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Guide to Fine Press and Artists' Books

Early and modern fine press, contemporary artists' books in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Fine Press and Artists' Books in Special Collections

SCARC has a small collection of early and modern fine press materials, dating from the Arts and Crafts Movement in the late 19th century to modern private presses such as Pennyroyal and Arion. Early exemplars from the Kelmscott Press and Roycroft Press are included, along with other notable fine and private presses of the 20th century, including the Grabhorn Press and Perishable Press. Several examples from more popular presses are also present, from the Limited Edition Club and Imprint Society. The collection also includes works from important printmakers and artists, such as pochoir portfolios from E. Seguy and Sonia Delaunay. Wordless (woodcut) novels from Lynd Ward and Franz Masereel are also present. While the lines between fine press, livre d'artiste, and artists' books genres are difficult to place, the collection lacks examples of livre d'artiste in its traditional form.

SCARC also has a small collection of artists' books by book artists across the country, mostly produced within the last 20 years. Within this small collection, there are several examples of books often noted as proto-artists' books, including titles by Marcel Duchamp, Edward Ruscha, and Sol LeWitt. Our small collection includes well-established book arts presses such as the Janus Press and the Flying Fish Press, as well as newer arrivals to the scene such as the Small Craft Advisory Press. A number of different structures are represented (including accordian bindings, sculptural, and moving parts), and a number of different printing processes are included the collection, including letterpress, etching, and lithographic.

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Other materials in SCARC:

The Fine Press Ephemera Collection consists of printed materials from over forty fine presses and printers. Consisting of prospectuses, broadsides, and other ephemera, this collection provides examples of the typical output of 20th century American fine presses.

Full List of Artists' Books and Fine Press in SCARC:
(To see full records for these titles, search the title in 1Search.)