The SVA Library is a major resource for art and design study, developed over the course of 60 years to foster the college’s intellectual and creative life. Its rich print and digital collections directly support SVA’s undergraduate and graduate curricula. In addition, library collections provide inspiration, establish context and widen perspectives. Library instructional services have been developed to sharpen students’ critical thinking and provide basic tools for lifelong learning.
Since 1978 the SVA Library has been located at 380 Second Avenue in the Gramercy section of Manhattan. It is a comfortable, accessible and attractive space on campus where the SVA community can relax, study and collaborate. A knowledgeable and responsive library staff is available to assist with collections and services.
Located on the 4th floor of SVA's main building, the SVA Film Library is a repository of cinematic history. Film studies instructors, students, and staff alike rub elbows while browsing the carefully curated collection of over 15,000 DVDs, Blu-rays, 16mm film prints, and film related books. The collection is divided according to genre, with the exception of the Director's Wall, which is designed as a resource for film students eager to study and analyze the career arc of noteworthy directors. The library also serves as an archive for BFA Film and Animation alumni work, and staff work continuously to convert and preserve films stored using archaic formats.
The Curatorial Practice Library is a non-circulating library devoted to exhibitions, art history, and curatorial studies, along with a small number of contemporary art magazines and journals.
SVA Library West is a satellite library space located on the lower level of 133 West 21st Street. This attractive and casual area features a selection of magazines, displays of new books, DVDs and video games, computers, comfortable seating, a group study area with wall mounted display, and a book scanner. Students can request circulating materials from the main library at 380 Second Avenue, which will be delivered to SVA Library West the next day. Reference consultation and library instruction will also be available in the space. SVA Library West is open during Fall and Spring semesters, Monday – Friday from 11am until 4pm.
The VRC offers a variety of services for SVA's faculty, including the maintenance of and technical support for our online collection of images, SVA Image Library (MDID), and Artstor. We provide information on scanning/storing images and developing classroom lectures. We also supply a quiet space equipped with workstations for Internet access, scanners and a photocopier.Go to VRC
Bring your class into the library or schedule a librarian to come to your smart classroom for a general or specialized class tailored to class assignments.Contact your Library Liaison
To help foster relationships between the library and the community it serves, every academic department has a dedicated librarian. Contact your liaison for purchase requests, to suggest broader avenues for collection development, to request a library instruction class or research assistance, or anything else library related.Go to Library Liaison
Check your fines balance first by logging into Vision, then click through to pay your fines.
By borrowing items from the SVA Library you are agreeing to the following policy: To enter the library, full-time Students, Faculty and SVA administration must present a valid SVA ID and current semester sticker to the security officer. Alumni must present their Alumni card. Continuing Education students must present their current course registration. Alumni, CE students, SVA Vendors, Housing Residents, and temporary staff have on-site access only, and do not have borrowing privileges. SVA special program Fellows & Visiting Scholars should speak to a Circulation Manager or the Associate Director for Library access and borrowing privileges.
|Item||Check-out Time||Max / Account||Renewable||Overdue Fees / Day|
|Books||3 weeks||50||Yes, twice||$ 0.20|
|Exhibition Catalogs||3 weeks||15||Yes, twice||$ 0.20|
|Pictures||3 weeks||10 Subj./50 total||Yes, twice||$ 0.20|
|Film Scripts||3 weeks||15||Yes, twice||$ 0.20|
|DVD/Blu-Ray||1 week||15||Yes, twice||$ 1.00|
|Music CD||1 week||15||Yes, twice||$ 1.00|
|Xbox / PS3 / PS4 / Wii Games||1 weeks||3||Yes, twice||$ 1.00|
|Tabletop Games||1 week||1||Yes, once||$ 1.00|
|Interlibrary loan items||Varies||50||Yes, varies||$ 1.00|
|Blu-Ray Player||1 Week||1||No||$ 1.00|
|Computer Lab Equipment
Available for In-Library use
|Check-out Time||Max / Account||Renewable||Overdue Fees / Hour|
|Headphones||3 hours||1||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Scanner Slide Trays||3 hours||1||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Power Strip||3 hours||1||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Memory Card Reader||3 hours||1||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Wacom Tablet & parts||3 hours||1||Yes, once||$ 5.00 per hour/per item|
|MacBook & Power Supply||3 hours||1||Yes, once||$ 10.00 per hour/per item|
|Blu-Ray/DVD Remotes||3 hours||1||Yes, once||$ 5.00 per hour/per item|
Reference books, rare books, periodicals (magazines), reserve materials, non-circulating DVDs, BluRay, & MFA theses are available for two-hour in-library use only. Computer equipment including laptops, Wacom tablets, and headphones are available for in-library use from the Computer Lab. See the chart below for loaning information.
