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Books as Art (Special Collections): Timeline

This guide lists resources in Special Collections about the history of book creation, special binding and printing techniques, the development of illustrations, and artist's books.

List of Artist Books in Chronological Order

Artists’ books are meant as works of art that convey an idea through engagement with their form and sequence as much as by their content. Their artists are very involved in their production, and their readers are expected to interact with them physically as part of the experience. Some books open or are held together in unusual ways. Others feature handmade paper, often from material other than wood fiber. There are also books about bindings in general and making paper.


Ehon Tekagami. (Shunboku Ōoka) N7350 .N67 

Page from Ehon Tekagami. 

Japanese woodblock images, six volumes. Kōkidō

[A Pocket Hymnbook]. (John Wesley) BV459 .W47 1787  

covered with brown calico, laced on with twine

Faust; a Tragedy, by Goethe. (Theodore Martin, tr.) Folio PT2026 .F2 M37 1877 

cover is gilt-stamped, heavily embossed, and studded with bosses and medallions

Schriften Atlas: Eine Sammlung der Wichtigsten Schreib. (Ludwig Petzendorfer) Oversize NK3600 .P48 1898 

hundreds of examples of type, including flowers and non-Roman alphabets


The Wonderful Mallet. (Mrs. T. H. James) PN989 .J3 W6

creped paper pages, pen and ink drawings have been colored in

Daimyoduchū. (Zentarō Akiyoshi) ND 1053.5 .A4

cover held with little ivory pegs, accordion-folded, bright illustrations, tiny Japanese calligraphy

The Twelve Moneths. (Nicholas Breton) PR2214 .B4 A75 1927 

calendar months from 1928 through 1955 within wood engravings appropriate to that season

I'm Fairly Sorry, Says Peter Reel. (Peter Reel) PS3535 .E33812 1932

poems and woodblock prints by Bobrick. Shoestring Press

A Gil Blas in California. (Alexandre Dumas, Marguerite Eyer Wilbur) F865 .D882

small engravings at chapter heads

This House of Havoc. (Carl Purington Rollins) BJ1595 .R64

printed on handmade paper and bound with a tied cord by the Press of the Wooly Whale on the occasion of C.P. Rollins receiving the Medal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1941

Doom to Bloom. (Robert Frost, Ann & Joseph Blumenthal) PS3511 .R94 D6 1950

wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg. Spiral Press


Japanese Hand-made Paper. (Seikichiro Goto) TS1095 .J3 G6

on Japanese handmade paper, with colorful woodblock prints and captions describing the process, with 47 samples of paper by Seikichiro Goto tipped in at the back

The Jolly Beggars: A Cantata. (Robert Burns) PR4311 .A1 1963

handmade paper, red print headings and colophon, music tucked into back pocket

De-Coll/age-Happenings. (Wolf Vostell) PN3205 .V613 

a collection of folded posters, a package of antacid on Mylar, and a piece of matzo in a wooden box. Something Else Press

Flosculi Sententiarum: Printers, Flowers Moralised. (Leonard Baskin) Z276 .F55

mottos in various languages decorated with type ornaments designed by Bruce Rogers, on paper handmade in 1905

The Well Wherein a Deer's Head Bleeds: a Play for Winter Solstice. (Robert Kelly) PS3521 .E4322 W44

one of the annual Christmas greeting booklets from Black Sparrow Press

Tale of Genji Scroll. (Ivan I Morris, Murasaki Shikibu) Folio ND1059.6.G4 G413 

facsimile of a 12th century scroll, paper has embedded flowers, silver highlights, and other luxury features

That Other Alone. (William Stafford) PR3537 .T143 T48 1973

printed on botanical drying paper, ferns in cover, some embossing

The Book Beautiful and the Binding as Art. (Peter A Wick, Eleanor M Garvey, Mark Sexton) N7433.3 .B66 1983

exhibit catalog with plates of beautiful bindings

Master Humphrey's Clock. (Charles Dickens, George Cattermole, Hablot Knight Browne) PR4572 .M3 1984

Dickens' work reprinted in original, weekly format, each issue a separate fascicle

Double Readings. (Buzz. Spector) N7433.4 .S741 A63 1987

Early American papermaking: two treatises on manufacturing techniques. (James Cutbush, John Bidwell, Henry Morris) TS1095 .U6C84 1990

sample of Gilpin paper and illustrations of watermarks, 1829 treatise and modern commentary

Buchaltärchen = Livre-autel. (Otto Mazal, Dagmar Thoss, Phillip, Duke of Burgundy) ND3380 .B82 1991 v.1

The Tarantella Rose: Six Poems. (William Everson, Donna & Peter Thomas) PS3509 .V65 T37 1995

paper by Peter Thomas, illustrations cut and paper hand bound by Donna Thomas. Anchor & Acorn Press

Spirit Land. (Gary Paul Nabhan, et al.) Oversize N7433.3 .S64 1996

Tall and narrow, handmade paper, poems about Oregon and Arizona. Cabbagehead Press.

