Art Research and Museum Libraries
Curators and library staff are not able to authenticate or appraise works of art.
The museum libraries are open to the general public. It is not necessary to be a member of the museum or to pay admission to the museum to use the libraries’ services.
We do accept donations. Please review our donation policies and donation form.
I want to learn more about an object in SAM’s permanent collection or about an object currently on display. What resources are available to the public?
There are a number of ways to find information—online, via email and in-person visits:
The SAM Libraries can help you with many aspects of object research, including identifying resources for your research and biographical information on artists.
The museum’s policy strictly forbids art not owned by SAM or officially on loan to SAM being allowed on museum premises. If you need a visual reference to aid your research, we suggest you bring in images of the object (photographs or photocopies) or email images to firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of your visit .
Depending on the number of current research requests, a response to questions received via email and phone calls may take several weeks. Please plan accordingly. Learn more about our services and policies.
In many cases, a nominal fee is charged for research. We charge $0.10 per page for photocopies. Additionally, patrons must pay fees for postage (if applicable) and any other charges incurred by library staff on behalf of the patron. The majority of research requests cost less than $10.
Because of liability reasons, we are unable to authenticate or positively identify an object or the creator of a work. SAM research library staff can help you locate information on your work of art or give you resource information on appraisers.
Museum curators are unable to appraise, authenticate or identify art. Please see below for a short list of organizations that might be able to help you. For more appraisal and authentication resources please visit the library section of our website.
Art Dealers Association of America
The National Antique & Art Dealers Association of America
The Appraisers Association of America
For a referral for a conservator, please contact email@example.com.