Anne Bremer Memorial Library

SFAI's library is an inspiring setting for research and study, with vaulted ceilings, historic murals, and views of the Bay. 

  • Search the catalog for books, periodicals, DVDs and videos.
  • Check the Student Portal for additional resources and instructions for student and faculty remote access.  Stop by the library for help accessing and using these resources. 
  • Contribute to the Dream Collection.


For more information, contact the Library ([email protected])


The Library provides:

  • A beautiful space to study, browse, nap, collaborate, and create. There is plenty of space to spread out, and a wonderful collection to explore. You can get support from the Librarians and an actual human skull.
  • Access to Printers, Scanners and a Typewriter. Scanning of print material from the collection as needed.
  • Media Viewing Room.
  • Collection of Circulable and non-circulable books, magazines, films and videos, artists' publications, lecture recordings, zines, and dreams.
  • The Academic Resource Center (ARC) Tutors are available at the Library for in-person tutoring.


Hours: Monday–Friday | 10 am – 5 pm (or by appointment).
Phone: 415.749.4562

Virtual Tour >


The Library’s Film + Video collection consists of artists’ works, lectures, documentaries, animation, film history and more. Highlights of the collection include seminal works in the history of performance art, over eighty films by George Kuchar, and work by students in SFAI’s New Genres department, from the 1980s on. Videos and DVDs are available for viewing in the library, and can be checked out for classroom use by faculty.

Lectures given as part of either the Visiting Artists + Scholars Lecture Series or the Graduate Lecture Series are recorded and available for viewing approximately one week after the date of the lecture. Lectures and performances recorded prior to the year 2000 can be found in the audio tape collection.

The library houses a collection of over 300 16mm films. Highlights of the film collection include works by pioneering experimental filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, Gunvor Nelson, Carolee Schneemann, Sidney Peterson, Maya Deren, Lawrence Jordan, Hollis Frampton and many others, as well as a number of works important in the development of early cinema.


The library’s artists’ book collection includes both unique and classic titles from the 1950s through the present. The collection is particularly strong in conceptual and humorous titles of the 1960s and 1970s by artists such as Bruce Nauman, John Baldessari, Don Celender, Alan Kaprow, Michael Snow, and Chris Burden. Many of the best artists’ books in the collection are donated by students who participate in the annual library-sponsored Artists’ Book Contest. The collection is also well represented by alumni bookmakers such as William T. Wiley, Jess, Fred Martin, Mike Mandel, Larry Sultan, Nell Sinton, Faune Yerby, Vernon Bigman, Anthony Aziz, Charles Hobson, Richard Shaw, Justin Walsh, and Jason Rhodes.  


Other highlights include:

  • Many of Ed Ruscha’s 17 artists’ books
  • 3D books made by Jim Pomeroy
  • Photo books by Mike Mandel, Larry Sultan, Sol Lewitt, Hans Peter Feldmann, Les Krims, and Robert Cummings. 
  • Fine print titles include books by Fred Martin printed at Andrew Hoyem’s Arion Press, Nell Sinton’s Under the Table at the Donner Party, and Jess and Michael McClure’s The Boobus and The Bunnyduck. 
  • Yoko Ono’s Spots on the Wall
  • Lorna Simpson’s Three Wishes
  • William T. Wiley’s A Suite of Daze printed at Teaberry Press
  • Other titles by Kara Walker, Ben Kinmont, Yasumasa Morimura, Kathy Acker, Adrian Piper, Linda Connor, and Kiki Smith.


The library’s rare book collection has been growing steadily for more than 100 years, thanks to the efforts of faculty, staff, students, trustees and donors. The collection is eclectic in nature, containing titles as diverse as Alfred Stieglitz’ Camerawork, Arthur Pope’s 1938 six volume Survey of Persian Art, Brinkley’s 1897 Japan, Owen Jones’ 1868 The Grammar of Ornament, Racinet’s original L’Ornement Polychrome, and Joseph Albers’ Interaction with Color. 

Other highlights include:

  • Wonderfully illustrated titles like A Compleate Herbal of the Late James Newton, M.D, printed from copper plates in 1752.
  • Trianon Press publications of William Blake’s watercolors.
  • Lavater’s Essays on Physiognomy.
  • Idiosyncratic curiosities like Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook (1961) with illustrations by Andrew Warhol.
  • Rare exhibition catalogs including Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (1969), the New York Museum of Modern’s Art Information (1970), and the earliest Documenta catalogs.
  • Interesting facsimiles such as the Centre Pompidou’s folio edition of Marcel Duchamp, Notes; John Heartfield’s Posters; Diderot’s 18th century L’Encyclopedie ou Dictionnaire Raisonne des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers; and Yale University’s four volume set, Jackson Pollock: a Catalogue Raisonne. 


