Culture Watch: Recommendations from QC Libraries

Is your Netflix queue looking a little picked over? Not sure where you’ll find the next concert, play, or exhibit to inspire you? We have you covered! Here are some cultural recommendations, selected by QC librarian Leila Walker.

Finally, a personal recommendation I found (promptly disappearing down an internet rabbit hole), while compiling this post:

  • Contagious Cities Cultural Initiative. To understand the current pandemic in a broader historical context, spend some time with the Center for the Humanities’s revisiting of this 2018-2019 project, which addressed the topic of infectious disease through a variety of cultural programming. New York institutions involved in the project include the CUNY Graduate Center, The New York Public Library, and the Museum of the City of New York.

Wishing you enjoyable, incisive listening, viewing, and reading!

Opening Reception: Mathematical Art

Monday, December 16. 11AM-1PM.

Working with computational software, 3D printing, and their own creativity, QC students have been making an array of artwork under the direction of Professor Christopher Hanusa. Come meet the artists and check out their creations!

This event is on Level 3 of Rosenthal Library, near Room 300i.

Lecture: The Etymologies of Identity

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Rosenthal Library – Room 300i 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
Presented by ARIA, The Association to Reunite Italian Americans at Queens College

Prof. Nicola Lucchi, Lecturer in the Department of European Languages and Literatures, will discuss Margherita Sarfatti’s 1937 travelogue. In particular, he will illustrate how Sarfatti, a major Italian intellectual and, at one point, Mussolini’s lover, considered the Italian American linguistic identity as an antidote to ideas of racial purity. This event is co-sponsored by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.

Light refreshments will be served
For more information: A. de Luise, 718-997-3748
Prof. Lucchi’s current exhibition, Futurismo! The Italian Avant-Garde and its Cultural Impact, is currently on display in the Rosenthal Library Rotunda.

Art Library Services

Research Assistance

Review the Research Guide for an overview of references for research in the arts.

Art Library professional staff are available to provide assistance to Queens College students and faculty in identifying, locating, using, and evaluating information in the arts effectively. Reference and research service is available to all members of the Queens College community during most weekday hours the Art Library is open when classes are in session. Questions relating to Art Library resources and collections can be handled by email, phone, or in person. Remotely, please use our Ask a Librarian service for a general inquiry or for research assistance.

Tours & Instruction

Tours of the Art Library, with introduction to its resources and services, are scheduled during each semester and are also available on demand. Course-tailored instruction and guidance on integrating Art Library materials into coursework and into teaching and learning at Queens College is available through collaboration with the Head of the Art Library.

Instructional Services addresses the range of programming offered.

Facilities & Equipment


The Art Library has four public computers, located in the central area facing the service desk. They provide access to all Queens College and CUNY catalogs and resources, as well as the Internet. While students are welcome to check their email and surf the web on these computers, priority needs to be given to patrons who are doing research.

Current patrons can print items from any computer in the Art Library to networked pay-to-print stations located on Level 2. Please remember to identify your printing so that you can easily retrieve it. Once you have sent all materials you require to the printer, you will need to log into the pay-to-print station and pay prior to receiving your printed materials. See Photocopying & Printing for more information.


There is no photocopier on Level 6. Copiers are located on Level 2. See Photocopying & Printing for more information.

For more information contact

Art Library Collections

Queens College Art Library holds materials dealing with all aspects of the visual arts and material culture, including art and architectural history, theory, criticism, materials, techniques, and practice.


Almost 100,000 books are located on open shelves in the Art reading room, in Reference, General, and Folio collections. Most of the books in the General collection are available for borrowing except those identified as Room Use Only books (with blue dots on spines). Reference and Folio books do not circulate. All books in the Art Library are classified in the Fine Arts section of the Library of Congress classification system:

  • N — visual arts in general
  • NA — architecture
  • NB — sculpture
  • NC — drawing, design, illustration
  • ND — painting
  • NE — print media
  • NK — decorative arts
  • NX — arts in general


The Art Library currently subscribes to approximately 100 journal titles in print and many more electronically, and holds over 6,000 bound periodical volumes. All periodicals, including their call numbers and physical location, can be found in CUNY Catalog. They are located in the Periodicals alcove of the Art Library, where bound issues are shelved by the Library of Congress classification system and the current issues are shelved alphabetically by title, to allow for easy browsing. Some back issues of periodicals are on microfiche or microfilm (indicated by an MF or MC ahead of the call number) and are located in the Multimedia Commons on Level 1. Annuals and irregular serials, which technically are not periodicals, are shelved with books. Periodicals and all serials, regardless of format, do not circulate.


The Art Library small reference section is located near the entrance and contains dictionaries and encyclopedias, directories, bibliographies, indexes, catalogs and other materials for quick fact checking in all aspects of the visual arts. All Art Reference materials are identified by an R or Ref preceding the call number. They do not circulate.

Index & Abstracts

Printed indexes and abstracts in hard copy are housed on tables adjacent to Art Reference. They do not circulate and the vast majority is available in current editions online. At the head of the tables are located the printed editions of The Dictionary of Art (1996), whose current edition is available online, and several subject and language dictionaries.


Art materials that are placed on reserve for specific courses are available through Reserve in the Rosenthal Library.


