Ricker Library of Architecture and Art
The foundation for the Library's architecture and art collections was laid by the country's first college graduate of architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Nathan Clifford Ricker (1843-1924), who in 1873 purchased several important architectural treatises and folios. As his personal collection outgrew his office space, first a room and then an entire wing of Engineering Hall were assigned to house the collection. By that time, his collection included not only the folios, but also a photographic collection and several rare first editions. In recognition of this founding role, the University's Board of Trustees in 1917 authorized the Library to name the unit in Professor Ricker's honor.
Today, the collections of the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art include more than 120,000 volumes and 33,000 serials (some housed in the Library's main bookstacks), 35,000 microforms, and a small but burgeoning collection of videos. The holdings cover the fields of architecture, architectural history, art, art history, museum studies, and art education. Related collections exist in the City Planning and Landscape Architecture Library (CPX), the Communications Library (CMX), and the Rare Book Room (RBX).
The art and design collection includes both general and special period works on the history of art, monographs on artists, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, crafts, museology, art education, graphic design, industrial design, and prints and printmaking. The unit has an extensive holding of exhibition catalogs from all time periods and geographic locations.
The architecture collection includes landmark titles in architecture, history and theory of design, historic preservation, professional practice and management, structures, and monographs on architects and building types. The unit maintains a particularly strong collection of information on current practicing architects.