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Artists' Books and Fine Press Books

The area of book arts and history of the book is a particular strength of the collection.  Special Collections has hundreds of artists’ books as well as a large collection of fine press work, including over 400 titles produced by the Limited Editions Club and around 400 miniature books.  The collection also has extensive materials related to typography and graphic design.  For the field of book history, the collection includes 15 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, 25 incunables in complete codices, 250 medieval manuscript leaves, and 100 incunable leaves.  Important printers and typographers from throughout the hand press period are well-represented in the collection.

  • Books and ephemera produced by hundreds of private presses, from the Kelmscott Press to the current day
    A growing collection of contemporary artists’s books, including works from the Janus Press, the Women’s Studio Workshop, and others

How to Use the Collection

With a few exceptions, the collections can be accessed and requested through the library catalog. Finding aids for individual collections are linked on this website. Materials are available for use in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular hours. Materials do not circulate. 

Finding Aids for Artists' Books and Fine Press Books

Fine Press Materials in Special Collections.

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Scope and Content A fine press is a printing establishment that adheres to particularly high standards in terms of the skill of the workers, the…

Helen Montgomery Jenkins Collection.

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Biographical Note Helen Montgomery Jenkins (1913-2013) was born in Topeka, Kansas, and graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.A. in…

Limited Editions Club Collection.

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Historical Note The Limited Editions Club was founded by George Macy in 1929 to publish finely printed, illustrated, and bound editions of literary…

Press Ephemera Collection.

Scope and Contents The collection contains material on private and specialty presses, dating primarily from the 1980s to the present. Many items in…

Rare Books

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The Rare Books Collection is the default designation for materials in Special Collections that are acquired as individual items. Like Special…

Related Exhibits

Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance by African American Women

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The twenty-one books in the exhibit represent how invaluable the Harlem Renaissance was for African American children’s literature.

Collective Voices

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October 2 – November 19, 2020 ​ George Caleb Bingham Gallery, Fine Arts Building, School of Visual Studies, University of Missouri...

Engraved Throughout

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This exhibition features engraved books housed in Special Collections & Rare Books, and includes some of the finest engraved books...

Kindred Kingdoms

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This exhibit invites you to look at kinship in the kindred kingdoms of nature, placing man in relation to flora...

Selected Items

Long stitch

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Series Three – Long Stitches and Chain-stitches

Head lines : worlds warning / Bea Nettles

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1 folded sheet (8 panels) : color illustrations ; 48 x 22 cm folded to 12 x 22 cm, sleeve 13 x 22 cm

Coptic binding with pastepaper boards

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Series Eight – Coptic Binding

Animal friends : a cautionary tale to exercise the imagination

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8 leaves : chiefly illustrations ; 32 cm

[Luoma, Yi Tiger Festival] / [Colette Fu]

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1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 42 cm

Sewing on Tapes for a Case Binding

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Series Nine – Casing In

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