Why Choose SAIC?: Libraries and Special Collections
Libraries and Special Collections
SAIC’s libraries, archives, and special collections are specially suited to respond to the evolving and expansive research needs of graduate students. Resources include traditional library and archival collections along with interdisciplinary, multimedia, and site-specific resources that embrace all subjects related to art and design.
The newly renovated John M. Flaxman Library serves as an epicenter for your research and study, holding more than 130,000 books, magazines, movies, and sound recordings that support the entire SAIC curriculum in the arts, design, humanities, and sciences. A growing number of scholarly materials are available online, including approximately 40,000 ebooks and ejournals, 100+ databases, and more than 180,000 digital images—in addition to our campus digital repository, the SAIC Digital Libraries.
Within the Art Institute of Chicago museum lie the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, some of oldest and largest art museum libraries in the country. These noncirculating, closed-stack collections contain more than 440,000 volumes and 1,600 periodicals, available in the reading room to SAIC students.
You can expand your research practice beyond the printed word to the numerous Special Collections of objects, artifacts, and media, some located within the libraries.
- Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection allows hands-on experience with more than 7,000 artists’ books, periodicals, and multiples, providing a selective yet broad overview of the field of artists’ publishing since the early 1960s.
- The Fashion Resource Center houses contemporary and historical fashion publications, designer interviews, videos, and a large collection of innovative garments and accessories for students to engage in hands-on examination.
- The Video Data Bank is a leading resource in the United States for video by and about contemporary artists. Collections include the work of more than 550 artists and 5,500 video art titles, with 2,500+ in active distribution.
- The 16mm Film Study Collection is an impressive catalogue of several hundred reels that encompasses the history of film through early cinema, documentaries, animation, experimental, and avant-garde film—including work from local filmmakers, as well as a number of films by Joseph Cornell.
- The Roger Brown Study Collection is a house museum, intimate study collection, and archive of contemporary objects, folk and tribal art, costumes, furniture, and textiles assembled for inspiration by alumnus and artist Roger Brown.
- The Randolph Street Gallery Archives contain historical records of performance, sculpture, and visual and other art forms created or curated by local and international artists during the two-decade history of this legendary Chicago institution.