Materials from these collections are available from the hours of 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, and from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Friday. These materials must remain in the library at all times. To view these items, please ask at the front desk.

Rare Books

The Academy of Art University Library’s Rare Books collection features a variety of art, architecture, and design titles published before 1950, covering topics and works of art from significant periods in human history such as the Roman Empire Era, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and the early 20th century. Also included are materials on specific artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello, Édouard Manet, William Blake, and Wolfgang Paalen. The AAU Library's acquisition of rare books goes back to the beginning of the University and its library. Today, this collection has over 125 volumes.

Vintage Periodicals

The Vintage Periodicals collection is comprised of several different art and design, fashion, and lifestyle magazines. There are 37 different titles from around the world, with the earliest issues dating back to the start of the 20th century. The following are some of the highlights from within this collection:


ART/LIFE began in 1981 as a “conceptual exchange” between a global community of artists. Unique in its approach, ART/LIFE sources each page directly from the artist with little restriction on subject or medium. Submitted content represents a variety of international contributors and ranges from silkscreened, stamped and photocopied prints to original drawings and collages, pressed foliage, photographs, a Sweet-n-Low packet, and things much stranger. Creator and publisher Joe Cardella curated, assembled and distributed limited editions of 100 copies every month for 25 years. The result is a varied visual transcript of the dialogue between artists in the 1980s and 1990s. AAU Library is proud to have over 50 issues of this rare artist periodical.


This German illustrated periodical rotates a monthly theme ranging on subjects from Mexico to The Three Holy Kings, examined through art and photography, essays, articles, and literature columns. Introductions to each issue are written in English. Our collection of Du spans from 1959 to 1964.

Jump Cut

This review of contemporary media, presented in newspaper foldout form, contains essays and analysis on numerous films alongside interviews with filmmakers. Its focus gives emphasis to independent filmmaking, culture, history and politics since 1974. Our collection of Jump Cut ranges from 1974 to 1981. For digital access to Jump Cut archives from 1974, visit here.


The French periodical L’Officiel originated in 1921 and contains in-depth coverage of the Paris fashion house presentations. It showcases á la mode fashion photography, including a great amount of pages dedicated to fashion illustration, silhouettes, and theater reviews chronicling the current theater shows. Our collection of vintage L’Officiel spans from 1947 to 1966.

Theatre Arts Monthly

Theatre Arts Monthly contains Broadway reviews, a range of illustration and show photography, international theatre coverage, and feature essays by playwrights, directors, and actors on the industry and art of theatre. Our collection of Theatre Arts Monthly spans from 1938 to 1942.


Our collection of the premier American Vogue ranges from 1925 to 1967, and includes black-and- white and color advertisements, society pages, shopping guides, and fashion editorials shot in studios and abroad. Culture features include reviews of literature, art, film and theater and spotlights on stars and starlets of the period. This collection also includes several issues of French and Italian Vogue. For digital access to the complete run of American Vogue back from 1892, visit The Vogue Archive (available to current AAU students, faculty, and staff only.