About us

Ute & Bill Bowes Art & Architecture Library is the hub for information on the visual arts. Great views, comfy chairs, and large monitors make the library a favorite study location. We are here to help you whether you’re writing about a work in the Cantor Arts Center or the Anderson Collection for the first time or doing extensive art-related research.

In addition to our circulating collection of some 150,000 volumes, we also have our Locked Stacks collection with items ranging from posters, antiquarian books, and rare journals to artists' books. These are available for consultation during library hours.

The Visual Resources Center (VRC) provides digital imaging services for teaching and research at Stanford. Access over 250,000 images via the ImageBase with your SUNet ID.

Learn more about access to Stanford's rare and distinctive materials.

Using the library

Visitors must register on-site with a valid government ID card.

Students and scholars from outside of Stanford should contact the staff with inquiries before they make their plans. Let us know what you are interested in.

Food and drinks are not permitted in the library.

Loan periods:

  • Books: Undergrad: twenty-eight days; Grad/PostDocs: academic quarter; Faculty/Staff: one year
  • Reference and bound periodicals: seven days
  • Media: seven days
  • Locked Stacks: in-house use only
  • Miscellaneous (headphones, USBs, adapters, cables, media remotes): four hours only

Further resources

Student watching a video in the media viewing room

Student enjoying the film King Kong in a media viewing room



Meet the staff


We are located on the second floor of the McMurtry Art & Art History building, accessible via the building's passenger elevator. The collection is housed completely in hand-cranked, rolling compact shelving. Assistance may be requested at the circulation and reference desk during all hours the library is open.