Researching contemporary art? We have a seat waiting for you Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Since 1967, the MCA has been in the vanguard of contemporary art, making history with provocative and engaging programming. The Library and Archives collection keeps that history alive and makes it accessible to researchers and MCA staff alike. The archival collections tell the story of the MCA's exhibitions and programming through a rich variety of materials, including publications, photographs, exhibition records, ephemera, videos, and audio tapes.

The Library and Archives does not focus solely on the past, but also plays a key role in the development of new exhibitions, programs, and scholarship. The 19,000-volume collection of exhibition catalogues, monographs, and periodicals supports the research and curiosity of curators, artists, scholars, and contemporary art enthusiasts.

The Library collections are searchable through the Library and Archives’ catalogue: catalog.mcachicago.org.


The Library and Archives is available to external scholars with specific research purposes by appointment from 9:30 am–4 pm, Monday–Friday.

The Library and Archives staff also provides reference assistance via email.