The Faber Birren Collection of Books on Color is particularly strong in color systems, color standards, and color nomenclature. Color theory, artists' manuals and treatises, and color techniques are also well represented. In addition, the collection has materials on vision, psychology, printing and the graphic arts, textiles, music, religion, biology, medicine, heraldry, and the occult. The collection has materials ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries with important editions by Renee Descartes, Isaac Newton, Moses Harris, M.E. Chevreul, and G.B. Greenough, among others.
The Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library welcomes researchers from around the globe. The Birren Collection is a non-circulating research collection accessible through the facilities of the Special Collections in the lower level of the Haas Family Arts Library. Access is controlled because of the rare and often delicate nature of the materials. On-site items may be viewed on the same day as they are requested at the front desk of the Special Collections Reading Room. Off-site items (with Orbis message "Contact Haas Arts Library Spec. Coll. Staff to Request Item") must be requested at least 2 business days in advance. Requests can be made in person or through the Arts Library Special Collections Request Form. Each reader must fill out a registration form and follow all ALSC policies and procedures.