Main Library · Special Collections · Artists’ Book Collection

Napoleon by Alice Balterman Napoleon
by Alice Balterman
Redressing the Sixties by Susan E. King Redressing the Sixties
by Susan E. King
St. Helen Book by Rhonda Gushee St. Helen Book
by Rhonda Gushee
Hand Leaf by Kate Kern Hand Leaf
by Kate Kern
Being Human by Barbara Yates Being Human
by Barbara Yates
Being Human by Barbara Yates Being Human
by Barbara Yates
A Collaboration: Mother and Child by Susan Brumm A Collaboration: Mother and Child
by Susan Brumm
A Collaboration: Mother and Child by Susan Brumm A Collaboration: Mother and Child
by Susan Brumm
Her Story by Susan Duncan Her Story
by Susan Duncan
Her Story by Susan Duncan The Thread of Meaning
by Anton Marc
Reflections on Golda Reflections on Golda
by Elliman and Hamoy
Train Log by Heidi Kyle Train Log
by Heidi Kyle

What are artists’ books? There are innumerable descriptions but we like the one used by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries: “‘Artist's books’ don’t look like most volumes found in a library. They are art objects in the form of books. As with painting or sculpture, much of the “story” in these books is visual. An idea may be illustrated in the book’s shape or binding, in the materials used, or in the artist’s choice of images. Words may be used to reinforce a message, but they are not always essential to the book’s meaning. Book artists often design, typeset, illustrate, print, and bind their own work, or at least supervise all these stages of production. Instead of paper, an artist may use clay, metal, or other materials. Artist’s books, recognizable yet new, can challenge us to explore innovative ways of seeing, learning, and understanding.”

About the Collection

Our collection of artists’ books grew out of Alice S. Plaut’s interest in livres d’artiste. In the late 1950s, Mrs. Plaut (who, at the time, was the Head of the Art and Music Department) recognized the importance of this fascinating new contemporary art form. She began actively collecting volumes of rare and important works, along with materials devoted to that era’s trends in modern art. In recognition of her leadership, the Plaut Fund was established in 1968. This fund is used to expand the Library’s collection of artists’ books.

Today, our collection includes the work of international, national, and local artists. Notable titles include:.

The collection is housed in the Main Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department. If you’d like to browse through some of the treasures in the collection, just stop by the department’s service desk—our staff will be happy to assist you!

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