Using the AAPG Library

Access and Public Transit

 Please note the AA/PG Library is *not* located in the American Art and Portrait Gallery museum building; it is one block north of the main museum in the Victor Building.

Metrorail provides the most convenient public transportation: take the Red, Green or Yellow lines to Gallery Place/Chinatown station, and proceed to the 9th Street exit to the Galleries. The Victor Building is across the street and one block north, at the corner of 9th St. & H St. NW.

The entrance is at 750 9th St. Be prepared to show a valid ID at the security desk. Take the elevator to the 2nd floor; the AA/PG Library is directly across from the Archives of American Art. Push the buzzer for access to the Library.

Wheelchair access to the library and help in using its collections are available. The library is not open in the evenings or on weekends. Very limited parking is available on the street and on commercial parking lots in the vicinity.

Outside Researchers/Public Visitors

Public and external researcher appointments can be made by emailing in advance. Outside researchers and the public may visit the AA/PG Library with an appointment from 9:00-5:00, Tuesday through Friday. The library closes for lunch from 12:00-1:00pm. Please email to schedule an on-site visit in advance; same-day appointments are not possible. Researchers may request books and materials from the Library staff, preferably in advance, and materials must be used in the reading room. 

Non-Smithsonian researchers may borrow materials through their own public, special or academic library’s interlibrary loan program. The Smithsonian adheres to the interlibrary loan (ILL) guidelines of the American Library Association. It does not loan periodicals, rare books, folios, portfolios or unbound items, vertical file items, microform, auction catalogs or reference materials. The AA/PG Library may not loan other materials which are fragile, damaged or otherwise at risk.

Smithsonian Staff

Smithsonian staff, interns and volunteers may use the AA/PG Library without an appointment from 9:00-5:00, Tuesday through Friday. The stacks are open to those with a valid Smithsonian Institution badge. All persons with a valid Smithsonian Institution badge may obtain a library card from one of the Smithsonian Libraries’ branches. The card is necessary to check out materials. Orientation sessions for new patrons are offered by the staff, and assistance to all users is provided as needed.

Library materials, except for reference and non-circulating materials, may be borrowed with valid library cards for periods of 1 to 6 months, depending on staff status. These materials are federal property and may be used in staff offices and workstations, and must not leave the Smithsonian campus. More information for Smithsonian Staff on borrowing policies can be found on the Research Tools page.

AAPG Library Magazine WallGuide to the Collections

The primary tool for searching the library’s collection is the Smithsonian Libraries’ online catalog available through SIRIS, the Smithsonian Institution Research Information Service ( All of the library’s holdings are cataloged in SIRIS, OCLC ( and the Smithsonian Collections Search Center ( Online databases and e-journals can be accessed on the Research Tools page, or through our "How Do I?" guides.

It is suggested that outside researchers and the public wishing to visit the library review its holdings online first to determine if the books and journals they wish to use are checked in and available at this location.  For questions on specific titles, contact the branch staff at  

Orientation to new or visiting patrons and assistance to all users are provided. Assistance is available upon request.

Photocopy/Microform Facilities

Photocopy machines and microform reader/printers are available in the library. Copying is done by library staff for non-Smithsonian researchers, and there is a nominal fee for copies and print-outs. Copyright restrictions are observed in any photocopying, and the copying of fragile materials and of oversize books may be restricted by staff.


Users are reminded to exercise care in handling library materials, especially when photocopying. No smoking, eating, or drinking is allowed in the library. Use of cell phones in the library is prohibited. Users are asked to avoid using post-it notes and paper clips to mark pages in books and journals or leaving pencils, pens, papers, or other objects in books. Please report materials found in poor condition to the staff.


If an item is lost, the borrower will be charged for the cost of replacement, plus a processing fee. Users who damage materials will be charged for the cost of repair or replacement.