From a full set of Steiglitz’s Camera Work to an issue of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy featuring performance artist Karen Finley, the library houses an extensive collection of art-related periodicals and scattered magazines dating from as far back as 1877. Included are complete runs of such scholarly publications as October, the History of Photography, the Archives of American Art Journal, Ars Islamica, Art Journal, Camera Obscura, Jumpcut, Millennium Film Journal, and the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts. 

Other highlights include:

  • Wet, Water, Effects, Transformation: the Magazine of Gourmet Bathing and Beyond, a magazine of culture and art from Southern California, published in the late 1970s through the early 1980s.
  • Tatootime, published in the 1980s by SFAI alum, Don Hardy.
  • File, published in the 1970s by a group of Canadian artists who went by the name General Idea. When it wasn’t spoofing of pop culture, it was anticipating future subcultures, as evidenced by the “Punk ‘til you Puke” issue. 
  • Avalanche, an early-mid 1970s conceptual, performance, and installation art-focused periodical. Sol Lewitt, Howard Fried, Alice Aycock, Walter DeMaria, and Lawrence Weiner are some of the many artists featured. 
  • Radical Software, an early 1970s periodical about artists working in video.
  • Search & Destroy, a punk tabloid from the late 1970s filled with SFAI bands and artists.
  • A full run of The Thing Quarterly, founded and edited by John Herschend and SFAI alum Will Rogan.
  • Four magazines that began at SFAI: Aperture, edited by faculty member Minor White; The Organizers of this Publication Assume No Responsibility For the Content Herein, started by a group of students in the 1990s; zines by Naomi Larrick including Dime Life; and the first desktop published art magazine in the world, Expo-See, co-founded by faculty member Mark Van Proyen in the early 1980s.


The SFAI archives contain a wealth of primary source material pertaining to art, culture, and American arts education in the 19th through the 21st centuries.

The archival collection includes manuscripts, account books, minutes, photographs, broadsides, clipping files, and ephemera documenting the history of the San Francisco Art Association (1871–1961), the California School of Design (1874–1916), the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art (1893–1906), the San Francisco Institute of Art (1907–1916), the California School of Fine Arts (1916–1961), the San Francisco Museum of Art (1916–1935), the Palace of Fine Arts (1915–1924), and the San Francisco Art Institute (1961–Present).

Collections include: 

  • Art exhibition catalogs and support documentation from 1871 through the present. 
  • Artists’ files of manuscript material, clippings, and ephemera pertaining to California artists and people associated with the SFAA, CSFA, SFAI, etc. from 1871 to the present. 
  • Material about the Palace of Fine Arts and the establishment of the San Francisco Museum of Art (now known as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) by the San Francisco Art Association.* 
  • A collection of photographs documenting the school’s history from the 1890s through the present. 
  • A collection of material pertaining to Diego Rivera’s "Making of a Fresco, Showing the Building of a City" mural at the California School of Fine Arts in 1931. 
  • Both official publications and publications generated by student groups of the SFAA, CSFA, and SFAI from 1900 until today. 
  • A collection of material documenting the founding of the California School of Fine Arts Photography Department by Ansel Adams in 1945. 
  • Documentation of the 1949 Western Roundtable on Modern Art organized by Douglas MacAgy. Participants included Gregory Bateson, Kenneth Burke, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Duchamp, George Boas, Mark Tobey, Darius Milhaud, Robert Goldwater, Andrew Ritchie, and Alfred Frankenstein* 
  • The Douglas MacAgy Papers (CSFA Director, 1945–1950). 
  • The Louise Dahl-Wolfe Collection of materials pertaining to her time as a student at the California School of Fine Arts. 
  • The John Collier, Jr. Collection of material relating to his time as a photography faculty member, 1958–1992. 
  • A collection of material documenting the SFAI Filmmaking Department. 

*These designated collections are available on microfilm through the Archives of American Art. 

The SFAI Archives are available to qualified researchers by appointment. Registration forms must be completed prior to use of materials. Reproduction of materials must be approved by the Archivist.