|Item||Check-out Time||Renewable||Overdue Fees / Hour|
|Rare Books||2 hours||Yes, once||$ .20 per hour/per item|
|Reserve Books||2 hours||Yes, once||$ .20 per hour/per item|
|Reserve DVDs||2 hours||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Theses||2 Hours||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Computer Lab Equipment
Available for In-Library use
|Check-out Time||Renewable||Overdue Fees / Hour|
|Headphones||3 hours||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Scanner Slide Trays||3 hours||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Power Strip||3 hours||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Memory Card Reader||3 hours||Yes, once||$ 1.00 per hour/per item|
|Wacom Tablet & parts||3 hours||Yes, once||$ 5.00 per hour/per item|
|MacBook & Power Supply||3 hours||Yes, once||$ 10.00 per hour/per item|
|Blu-Ray/DVD Remotes||3 hours||Yes, once||$ 5.00 per hour/per item|
Patrons who return library materials with damage will be charged a ‘damaged item’ or ‘replacement and processing fee,’ based on the damage incurred. Items returned with post-its, page markers, or bent pages will be charged $2 per page. Items returned with underlining or writing will be charged $1-5 per page. Items returned with permanent damage, including water, paint, ink and cut and torn pages will need to be replaced at the borrower's expense. Items overdue by three months automatically lapse into Lost status and the Library has the right to replace these items and bill the patron a $60 replacement fee.
|Item||Replacement Fee||Processing Fee|
|Tabletop Games||$ 60||$10|
|Pictures||$ 2||$10 per folder|
|Film scripts||$ 60||$10|
Patrons with fines of $20 and over, or with unresolved library issues, cannot check materials out, register, graduate, get grades or transcripts.
The library is not responsible for notifying borrowers of their overdue materials. Overdue notices are issued only as a courtesy via your SVA email account. Failure to receive reminders or overdue notices does not excuse borrowers from the responsibility of returning or renewing items on time to avoid penalties. Fees are automatically billed to your library account when materials are returned, and accrue for each day overdue as outlined in 'Loaning Information'. Max overdue fine is $10.00 per item, and items that have lapsed into Lost status (overdue by three months or more) also incur a $60 replacement fee.
In VISION, the library catalog, click on “My Account” to see your currently charged items, their due dates and your fines. You can renew items if they are not on hold for someone else, or if you do not have $20 or more in fines or outstanding lost items. Library books, DVDs and video games you have checked out can be renewed twice. Books checkout for 3 weeks, and can be renewed two times for additional 3 week checkout periods. DVDs and games check out for 1 week, and can be renewed twice for additional 1 week checkout periods.
The Reserve Collection ensures that required readings for classes are always available to students. You can look them up by your instructor’s name, or by item, and bring the call number to the circulation desk. Reserves are available for two-hour in-library use.
A security guard, surveillance cameras and a detection gate are used to monitor the flow of materials in and out of the library. You must always carry your valid SVA ID with you and show it to the security guard. In addition, the SVA Library reserves the right to examine any backpack, bag, portfolio or other carrying device of anyone using the library. Any student found defacing, or attempting to steal, any library materials will risk the loss of library privileges and suspension from SVA.
