The services and collections of the Fisher Fine Arts Library facilitate work in architecture, landscape architecture, city and regional planning, historic preservation, history of art, and fine arts. Textual and image collections, both analog and digital, are global in nature. Library orientation, reference service, and research consultation are available. Computers offer access to information resources; wireless access to the network is provided with PennKey authentication. Scanning workstations include file transfer capability.
The Fisher Fine Arts Materials Library hosts thousands of samples ranging from traditional construction materials to emergent and novel samples such as Vanta Black, electronic paint, and seaweed insulation.
The Library has access to Material Connexion, the world’s largest subscription-based materials library with more than 7,500 innovative materials and processes across all disciplines of design–an indispensable asset to a wide audience of users.
The building, which is Penn's first library building, was designed by Frank Furness in consultation with library authorities Melvil Dewey and Justin Winsor. The collaboration produced a technologically advanced and utilitarian facility which, thanks to Furness's flamboyant style, was anything but mundane. Semi-circular arches are supported by short polished stone columns, and foliated forms and grotesques typical of Victorian Romanesque architecture. Some of the gargoyles function as rain spouts