Library/Archives Related Questions

How do I use the Library?

The public may visit the Library Reading Room between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.  Please check our online catalog to begin your research and view the library's holdings.  Appointments are required for utilizing Library collections.  To make an appointment to use the Library's collections, please send an email to: or call the reference desk at 312-665-7887 between 1-4pm, Tuesday-Friday.

The Main Library is located in a non-public area on The Field Museum’s third floor.  As all collections are located in closed stacks, visitors must submit a request for material to the staff member on duty for retrieval and use in the Reading Room.  As the library's collections do circulate in the museum among staff, it is essential that you check our online catalog and submit a list of titles you wish to view before visiting the library.

Upon arrival at the museum, please inform the guest relations staff member or protection services officer that you wish to visit the library.  They will call and a staff member will come downstairs to greet you.  Having the reference desk extension (x7887) will expedite this process.  If you are only visiting the library, you do not have to pay admission to the museum.

Can The Field Museum provide appraisals of objects?

The Field Museum cannot appraise, evaluate or provide guidance regarding the sale of artifacts, specimens, photographs, printed works or original documents. 

Please refer to the websites of the following organizations. While they do not provide appraisals, they do maintain directories of  members and their appraisal specialties:

Appraisers Association of America

American Society of Appraisers

International Society of Appraisers

Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America


I have an object or photograph from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, can the Library/Archives help me identify it?

The Field Museum Library does not maintain a significant collection of materials regarding the collectibles from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The following bibliographies and collectible guides listed below are a good starting point for your research. Clicking on the titles below will show you a list of libraries that own each title. These titles are also available in the Field Museum's research Library if you are able to visit. Please see this web page if you are interested in making an appointment to visit the Library.

Bertuca, David J., Donald K. Hartman, and Susan M. Neumeister. 1996. The World's Columbian Exposition: a centennial bibliographic guide. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Rossen, Howard M., and John M. Kaduck. 1976.Columbian World's Fair collectibles, Chicago (1892-1893). Des Moines: Wallace-Homestead Book Co.

Dybwad, G. L., and Joy V. Bliss. 1992. Annotated bibliography, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893: with illustrations and price guide. Albuquerque, N.M.: The Book Stops Here.

Dybwad, G. L., and Joy V. Bliss. 1999. Annotated bibliography World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893: supplement. Albuquerque, N.M.: The Book Stops Here.

The Field Museum Librarian also maintains a growing list of reference resources about the fair on WorldCat Local. Search it here, World's Columbian Exposition (1893) Resources.

How do I request an Interlibrary Loan?

Registered Library users can request an Interlibrary Loan. Please go here for details.

Do you have any information regarding the architecture and specifications of the current building?

We are currently working on a Museum History Resources guide to help answer this question. It is a work in progress that you can view here.