The Askwith Collection
The Askwith Media Library collection is stored in closed stacks and is not browsable. Please refer to Search the Catalog below to explore the collection.
The Askwith Media Library maintains a collection of over 25,000 titles, including feature films, documentaries, animated films, and instructional programs. Formats include DVD, Blu-ray, videotapes, 16 mm films, audio cassettes, and audio CDs.
The majority of the videocassettes and DVDs collection is stored in the library and is available for checkout on a walk-in basis. The majority of the 16mm film collection is stored in a remote facility. These items can be retrieved for patrons who wish to use them within 4 business days of the request.
Click here for our LibGuide to the Askwith Collection
Make a purchase recommendation for the Askwith Media Library
Search the Catalog
To search for AML holdings in Mirlyn, choose “advanced search” and then refine your search (by title, author, subject, etc.) by choosing “Askwith Media Library” under “Location.”
To search for videos and DVDs in any of the UM Libraries in Mirlyn, choose “advanced search,” set “Location” to “all,” and then limit your search by choosing “Visual Materials” under “format.” This will give you holdings in the Askwith Media Library, and also the Music and Fine Arts Libraries. You can also limit your results to videos or DVDs by choosing “Video (VHS)” or “Video (DVD).”
The core collection of what is now the Askwith Media Library was established in 1939 as the University Extension Division’s “Visual Education Bureau”. In 1948 the “Audio-Visual Education Center” was created out of the Visual Education Bureau to produce filmstrips, audiotapes and films for use both within and outside of the university. The Center also conducted a very large and active rental operation. In 1978 the AV Center was combined with the University’s TV Center to create Michigan Media. The emphasis of the combined units shifted from the production of AV materials for use by the state’s educational community to serving the internal instructional needs of the University. The library continued to serve a national clientele through its rental service and to provide materials to support faculty in UM classes. In 1987 University administrators determined that Michigan Media as a unit would be dismantled. At that time the media library became part of the University Library system, reporting to the Undergraduate Library, and was renamed The Film and Video Library. The 16 mm film rental operation was discontinued in 1992 due to a dramatic drop in rentals related to the rise of the VHS format. The focus of the library shifted to instructional support for UM faculty. In 1999 the FVL became part of the Arts and Engineering Libraries cluster. Video formats have evolved into the digital realm, and the library is now aggressively collecting materials in DVD and Blu-ray format.
The FVL moved to a larger, more accommodating space in the Shapiro building and became the Askwith Media Library in June, 2005. The library was renamed in honor of a gift to the library system from U-M alum Bertram J. Askwith. Features include an expansive new public service desk, 10 new viewing stations designed to accommodate single or multiple viewers for on-site screening of library materials, and expanded hours during the school year. These improvements further extend the Askwith Library’s services to students, faculty and staff.