The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Materials Library

The Fisher Fine Arts Materials Library is a collection of over 7000 material samples that serves academics, designers, material scientists and engineers. The Materials Library is open Monday-Friday, from 9am-5pm, and is accessible by appointment only. Schedule a visit today using our request form.

Shelves of colorful art materials.

About the Materials Library

The Materials Library is accessible and of interest to anyone with a passing curiosity about the material world, and frequently hosts the Weitzman School of Design’s professional programs in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Fine Arts, and Historic Preservation. A diverse and interdisciplinary collection, the samples range from construction materials like Indiana limestone and recycled plastic roofing shingles to emergent and cutting-edge materials like conductive paint and graphene aerogels to materials of historical importance like ultramarine pigments and Tyrian purple, a dye prized by Roman emperors.

The collection is intended for hands on exploration. Patrons are encouraged to interact with the materials to discover their properties and further their own research and exploration. The collection can be accessed in person or remotely in our online database which includes images and material descriptions. We continue to actively explore and collect new materials with an emphasis on sustainable, recycled, eco-friendly and healthy materials, and invite others to submit requests for new samples or areas of collecting.

Where to print, copy, scan

Accordion List

Up to 10

No food is allowed in the Fisher Fine Arts Library. Beverages in covered containers are allowed.

Location and Accessibility


For Wheelchairs

  • Sufficient doorway & hallway clearance
  • Clearance to approach table

Nearby Bathrooms

Men's and women's accessible bathrooms are on the Lower Level, in the Duhring Wing of the building.

For access, please find a staff member or call 215-898-9870. The door between Fisher and the Duhring Wing is alarmed and will summon campus police.

Accessible Entrance

Fisher accessible entrance

Directions to the accessible entrance:   Word   |   PDF