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New Student Orientation: Library Snapshots

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Each of the Penn Libraries has unique resources available to you, whether you are studying dentistry, design, or anything in between. Explore our snapshot profiles below to get a look at what some of our libraries have to offer.

Fisher Fine Arts Library

Interior of the Fisher Fine Arts Library, showing large arched windows and doorways and long tables

Top 3 Things:

  • Check out our collections, which include rare historic and contemporary titles about architecture, historic preservation, fine arts, city planning, landscape architecture, and the history of art.
  • Visit the Common Press, a letterpress and book arts studio.
  • Contact our experienced staff to get your question answered! 

Did you know: Our Materials Library has a searchable database of over 7,000 samples, from Vantablack to 3D-printed concrete!

Annenberg Library, Annenberg School for Communication

student reading a book

Top 3 things:

Did  you know: Our Television Script archive includes all of Miami Vice, several hundred pilots, thousands of soap operas, and many made-for-TV movies.

Otto E. Albrecht Music Library and Eugene Ormandy Music and Media Center

A man stands in an aisle between library bookshelves holding a woodwind instrument

Top 3 Things:

Did you know: We regularly host performances in the library and share our collections through online exhibits.

Library at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

Sepia photograph of a crown with an open torah case on the front of it

Top 3 Things:

Did you know: You can transcribe medieval fragments through the Scribes of Cairo Genizah Project. Our downtown Philadelphia location, with its Rare Book Room (8,000+ printed books & 500+ manuscripts in 13 languages) and Archives Room (50+ collections), holds more than 600 original fragments.

Holman Biotech Commons

Tables and chairs inside the Holman Reading Room of the Holman Biotech Commons

Top 3 Things:

Did you know: The Holman Biotech Commons was renovated and reimagined in 2021 with new, state-of-the art features and facilities. Find the latest news on Twitter and the Biomeditations blog.

Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center

Front of Van Pelt Library surrounded by green trees

Top 3 things:

  • Use our contactless automated lockers to pick up reserved books and other materials whenever the library is open.
  • Check out books with our Meescan app, now available for iOs and Android, or using kiosks found in many library locations.
  • Not finding the books you want in Penn's collections? You can request it from a long list of other participating libraries across the country.

Did you know: The ground floor of Van Pelt is your best bet for late-night study. It's open 24/7 most of the school year!

Math/Physics/Astronomy Library

Study area with a single chair and small round table in the foreground, and a long row of tables and chairs behind it

Top 3 Things:

  • Learn LaTeX, the typesetting language for math and scientific articles, dissertations, and homework.
  • Learn research techniques for specialty resources like MathSciNet.
  • Find required textbooks for most math, physics, and astronomy courses and use them inside the library.

Did you know: Need a quiet space brimming with natural light to study or recharge? Visit the MPA Library on the third floor of the David Rittenhouse Laboratory.

Leon Levy Dental Medicine Library

Dental Library reading room

Top 3 Things:

Did you know: Currently, the Dental Library is only open to dental students.

Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts

Looking down on students sitting at a table covered in laptops and historical documents

Top 3 Things:

Did you know: Our "Discovering Marian Anderson" website lets you explore digitized scrapbooks, diaries, photographs, sheet music, and recordings of famous opera singer and icon of African American history.

Veterinary Libraries

dog with veterinarian

Top 3 Things:

Did you know: Our veterinary anatomy computer-based learning programs and atlases allow you to examine, in 3D, a pig's stomach, a cat's skeleton, and much more.

Penn Museum Library

museum library with egyptian statues

Top 3 Things:

Did you know: Located in the Penn Museum, the quiet, studious Museum Library offers over 180 seats in a variety of styles, from ergonomic office chairs to comfy lounge chairs to graduate-student carrels.

Lippincott Library of the Wharton School

Libarary reading room with couches around a central table, shelves in the background, and a computer screen on the wall

Top 3 Things:

Did you know: We can help you locate business and economic datasets, consult about statistical procedures, and support analysis and visualization in Excel, R, and other software.

Research Data and Digital Scholarship

Two women stand in front of a map of Philadelphia that is projected on a screen

Top 3 Things:

  • Learn to (ethically!) access, visualize, and map data
  • Jumpstart or build on your coding and GIS skills
  • Expand your digital scholarship skills and portfolio

Did you know: RDDS hosts regular workshops, drop-in coding clubs, and office hours to help students at all levels meet their digital research goals.

Chemistry Library

Chemistry library study area

Top 3 things

Did you know: Learning to search for chemical information is a part of many undergraduate chemistry classes.

Education Commons

Two students paint and draw using art kits from the Education Commons

Top 3 Things:

  • The Education Commons is home to a crafting environment and makerspace with flexible study spaces and seminar rooms.
  • Visit our calendar that includes ongoing series and pop-up events.
  • Contact our experienced staff to ask questions about digital fabrication and learn how to get training on our equipment.

Did you know: We offer a variety of wellness programming in collaboration with the Vitale Digital Media Lab, the Weigle Information Commons (WIC), and other parts of the Libraries and Penn community.

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