Desire and the Importance of Failure. (Shelagh Keeley, Debra Esch) Oversize N7433.4 .K436 D4 1996

Illustrations of transitions and containers, accompanied by a poem by Debra Esch. Nexus Press

ATlanta 1945+50. (Shinro Ohtake) N7433.4 .O415 A8 1996

bright collages with Japanese text and photographs glued in. Nexus Press

Meditations at the Edge: Paper and Spirit. (Dorothy Field) TS1094 .F54 1996

text on paper from hemp fiber, illustrations on paper from Kim Yeong Yon's kozo fiber; paper, letterpress, and binding by Donna & Peter Thomas

Flag Book: Interaction Towards a Better World. (Fernando Lopes) N7433.4 .L65 F45 1996

diagonally folded, origami-like pages with flags from the countries represented at the 1996 Olympics

I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere... (Damien Hirst, et al.) N7433.4 .H57 A4 1997

illustrations of Damien Hirst's controversial work. Monacelli Press

Eco Songs: a Song Cycle. (Dimitrije Bužarovski, et al.) N7433.3 .B89 1998

handmade paper from fibers sent from around the world. Pyracantha Press

Knowledge of the World. (Frédéric Bruly Bouabré) N7433.4 .B78 K6 1998

box with postcard-type picture cards about the Atlanta Olympic Games. Nexus Press

Paper from Plants. (Peter R. Thomas, Donna S. Thomas) TS1124.5 .T56 1999

a paper sample book with 20 examples alternating with pages explaining them

TM. (John L. Risseeuw) N7433.4 .R596 T62 1999

to honor Thelonius Monk, uncut pages show how folded sheet corresponds to pages. Cabbagehead Press

The Buddha Scroll. (Guanpeng Ding, Thomas F. Cleary) ND1049 .T556 A66

accordion-folded scroll with sketches and some Chinese calligraphy


Half Dome: A Climbing History. (Donna and Peter Thomas) F868 .Y6T56 2000

balsa covers, no spine

Innovative Printmaking on Handmade Paper. (Eric Denker, et al.) TS1124.5 .D46 2003

20 specimens of handmade paper in folders that include information about the artists

Between the Sheets. (Buzz Spector) N7433.4 .S741 B56 2003

Pancha Tantra. (Walton Ford, Bill Buford, Benedikt Taschen) Folio ND237 .F4915 P36 2007

bound collection of Walton Ford's watercolors. Taschen Press

[Cortona Clothesline]. (Katie Gonzalez) N7433.4 .G6475 C67 2008

Nox. (Anne Carson) PS3553 .A7667 N69 2010

facsimile of a book the author created in response to her brother's death, incorporating an elegy by Catullus. New Directions

Deeply Honored. (Fred Hagstrom) Oversize N7433.4 .H2 D3 2010

enlarged photos and letters about a Japanese-American soldier. Strong Silent Type Press

When I First Arrived in Baghdad. (Stan Honda, Fred Hagstrom) DS79.762 .H65 2011

metal cover, silk screened, half-tone photos and brief captions. Agence France Presse

Boom!: A Summary of the Paper Landmine Print Project. (John Risseeuw) UG490 .R577 2011

[Isosceles Romance]. (Katie Gonzalez) N7433.4 .G6475 I76 2012

Cosmology. (Helen Hiebert, Carl Adamshick, Diane Jacobs) N7433.4 .H533 C67 2012

S (Ship of Theseus). (J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst) PS3601 .B7367 S47 2013

story told through marginalia and associated items held throughout the book

Migrant. (Jose Manuel Mateo) PQ7298.423 .A85 M5413 2014

accordion-folded from top to bottom, revealing a single image with story along the left side

Selections from Elegy for Ira H.: [Exit from Appalachia]. (Forrest B. Johnson, Frank Brannon) PS3610 .O35 S45 2014

Bird & Diz. (Gary Golio, Ed Young) ML3929 .G59 2015

accordion-folded, story continues on back, magnetic clasp

Messenger Boat. (Wade Brickhouse) N7433.4 .B7513 M47 2015

William Morris Manuscript - The Odes of Horace. (a facsimile published by the Bodleian Library) PA6395 .G53 2016

one of Morris's experiments with creating illuminated manuscripts similar to those from medieval times

Piute Creek. (Gary Snyder, Donna Thomas, Peter Thomas) PS3569 .N88 P54 2017

Homage to Humanity. (Jimmy Nelson, Donna Karan, Mundiya Kepanga) Oversize GN380 .N456 2018

book with supplemental VR glasses and companion phone application that allow pages to become interactive with videos corresponding to the book's photographs

Capital Arch. (Tatiana Potts) N7433.4 .P68 C37 2018