Arts & Humanities Collection Areas

  • intersection of metal beam with ceiling


    The Architecture collection has been addressing the needs of the architecture faculty and students at the University of Michigan since the turn of the twentieth century. The library collects materials dealing with architecture from the early twentieth century to the present, with an emphasis on works from the 1960s forward.

    About the image: Reynolds Metals Office, detail; Detroit; 1955; M. Yamasaki; photo by Edward Olencki. Permission to use by donor.

  • pink and purple lines in experimental digital image

    Art & Design

    The University of Michigan collects both academic and popular materials in the subject areas of art and design. The collection serves the research and curricular needs of the Stamps School of Art and Design in particular, as well as the contemporary art and design needs of the broader campus community and beyond. 

    About the image: Experimental digital image by juliechicago. CC-BY-NC 2.0. 

  • open artists book that shows 3d effect

    Artists Books

    The artists’ books collection at the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library was created in the early 2000s and contains approximately 500 works. The collection serves as a primary tool in liaison outreach, helping to meet the tactile research needs of practicing artists. 

    About the image: Kamo by Kyoko Matsunaga, a book from the collection.

  • Movie projection camera

    Askwith Media Library

    The mission of the Askwith Media Library collection is to provide and support the use of audiovisual media for research and instruction in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in particular, and more broadly for the entire campus. The library maintains a collection of more than 40,000 titles including feature films, documentaries, animated films, and educational programs in a variety of formats: 16 millimeter film, VHS videocassette, DVD, and Blu-ray.

  • wall of comic books

    Comics & Graphic Novels

    The comics and graphic novels collection at the Art, Achitecture & Engineering Library is developed to meet the current and future teaching and research needs of UM faculty, students and staff. Co-location of the materials as a collection, as is having the materials available on-site, are a priority. The comics collection at AAEL strives to be representative of all facets of comics and graphic narratives, with some special attention in particular areas.

  • hands holding a video game controller

    Computer and Video Game Archive

    The Computer and Video Game Archive (CVGA) collects and maintains games to support the current and future teaching and research needs of UM faculty, students and staff. The CVGA collects games for consoles, microcomputers, handhelds, and mobile platforms. Because the CVGA serves as an interactive archive and not just a storehouse for materials, the CVGA acquires and maintains hardware on which to play the games, such as consoles, microcomputers, displays, and controllers.

  • sketch of a woman reading

    English Language and Literature

    The English Language and Literature collection spans a broad range of genres, critical approaches, and literary cultures. The library supports research and teaching in English literature, American literature, and other literatures in English; linguistics; literary studies; all aspects of the teaching of writing; the history of the language; and philology.

    About the imageReading by James McNeill Whistler (1879). 

  • movie still image of face in the moon with a red peg in the eye

    Film, Television, and Media

    The Film, Television, and Media (FTVM) collection traces the history and scope of motion pictures and television both in the United States and internationally. Primary areas of collection are published in English and include annuals, monographs, periodicals, reference tools and scholarly series on the history, theory, practice and criticism of both mediums.  Newer areas of collection emphasis include audience, industry, and digital studies. 

    About the image: still image taken from A Trip to the Moon by Georges Melies.

  • aisle with books stacked on both sides

    General and Comparative Literature

    The General and Comparative Literature (GCLIT) collection encompasses materials in the areas of literary theory and criticism, comparative studies and translation studies.

  • Sir John Mandeville writing his travel book


    The University of Michigan Library’s History Collections are both broad and deep in terms of time periods, regions, and approaches.  The library collects materials in all formats and languages, including monographs, media, serials, microforms, and electronic resources. While much of the collection consists of secondary materials, the library does purchase primary sources in both physical and electronic formats. Emerging areas of focus include environmental history and global/big/comparative history.

    About the image: Sir John Mandeville writing his travel book, from Medieval Realms

  • painting of a tahitian mary and jesus with people looking on

    History of Art

    The History of Art collection is held within the Fine Arts Library in Tappan Hall. The collection focus has expanded to the history, theory, analysis and criticism of the visual arts and visual culture. The geographical scope of the collection has expanded to include Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. 

    About the imageIa Orana Maria by Paul Gauguin.

  • signboard with a variety of messages in greek


    University Library collections on linguistics have traditionally been housed in the Hatcher Graduate Library. Materials are collected on all the languages of the world, reflecting Graduate Library collections on Western and Eastern Europe, East Asia, South and Southeast Asia, the Near East, Africa, and South America. 

    About the image: signs in Kavala, Greece.

  • gallery of paintings on the wall with people looking

    Museum Studies

    With a focus on the interpretation and presentation of human enterprise, the museum studies collection strives to meet the broad-ranging needs of the museum studies community, layering materials over more subject-specific resources.

    About the image: Grand Gallery at the Louvre circa 1890.

  • Music, Theater, and Dance

    The Music Library collects broadly and deeply across all areas of the musical discipline and represents one of the largest music research collections in the country. The collection supports the research, teaching, and performance needs of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance as well as the broader University community and beyond.

    About the image: Cover of the first edition of The Victors by Louis Elbel.

  • sculpture of a philosopher sitting in a reclining position


    Since its founding in the nineteenth century, the University of Michigan Library has collected materials to support the study of all areas of philosophy, including ethics, metaphysics, aesthetics, epistemology, logic, and the philosophical aspects of mind, language, the arts, and all sciences and other disciplines, from antiquity to present times.

    About the image: the Philosophy Sculpture on the facade of Angell Hall. Taken in 1950.

  • incense burning

    Religious Studies

    The University of Michigan Library actively collects materials in a wide array of languages and formats in support of the interdisciplinary study of religion. Current collecting activity focuses on strengthening representative holdings in Eastern Christianity as well as supporting active campus scholarship.

    About the image: Incense burning in Pollachi, India. Cropped from image by Ramakrishnan Nataraj. 

  • Detail of the engraved title page of The history of Don-Quichote

    Romance Languages and Literatures

    The Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) collection encompasses materials for literary and linguistic studies of the French-, Italian-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking regions of the world. We collect literature and literary criticism of all genres and historical periods, and include works in regional languages such as Catalan, Galician, or some of the Italian dialects.

    About the image: Detail of the engraved title page of The history of Don-Quichote. The first parte, translated by Thomas Shelton (1620) from the U-M Special Collections Library.

  • pedestrian intersection with people walking and buildings from early 1900s

    Urban Planning

    The Urban Planning collection reflects the growth and development of the urban planning discipline at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning for almost fifty years. The library collects materials on the history of urban planning and design, as well as contemporary issues.

    About the image: Michigan & Griswold Streets in Detroit, circa 1908.

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Last modified: 02/24/2020