SMFA Library Collections

About the Collections 

We build our collections to support the curriculum, research, and creative exploration of the SMFA community, and to reflect what’s happening in art today all over the world. Focusing on contemporary art and studio practice, our collections include exhibition catalogs, artist monographs, theoretical and art historical texts, technical manuals, comics and graphic novels, periodicals, media, artists' books, zines, and more. Collecting publications by and about artists of color, and other identities that are often underrepresented, is an ongoing part of our mission. 

We are always happy to consider recommendations of materials to add to our collection. Feel free to fill out our Purchase Request Form or send requests directly to Lauren (


Circulating Collections 


The SMFA Library's circulating collection is primarily focused on books related to the areas of study at SMFA:  Animation, Ceramics, Digital Media, Drawing, Film and Video, Graphic Arts, Installation, Metals, Painting, Performance, Photography, Print and Paper, Sculpture, Sound, Virtual Reality, and Visual and Material Studies. Circulating books are shelved in our regular stacks and our New Books section, where recent acquisitions are featured for one year before moving to the stacks.   


The SMFA Library's DVD collection includes art documentaries, experimental film and animation, video art, and classic feature films. The collection supplements the streaming content available through databases such as Alexander Street PressDocuseekElectronic Arts Intermix, and Kanopy.

  • For information on accessing the DVD collection, see Borrowing from the SMFA Library.

  • To search for DVDs and other audiovisual content, use JumboSearch’s  Advanced Search feature. Click the radio button next to "Library Catalog," and select "Audio Visual" from the dropdown menu under "Material Type." Your search results will now be limited to music, film and television shows. 

Print Periodicals

The SMFA Library subscribes to dozens of print periodicals on a range of art and cultural topics. Current issues are in-library use only, and most back issues can be borrowed for 1 day.

  • Many of our subscriptions are also available online and can be accessed through JumboSearch

  • Check out BrowZine for an online browsing experience of thousands of scholarly journals. 

  • See our SMFA Library Print Periodicals guide for a list of the publications we subscribe to, with links.


The SMFA Library collects zines created by the SMFA community and by local and international artists. Our collection features varied techniques, styles, and subjects, including photocopier and risograph printing, photography, collage, drawing, comics, poetry, autobiography, social activism, and more. Zines can be checked out for 14 days at a time.