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ICAA opens research library for classical architecture
May 6, 2013

Thoughtfully compiled over the years from donations from members, instructors, and friends of the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture (ICAA), the organization’s brand-new research library houses over 1,800 books, monographs, sketch books and exhibition catalogs that focuse on the classical tradition in art and architecture. Located within the Henry Hope Classroom of the ICAA offices in New York City, the collection to support the intellectual and creative needs of students, instructors and members alike.
Highlights of the collection include period architecture of the Greek, Roman, Renaissance, Colonial, Beaux-Arts, Postmodern, and Contemporary Traditional styles, as well as Architectural History and Treatises, Urbanism, New York City Design History, and European Drawings and Paintings.

The ICAA Library also houses special collections donated by notable artists, architects, and scholars working within the classical tradition such as Henry Hope Reed, the guiding force behind the renaissance of classical architecture in the United States, as well as fine artist Taylor Harbison (1957-2006), whose personal collection of books on European drawings and paintings are an essential resource for students.
"What is distinct about this collection is its careful selection, said Nora Reilly, ICCA’s founding librarian. “These are books that over the years Institute instructors have identified as essential and exemplary for studying proportion, linear perspective, the orders, hand drafting, and all other modern classical pathways. We also have books from Henry Hope Reed's personal library: Those that inspired and informed him in his radical career, leading as it did to the ICAA.”
Additionally, the ICAA’s historic plaster cast collection resides under the purview of the Library and item records are currently being transferred to the ICAA Library catalog.

“I initially started to work with the collection in earnest at the end of 2011 with the help of a volunteer, Eduardo Tenenbaum, who is a rare book cataloger,” said Reilly. “I knew that the collection was a real treasure, and I wanted to put the catalog online because I wanted as many people to know about it as possible. My hope is that there is a student or practitioner somewhere out there that is curious about the classical tradition, and stumbles upon the ICAA website and its library collection. The collection is such a wonderful resource for us here, and having an online presence for it is one way of sharing the knowledge and inspiration we get from it.”
The library’s new physical home was made possible by the work of John Flower of Flower Construction and Zepsa Industries which constructed the bookshelves that beautifully display books as well as artwork. ICAA Instructors Richard Cameron and Andy Taylor designed the bookshelves while Thomas Jayne, interior designer, donated his expertise for the color scheme.
The Library is a non-circulating research library that supports the intellectual and creative needs of the ICAA’s students, instructors, and members. Members of the general public are welcome to visit and conduct research by appointment. The items are also available to the public through an online catalog. For more information, please contact collections@classicist.org.

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