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New Student Orientation: Library Snapshots

The Penn Libraries consists of fourteen libraries. Each of our twelve departmental libraries has unique assets available to you, whether you are studying dentistry or design. Our main library, the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, also supports many schools and disciplines and houses the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts.  Explore our snapshot profiles below to learn three highlights of each library and a fact you should know about each one. 

Fisher Fine Arts Library

Fisher Fine Arts Library exterior

Top 3 Things:

You Should Know: Our Materials Library has a searchable database over 3,000 samples from Vanta Black to seaweed-based insulation - and is continually updated!

Annenberg Library, Annenberg School for Communication

student reading a book

Top 3 Things:

You Should Know: The Television Script archives includes all of Miami Vice, several hundred pilots, and many made-for-TV movies.

Lippincott Library of the Wharton School

computer workstations

Top 3 Things:

You Should 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.

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

Top 3 Things:

You Should Know: We regularly host performances in the library and exhibits online, most recently on ancient Persian flutes.

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


Top 3 Things:

You Should 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 the original fragments.

Chemistry Library

Chemistry Library study space

Top 3 Things:

You Should Know: Learning to search for chemical information is a part of many undergraduate classes.

Biomedical Library

3D printed brain

Top 3 Things:

You Should Know: In our 3D printing lab, we have printed everything from model hearts to dental implants, from drone wings to PPE.

Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts

Top 3 Things:

You Should Know: Visit our new "Discovering Marian Anderson" site. Explore the digitized scrapbooks, diaries, photographs, sheet music, and recordings of famous opera singer and icon of African American history Marian Anderson.

Math/Physics/Astronomy Library

MPA Library Interior

Top 3 Things:

  • Learn LaTeX, the typesetting language for math and scientific articles, dissertations, and homework.
  • Learn research techniques for specialty resources like MathSciNet.
  • Learn about scholarly publishing including authoring papers, submitting manuscripts to arXiv and journals, and the peer-review process.

You Should Know: Need more practice to do well in class? We can identify additional problem sets for your particular course or lesson.

Penn Museum Library

museum library with egyptian statues

Top 3 Things:

You Should 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.

Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship

student drawing on map

Top 3 Things:

You Should Know: We can help you build a digital humanities project; learn how to find, manage, munge, and visualize data; create a scholarly podcast, journal, or website; and increase the impact of your research!

Van Pelt Library Access Services Department

circulation desk

Top 3 Things:

  • With PickUp@Penn, select library books online and pick them up at the library.
  • Books by Mail is great if you are unable to come to the library.
  • To see what you have requested or checked out, and to renew books, use Your Library Account

You Should Know: In normal times, if you want it and we don't own it, we'll try to borrow it for you from other institutions.

Leon Levy Dental Medicine Library

Dental Library reading room

Top 3 Things:

You Should Know: We host fun activities such as our dental spelling bee (a foodraiser for our library's student food pantry), virtual book club, and Halloween events such as the Weredogs of PDM (featuring therapy dogs) and our Malpractice or Murder escape room.

Veterinary Libraries

dog with veterinarian

Top 3 Things:

You should 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.