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

The collection is available to all users in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular hours.  Materials do not circulate. Rare books may be used in the Special Collections Reading Room during service hours or by appointment.

With a few exceptions, the collection can be accessed through the MERLIN library catalog.  Advice on using MERLIN to search Special Collections can be found here.

Users are encouraged to contact staff regarding availability of the manuscript and art collections; however, no advance notice is required for use. Photocopies and scans are permitted subject to the condition of the material and copyright regulations.

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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Helen Montgomery Jenkins (1913-2013) was born in Topeka, Kansas, and graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.A. in Journalism in 1935. She…

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 Book Collection

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The Rare Book 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.

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

Anna Karenina. English

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"This edition...consists of fifteen hundred copies...illustrated and designed by Nikolai Piskariov. This copy is numbered 478 and is signed by…

A True & Exact History

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"A True & Exact History (Poinciana Paper Press, 2018) is an erasure of one of the most formative descriptions of the English Caribbean in the…

The Square

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"Egyptian uprising called for democratic reform. Tahrir Square in Cairo became the focal point and the most effective symbol of the protests in…

Lysistrata. English

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"Copy number ... of this edition of Lysistrata. Fifteen hundred copies were printed for members of The Limited Editions Club from the etchings and…

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