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About the Field Museum Library

Marie Louise Rosenthal Library of the Field Museum

About Our Collections

Library materials are organized into several different collections. When you search the online library catalog, you will see which collection your item belongs to. To find your item on shelf, you will need to know both the collection name (or location) and the individual call number. Materials are organized using the Library of Congress Classification System unless otherwise noted.


The Browsing Collection may be accessed in the Main Library Reading Room. Books that are categorized here include general interest and scientific topics as well books about the Museum's history, exhibits, and people.


Subscriptions to proprietary online databases are considered when such databases provide the most current and/or cost-effective resources. Possibilities for new database acquisitions may be set up for trial at any time, but decisions about subscribing are generally made annually in the fall by the Museum Librarian. These resources may include electronic books; citation, abstracting, and full-text databases covering journals, magazines, newspapers, or reference materials; and databases providing information portals for specific subject areas. 

Database Questions

Contact the Museum Librarian Gretchen Rings at with inquiries regarding the purchase of a database or to request that a trial be set up. For questions regarding technical or access issues, please visit the Reference Desk during desk hours M-F from 12-2:00PM.

List of Databases and Journals

Remote Access

Please contact Museum Librarian Gretchen Rings ( for access to online resources from outside the Museum. 

General Collection

This is our main book collection. These books focus on a variety of general subjects and anthropology. books are shelved using the Library of Congress Classification System.

Museum Archives

The institutional archives contain historical information related to the Field Museum. Holdings include field books, moving images, correspondence, scientific papers, art, drawings, maps, and Museum publications. The collection is available for viewing by appointment:


Includes the print version of popular magazines as well as trade and academic journals. Current issues are grouped by general subject category and are shelved alphabetically by title within each group. A limited number of past issues are kept in storage and may be accessed by asking a library staff member at any service desk.

Photo Archives

This collection includes media items that support the various academic programs on campus, so circulation of these items is limited to in-house use by students and community members. Faculty may check out the items for use in class.

Rare Book Room


The Reference Collection consists of research materials such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and multi-volume items. Reference materials provide quick access to factual information and must be used in the Library.