This vertical-file collection in the Art Library reading room holds over 50,000 pamphlets on all art subjects, including many exhibition catalogs and also some clippings. They are arranged by subject (e.g., Art Deco; Textiles) or artist’s last name (e.g., Rubens, Warhol). All pamphlets may be borrowed at Art service desk. Like books and pictures, they are checked out for three weeks to students and may be renewed once. There is no limit on the number of items that each patron may take out at a time.


More than 60,000 mounted reproductions of artworks are arranged by medium in vertical files in the Art Library reading room. Pictures are filed A-Z by MEDIUM (e.g., Painting), then subdivided geographically by COUNTRY (e.g., United States), or CIVILIZATION, then chronologically by CENTURY (e.g., 20th century), or period (e.g. Gothic), and then, if applicable, by ARTIST (e.g., Hopper). To locate an artist, look in the wooden drawers on top of the first Pictures cabinet (1–4, labeled PICTURE COLLECTION — ARTISTS) under the artist’s last name.


  • A painting by Vincent van Gogh will be found under: PAINTING — DUTCH — 19TH CENTURY — GOGH, VINCENT VAN
  • A picture of the Colosseum in Rome will be found under: ARCHITECTURE — ROMAN — ITALY
  • Pictures of famous people will be found under: PORTRAITS

To locate a particular type of artwork, look in drawers 5–6 on top of cabinet (labeled PICTURE COLLECTION – SUBJECT HEADINGS). The subject heading will direct you to the appropriate MEDIUM or category of ARTWORK.


  • African masks from Mali will be found under: MASKS — AFRICA — MALI
  • A stained glass window from Chartres Cathedral will be found under: GLASS, STAINED — FRANCE

All pictures may be borrowed at the Art service desk. Like books and pamphlets, they are checked out for three weeks to students and may be renewed once. There is no limit on the number of items that each patron may take out at a time.


Art microfiche, microfilm and microcards are available through the Rosenthal Library Multimedia Commons on Level 1. They include back issues of periodicals, doctoral dissertations, exhibition catalogs and documentation (such as the Venice Biennale of 1895–1978 and various gallery and exhibition catalogs of the 20th century), image collections (such as medieval manuscript illumination), library catalogs, art historical and theoretical treatises, and other miscellaneous items. All microform materials are indicated by an MF or MC ahead of the call number.

Special Collections & Rare Books

Special and rare books and fragile art materials, as well as Queens College’s M.A. theses in art history, are shelved in closed stacks and are indicated in the catalog by ART X in the call number. Materials are available for on-site consultation. Inquire at the Art service desk for assistance. Additional special collections, such as private papers and other archival material are housed in the Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives.

For more information contact

Art Library

Art Library
Images of the Art Library are courtesy of and © Terry Kattleman.

About the Art Library

Queens College Art Library has developed since the founding of its collection in 1937 into a leading art library of the City University of New York (CUNY). Its resources in the visual arts and material culture address all aspects of art and architectural history, including theory, criticism, materials, techniques, and practice. The Art Library holds approximately 100,000 books, some 100 current periodical subscriptions and 137 closed periodical subscriptions, 60,000+ pamphlets and exhibition catalogs, 60,000+ images, QC M.A. theses in art history, and special collections. Many more materials are accessible electronically.

The Art Library is on Level 6 of Rosenthal Library, which is also home to the Queens College Art Center.   Founded by the Art Library in 2013, the Art Center continues as partner with the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.

Given the challenges many libraries currently face, the Art Library is pleased that it can offer its users growing resources acquired by purchases and gifts, and an increasing number of art publications accessible online. In recent years, our material collections have been enriched by the outstanding libraries focused on the Italian and to some extent Northern Renaissance, bequests of the late Professors James H. Beck, of Columbia University, and Creighton E. Gilbert, of the QC Art Department and later Yale University. Important donations of hundreds of titles each have been accepted from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (current art monographs), The Jewish Museum, Art Department Professors William W. Clark (medieval art), James Saslow (Renaissance art), and Rose-Carol Washton Long (20th century art), QC alumna Karen Siegel (her late mother’s art library), Claudia Weill (her late parents’ Asian art collections).

Numerous other donations are steadily bringing in important publications and documents, which otherwise it would be difficult to acquire, that strengthen the research potency of the Queens College libraries. The Art Library appreciates the generosity of its supporters.

We welcome your suggestions, and look forward to welcoming you in Art.

New @ the Art Library

Working with media has become easier with Shared Shelf, a platform available through the Artstor Digital Library. Web-based media management software, Shared Shelf enables institutions to easily manage, store, use, organize, share, and publish their institutional and faculty media collections within their institution or publicly on the Web. With Shared Shelf’s built-in layered privacy controls, restricted access may be provided for local, institutional, or consortial use, i.e. a collection may be made accessible via a single institution website (e.g. QC Department, etc.), a group of institutions (e.g. CUNY), or open-access websites, and also may be published into a workspace that will provide a single point of access to our local content and the Artstor Digital Library.

Since November 2017, CUNY Graduate Center’s CUNYdid collection, containing nearly 200,000 art history images, is shared across CUNY institutions subscribed to Artstor or Shared Shelf. In addition to Queens College, these now include Baruch College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, Brooklyn College, City College, College of Staten Island, Hostos Community College, Hunter College, Kingsborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Lehman College, New York City College of Technology, Queensborough Community College, and York College. Queens and several of the above colleges are making their collections published to Artstor available to CUNY.

Questions? Ask us!