The libraries seek to support research in the literary, artistic, and cinematic aspects of graphic novels and selected comics.
Graphic novels-a recent term-have been defined as "book length collections of sequential art containing a single story, or a set of interrelated stories," although many continue to refer to such compilations simply as comics, due to their panel-art format. The libraries' collection will concentrate on titles that have won awards or otherwise received critical and/or scholarly notice-with a specific focus on the role of New York City as setting or inspiration-as well as secondary scholarly literature.
Since the late 1990s, graphic novels have become an increasingly greater influence on film both in content and style. In addition, critical recognition of graphic novels has increased dramatically.
The collection supports the needs of undergraduate, MA/MS and Ph.D. students, the teaching faculty, post-docs, and researchers in the areas of literature, art, film, and cultural history.