Updated March 22 at 8:22pm

RISD’s Fleet Library named one of 50 ‘most amazing’ in world


SAN ANTONIO – Rhode Island School of Design’s Fleet Library made BestMastersPrograms.org’s list of “The 50 Most Amazing University Libraries in the World.”

Fleet Library - which houses 140,000 books, 685,000 images and sound recordings, 1,200 rare artists books and issues from 280 periodicals – was called “the oldest and most influential independent art library in the United States,” by the publication.

“Due to its historical significance, the library’s collection has become a retrospective that shows the evolution of art, architecture, photography and design. The collection covers textiles, jewelry, ceramics and many other disciplines,” said the article.

The RISD library, which was established in 1878, was also commended for its “innovative restoration” of a historic bank building. In 2006 the library moved into the first two floors of the former Rhode Island Hospital Trust bank at 15 Westminster St.

The banking hall serves as Fleet Library’s main reading room and the second floor accommodates a reading room for archives and special collections, as well as expanded space for slide and picture collections.

BestMastersPrograms’ complete list of 50 included facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Site editors selected libraries to present what it called a “curated listing” of their favorite college and university libraries.

“The library is at the very core of a school’s learning and research opportunities, and plays a fundamental role in the student’s ability to excel at the college level,” Jeremy Alder, lead editor on the list, said in prepared remarks. “Because of this, we wanted to highlight some of the world’s best and most interesting college libraries.”

Libraries recognized from elsewhere in New England were Boston College’s Bapst Library, Harvard University’s Widener Library, Yale University’s Sterling Memorial Library and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Meskill Law Library at the University of Connecticut.

BestMastersPrograms.org is an education and career website focused on providing prospective graduate students with the information they need to achieve their education and career goals.

To view the full BestMastersPrograms list, visit: www.bestmastersprograms.org.

In a separate article from Travel+Leisure magazine in November, RISD’s Fleet Library, BC’s Bapst Library, Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and Vermont-based Middlebury College’s Davis Family Library were all named on the magazine’s list of “America's Most Beautiful College Libraries.”


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