Documenting the history of book arts
The Book Arts Collection in the Special Collections Department contains books documenting the history and development of printing, materials that exemplify the contemporary art and craft of fine bookmaking, and books dealing specifically with the various aspects of book design and production. The collection includes printed books from the 15th-20th centuries, including works printed by the early European masters of the craft. Contemporary fine bookmaking is represented by an extensive collection of books produced by presses throughout the United States and Europe. This part of the collection includes traditional letterpress books with classical typographic design and illustration, along with more avant-garde, non-traditional work and artists' books. The collection provides a wide range of books representing the work of significant presses, designers, typographers, and illustrators, in an effort to give students and researchers the best examples of the contemporary art and craft of bookmaking.
Design and production
Books dealing with the design and production aspects of bookmaking can be found in the collection. These deal with subjects such as book design, printing technique and processes, typography, bookbinding, illustration, papermaking, paper decoration, letterforms, and calligraphy. The Book Arts Collection supports instruction and research. The collection is used extensively in the teaching of the book arts classes which are part of the Art Department curriculum and taught at the Black Rock Press. The materials are also used by the Black Rock Press for demonstrations, workshops, tours, and exhibitions. Classes in history, English, and journalism also use the collection for study and research.
Finding the books
Information about the books can be found in the library's online catalog. Books can be located by subject (e.g., printing--history, type and typefounding, book design), and also by title, author, specific press, printer, designer, bookbinder, and typeface. In-depth information and access to the collection is available upon request.