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Visual Media

SMIL owns more than 20,000 DVDs and VHS video recordings and subscribes to an equivalent number of video streaming files. These have been selected to support classroom presentations, student assignments, research, and personal education. The titles have been acquired from a broad range of publishers and reflect the University’s diverse course offerings. Descriptive information for SMIL media titles is in the YUL online catalogue. Search options include a basic keyword search followed by format selection, or an advanced keyword search with pre-set format choices. The DVD and VHS titles can be reserved in advance for classroom presentations, or signed out for individual viewing; video streaming files are accessible from on campus and off campus locations.

Please note: SMIL video titles are not licensed for public performance showings like campus club events. If you want to show a movie for entertainment purposes or other non-educational purposes a licence for the performance may be required from a collective society such as Criterion or Audio-Cine.

Contact Criterion here:
Contact Audio-Cine here:

SMIL also maintains a large media archive which is especially strong in Canadian film, artist’s films and videos, Canadian dance history, and the history of A.I.D.S. Descriptive information for this material is in the YUL online catalogue; these items can be viewed in-house. The media archive has evolved through special purchases and donations. The artist’s film and video collection was initiated in 1973 when the Faculty of Fine Arts provided funds to acquire films by painters Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland, and Jack Chambers. External donation sources have included the National Film Board of Canada, National Science Library, Labatt Breweries of Canada, Toronto Public Library, Dance in Canada, Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, and the A.I.D.S Committee of Toronto. SMIL also works closely with the University’s Archives and Special Collections to facilitate research on ASC holdings by providing viewing copies of works associated with composers Louis Applebaum and James Tenney, and filmmakers James Beveridge, Norman Campbell, John Kastner, Terrence Macartney-Filgate, Bruce Pittman, Harry Rasky, Rhombus Media, Gail Singer, John N. Smith, and Joyce Wieland.

Click here to browse streaming video collections.

Music Collection

York has licenses for Naxos, Music Online, and DRAM, all of which makes up about 130,000 albums. Record labels are in the hundreds, including Albany, Arhoolie, Blue Note, Concord, CRI, Document, EMI Classics, Fantasy, Folkways, Hänssler Classic, Hyperion, JSP, Lyrichord, Mode, Naxos, New World, Prestige, Rounder, Verve, and Virgin Classics (see the music research guide for links to these collections). These collections are for streaming only, however, and do not include the many popular music genres or box set compilations with extensive documentation that are kept in SMIL. The library houses about 25,000 LPS and 20,000 CDs, including substantial holdings in jazz and popular music, much of which is generally not collected by university libraries. Of particular strength is the collection of jazz and blues recordings, pieced together from various collectors and including numerous out-of-print or small-label records, with the additional value of liner notes and album cover artwork. We have also been building a large collection of heavy metal music through a local collector, encompassing a vast range of subgenres and independent labels.

Music books and scores are located on the fourth floor of Scott Library.

Click here to browse streaming music collections.