that span 300 years, at least seven languages, and a fascinating mix of disciplines from (literally) astronomy to zoology. Many of the extraordinary books in this collection were collected for their illustrations by artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Albrecht Dürer, and Anthony van Dyck.
View digitized images from this collection.
Search the library catalogue’s list of titles.

RESEARCH RESOURCES

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

Link to our extensive list of frequently accessed databases and websites for researching Art History and related disciplines.  Click "Additional Resources (by Subject)" to find more.
While many of the databases are available only from the Clark campus, links to selected online materials of interest to art historians are also included.

RESEARCH GUIDES

Portal to Clark Library online research guides that organize and link to rich arrays of books, databases, websites, and other resources.  Library research guides are created for specific courses, skills, and areas of research in the field of Art History.

RESEARCH SERVICES

Research services are available to all Library users.
 
Hours & Access
  • Monday through Friday from 10 am  to 1 pm and from 2 to 4 pm.
  • Research service is also available by phone (413 458 0532) and by email.

Services
Research services include assistance with:
  • Graduate- and undergraduate-level research projects
  • Finding bibliographic or historical information about specific artists/periods/topics
  • Searching library catalogues, bibliographic databases, and the internet
  • Researching personally owned works of art
  • Other art-related inquiries
 
Please note that Clark staff may not authenticate or give valuations of works of art, antiques, or books.

Archives

Image of Sterling and Francine Clark looking together at a painting
The Clark Archives make accessible to qualified researchers the historic records of the Clark and its founders.  All archival materials are documented in guides that are open to the public and fully searchable.

THE STERLING AND FRANCINE CLARK PAPERS

The Sterling and Francine Clark Papers cover the period 1901-1957 and include Sterling Clark's diaries, records of early appraisals of works of art, receipts, inventories, correspondence with various friends and business colleagues, Stereodrome glass plates, and personal materials such as wills, favorite recipes, passports, photographs, military uniforms, and firearms.

THE STERLING AND FRANCINE CLARK ART INSTITUTE RECORDS

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Records include founding documents such as incorporation papers, early board minutes, and engineering studies and architectural plans. In addition, they include the correspondence, reports, and memoranda of the Clark's first three directors and ongoing records that document the history of the Clark, including its governance, exhibitions, administrative evolution, and the development of the Library and the Research and Academic Program.

Research Library

One of the major art reference & research libraries in the country.

More

LIBRARY HOURS

PUBLIC HOURS

Monday - Friday

9 am to 5 pm

HOLIDAYS

The Library is closed to the public on the following holidays:
Labor Day
Thanksgiving (2 days)
Christmas Eve and Day (2 days)
New Year's Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day

EXTENDED HOURS

Extended hours are available to holders of Clark badges and reader's cards.  Williams College faculty and students are eligible for reader's cards and cards may be issued to qualified researchers upon application.

Mon - Thurs

8 am to 11 pm

Friday

8 am to 8 pm

Saturday

9 am to 6 pm

Sunday

9 am to 11 pm

HOLIDAYS

Except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day the library is open during holidays to anyone eligible for extended hours.

CONTACT

ACCESS

The library's noncirculating collection is arranged on open stacks on four floors; all users of the library are welcome to browse and to work on all four levels.
All library users are asked to sign in and out at the Library greeter's station, located inside the entrance to the library.

LIBRARY SERVICES

Find further information on:
  • Research assistance
  • Circulation services
  • Photocopying
  • Digital scanning
  • Interlibrary borrowing
  • Interlibrary lending