Access to the College Green area of campus will be restricted until further notice. PennCard holders and some Penn affiliates may enter and exit Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center on the ground floor, and may enter and exit the Fisher Fine Arts Library through the 34th Street entrance to Meyerson Hall. See our Service Alerts for details.

G. Holmes Perkins Library

The Fisher Fine Arts Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections constitute the G. Holmes Perkins Library, named after the School of Fine Arts (today’s Weitzman School of Design) transformative dean who directed the school from 1950 through 1971.

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Collection Overview

To appreciate the intent of this collection, one must understand the impact Perkins had on the school. Perkins’ earliest appointments to the architecture program included Robert Geddes and Ian McHarg, who were joined within a half-decade by Louis I. Kahn, Romaldo Giurgola, and Robert Venturi. Under Perkins's leadership, the fine arts program was established as well as the Institute of Contemporary Art (1963), as were research institutes under the City Planning and Architecture departments. Doctoral programs were approved and, in 1958, the School of Fine Arts became a graduate division. 

During his tenure, Perkins amassed a formidable collection of the monuments of architectural publishing, spanning six centuries, with works by Alberti, Scamozzi, Serlio, Vignola, Taut, Hitchcock, Wright, and Palladio, to name just a few.  Today, the collection resides in a Fisher Fine Arts space dedicated to Perkins and is regularly consulted by faculty, students, and visiting scholars.

See this guide for information on how to access and use these materials.


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Holding Location