Consists of over 80,000 titles, with a deep focus on art, design, photography and graphic novels. Our holdings continue to expand, guided in part by suggestions from students and faculty.Search the Collection
The SVA Library has nearly 40 image and article databases, including our e-book collection that has over 150,000 titles across a broad range of academic topics, and specialized resources including the Underground Comix Database, The Vogue Archive, Kanopy streaming films and documentaries, Art and Architecture Streaming videos from Alexander Street Press, and Mango Languages, which provides interactive, multi-media modules for learning over 60 languages.Go to Databases
With over 350 current subscriptions and over 700 historical runs of both mainstay titles in art, design, film, photography, and fashion, as well as lesser known international, artist run, and fringe titles, the SVA Library periodicals collection represents a rich lattice of support for all of the academic and artistic disciplines offered at SVA.Search the Collection
From the Arthouse to the Grindhouse, our DVD/Blu-Ray collection contains almost 10,000 titles, including feature films, documentaries, animation, concert and theater films, television series, and more.Search the Collection
The library has over 8,000 comic related items including Graphic Novels, Newspaper Comics reprints, Scholarly works on the study of comics, Magazines about comics and a broad selection of Manga. The SVA Underground & Mini Comics Collection has over 500 self published and larger print run underground comics. Additionally, we have a subscription to The Underground Comix database.Search the Collection
The Visual Resources Collection is the central resource for images and imaging technologies used by instructors and students at the college for teaching and study purposes. The staff offers a variety of services to the SVA community, including maintenance of our online collection of images, as well as training and technical support for our local digital database, MDID (Madison Digital Image Database), and subscription services such as Artstor. We provide information on scanning and storing images in addition to assistance in converting lectures based on analog images to digital images.Go to the VRC
This is a circulating, physical collection of images culled from all manner of print publications spanning more than 100 years. Containing over 200,000 images across 1250 subjects, the Picture Collection is a unique resource that provides sweeping visual reference and insight into the history of culture via the medium of print.Go to collection
Dedicated to preserving and making accessible design works of significant artistic, cultural, and historical value by preeminent designers, illustrators, and art directors who have close ties to the School of Visual Arts. The collections represent the artistic and intellectual vitality of the SVA community and provide an invaluable resource to students, designers, and researchers who wish to study the breadth of a designer's work.Go to Archive
Collects items that document the history of the School and provides source material for those who seek to evaluate the impact of the School’s activities on artistic, social, and cultural development. Among the media held by the Archives are posters, original art, publications and ephemera, photographs, and audio and video recordings.Go to Archive
The library collects board, card & dice, and role playing games that showcase exemplary illustration, design, and gaming mechanics. You can access this circulating collection at Library West.Search the Collection
Primarily art, design, and photography, the rare collection is housed in cabinets with transparent doors, so that this extraordinary collection of 1,400 items can easily be browsed. Alongside the rare books are our collections of artist books, pop-up books, and rare periodicals.Search the Collection
The RBPC consists of more than 700 titles on the history of poster design, including many rare, out of print and hard to find titles. The collection was assembled over many years by Susan Reinhold and Robert Brown as reference to support the RB Gallery, the first in New York to specialize in rare 20th century poster art and graphic design. The collection includes a wealth of Art Nouveau and Art Deco material as well as important publications about the Modern poster movement in Poland.Search the Collection
In addition to the usual collection of encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, almanacs, bibliographies and atlases, the SVA Library maintains a growing collection of design, illustration, typography, and photography annuals.Search the Collection
The library has well over 1,000 unpublished shooting film scripts, which appear in various draft stages and sometimes include annotations from the writer. Our main book collection also has a large collection of commercially published scripts.Search the Collection
Our CD collection contains music from a variety of genres, include jazz, rock, hip-hop, folk, classical, and world; as well as various audio books and sound effects programs.Search the Collection