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The W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library at SMFA is the fine arts branch of Tufts University's Tisch Library. Our mission is to support the curriculum, research, and creative exploration of students, faculty, and staff.

Focusing on contemporary art and studio practice, our collections encompass exhibition catalogs, monographs, theoretical and art historical texts, technical manuals, periodicals, media, artists' books, zines, and more. Library staff are available for help at all stages of research, assignments, and independent projects.

Artists conduct research very much like philosophers and engineers. They’re forward-looking. They’re researching into problems rather than only studying the past. In our artistic practice at SMFA research as practice is a basis for your work. We help students increase the number of resources they can investigate and stick with them as they forge their research path.

Darin Murphy, Head of the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library

Library Events 

The library also hosts a number of events throughout the school year ranging from poetry readings and film screenings, to artists' talks, performance projects, sound installation, and music events as well as regular exhibitions of both library collections and student work.

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About the Collections

All students, faculty, and staff with a Tufts ID are welcome to visit and access the SMFA Library's collections.

Circulating Collections

The SMFA Library's circulating book collection is primarily focused on art made since 1960, with an emphasis on image-rich exhibition catalogs, artist monographs, and theoretical texts. Learn more about borrowing from the SMFA Library.

The SMFA Library's browsable DVD collection includes art documentaries, experimental film and animation, and classic feature films. The collection supplements the streaming content available through Kanopy

Non-circulating/Special Collections 

Print Periodicals
The SMFA Library subscribes to dozens of print periodicals on a range of art and cultural topics. This browsable collection is in-library use only.

Artists' Books
Our artists' book collection showcases a wide range of binding types and conceptual approaches to book-making. The collection is in-library use only, generally accessible Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. You may request access to the collection by stopping by the Library's front desk or contacting an SMFA Library staff member.

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. 

If you want to sell or donate your publications to the SMFA Library, please contact Carrie Salazar or fill out our SMFA Library Zine Collection Creator Donation Form.

The Book as Surprise

What is an artist-book, and how far can it push convention? An exhibition at Tufts proves form is limited only by the imagination.
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