Audiovisual Archives

16mm Film Study Collection (700+ titles)  
Provides examples from a variety of film genres and movements: contemporary independent filmmakers, animation, 20th century experimental and avant-garde films, early Hollywood, Workers Film and Photo League, and more. SAIC faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as independent researchers and scholars who wish to access the 16mm film collection for classroom or film study screenings may use the Film/Video Reservation Form.

Randolph Street Gallery Archive Videos (460 videos)  
Features documentation of performances, meetings, workshops, proposal submissions, exhibition copies, and other evidence of the gallery’s history in moving images.

Film, Video, New Media and Animation (FVNMA) (240 videos)  
An ad-hoc collection amassed over the course of several decades by faculty and students in all prior iterations of SAIC’s current FVNMA Department. It consists of classroom documentation, test tapes, visiting artist lectures, student works, works-in-progress, works by alumni and faculty, and compilations of works by students and faculty at SAIC and other art schools that were part of an informal exchange.

SAIC Media Archive (108 videos)  
A collection of audiovisual recordings including classroom and performance documentation, presentations, and other recordings having to do with the history of SAIC. These recordings came to the Flaxman Library from various offices and departments around the school in 2015, in connection with SAIC's 150th anniversary.

Stan Brakhage’s SAIC Lectures (83 audiocassettes)  
Filmmaker Stan Brakhage taught film history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1969-1976. Each class would focus on particular films or filmmakers including discussions of Brakhage's own work.

Chicago Cultural Plan (68 videos)  
The Chicago Cultural Plan videos document neighborhood meetings over a 2-year city-wide effort to analyze Chicago’s cultural needs and opportunities and to formulate recommendations for action.

Correspondence Art

The Correspondence Art Collection exposes a variety of intimate, postal themed works selected from collections housed in the Flaxman Library Special Collections. Included are examples of artists’ stamps, mail art, artists’ letters, and similar works. Some were collected fresh from the press or the artist’s hand. Others are well-marked by their travels. They provide a glimpse into some of the international networking practices of artists during the late twentieth century, prior to the widespread availability of the internet.‌‌

Ephemera Files

The Ephemera Files, part of Flaxman Library Special Collections, are on individual artists, publishers, presses, book art galleries, and other initiatives promoting experimental art forms. Searchable via the Flaxman Catalog.

Goat Island Archives

The Goat Island Archives contain sketchbooks, photographs, publications, and other materials documenting the 20-year (1987–2007) history and creative output of this collaborative performance group, one that made significant contributions to the development of an internationally recognized performance profile both at SAIC and in the city of Chicago. Viewable by appointment. Contact

Randolph Street Gallery Archives

The Randolph Street Gallery Archives contain photographs, event calendars, posters, and a wide variety of other materials documenting the twenty-year history (1979–98) of an important Chicago cooperative, gallery, and performance space. With a particular interest in social and political issues of its time and a deep commitment to community engagement, Randolph Street Gallery was a critical venue for new forms of artistic expression. The gallery left a lasting impact both locally, nationally, and globally.‌ The Randolph Street Gallery Archives are part of the Chicago Art Galleries Project, a NEH-funded project to illuminate the history of Chicago art gallery spaces and related archival collections. 

Randolph Street Gallery Archives Digital Collection   
Randolph Street Gallery Archives Inventory [PDF]   

From 1986–99, P-Form magazine chronicled the challenging, sometimes entertaining, and often controversial world of performance art. P-Form was eventually published through Randolph Street Gallery as a newsletter promoting local performance artists and events and grew to become a leading international journal of interdisciplinary and performance art. Through interviews, artist's profiles, essays, commentaries, and reviews, P-Form chronicles the performance art movement during the 80s and 90s, capturing the essence of creative expression that challenged the parameters of the established art industry of its day.

P-Form Digital Collection

Threewalls Gallery Archives

The Threewalls Gallery Archives contain exhibition ephemera, artist files, and other materials documenting the first 12 years (2003–2015) of an organization that has served as one of Chicago’s premier artist-run non-commercial gallery spaces. Through a range of exhibition and public programs, including symposiums, lectures, performances and publications, Threewalls created a locus of exchange between local, national, and international contemporary art communities. In 2016, Threewalls shifted their focus from a physical gallery space to an itinerant model in response to a contemporary discourse about the intersections of art, social justice and community. Threewalls continues to support artists and collaborative projects, and fosters innovative programming at various venues throughout the city. The collection includes commissioned multiples from the Community Supported Art (CSA) program, as well as the archive of the Propeller Fund, a grant administered jointly with Gallery 400. The Threewalls Gallery Archives are part of the Chicago Art Galleries Project, a NEH-funded project to illuminate the history of Chicago art gallery spaces and related archival collections.

Threewalls Gallery Archives Inventory [PDF]

Tony Zwicker Archives

The Tony Zwicker Archives contain the business papers, ephemera, artists'/publishers' files, slides, catalogs and critical writings of Tony Zwicker, a New York-based dealer and collector of artists’ books and book works that she accumulated from 1982 to 2000. Viewable by appointment. Contact

Warren Menaker Thought Books

Warren Menaker Thought Books is a series of sketchbooks/diaries ranging from 1975 to 2006 that document Menaker's observations while he lived and worked in Chicago, and later in Phoenix. Daily entries contain handwritten notes, drawings, and collages. Viewable by appointment. Contact