Aaron Siskind Library

The PRC Aaron Siskind Library has one of the largest collections of photography books in the region. We are proud to have almost 5,000 monographs, surveys, critical histories, and other photography-related publications in our catalogue. The PRC library is a non-circulating research library, serving as a resource for the local educational community, members and the public.

We regret we had to put the library in temporary storage upon our move to the Lesley Art + Design in Porter Square, Cambridge. We are actively investigating potential new locations for the library in the area. Although the books currently cannot be browsed, our card catalog is still available online.

When we are able to find a new permanent home for the library, we expect to substantially increase our holdings by acquiring recent publications. We also have about 2,000 additional volumes previously put in storage; these will also be cataloged and shelved in our new home.

Donations

Both modest and significant donations of books have always been an important way for the PRC library to expand its collection. Although the library is currently in storage, the PRC is interested in receiving donations of photo books in good condition, as we look forward to the day when we can open our doors again. We sometimes receive books that are already in our collection; we will hold occasional book sales of duplicates to raise money to support the library. We will acknowledge your gift with a letter, and book plates as well. Should you wish to donate, please email office@prcboston.org or call 617-975-0600 to discuss what you have. 

History 

The PRC’s library recognizes the career and contributions of photographer Aaron Siskind (1903–1991), a teacher and photographer who significantly influenced the photographic practice in New England. During the last twenty years of his life, Siskind was based in the Boston area and participated regularly in PRC programs and events. His gifts jumpstarted what has become a unique collection in the photography community. The Library was named in Siskind’s honor shortly after his death. 

The PRC has been amassing books from its early days in the 1970s. By December 1980 there were some 2,000 items in the collection. Today, with gifts and acquisitions, the collection numbers almost 5,000 volumes.