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Artists' Books at Emory University

Emory Libraries started collecting artists’ books in earnest in the 1990s. Sandra Still, a former English subject librarian, was instrumental in the initiative. English and Art History subject librarians partnered with the Stuart A. Rose Library to fund a foundational collection a small part of which has been digitized through this showcase website. Today the Libraries own over 900 artists’ books and regularly purchases more from publishers, vendors, and artists to support research and curricular needs.

Highlights of our artists' books collection include the entire collected works of Erica Van Horn, and, by extension, a large part of the Coracle Press archive. Additionally, we have a large collection of miniature books created by Carol Cunningham with Sunflower Press, as well as a number of artists' books by artists such as Jan Kellett and Bea Nettles. We also have an extensive number of artists' books produced by Nexus Press, Granary Books, and Caligula Books.

Our artists' books collection has served as inspiration for multiple campus exhibits including, "Artists’ Books and Archives from Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Nexus Contemporary Art Center, and Nexus Press" in 2015, "Shakespeare Artists' Books" in 2016, "Common Thread: Women's Experiences Through Artists' Books" in 2018/19, and, more recently, "Voices from the Other Side" which will be on display from January 30th 2020 on the 1st floor of the Robert W. Woodruff Library and will feature a number of artists' books created by inmates at the Phillips State Prison in GA as part of the Common Good Atlanta Educational Program. The two current exhibits available through this digital showcase demonstrate the many different pedagogical uses of artists' books. The "Voices from the Other Side" began as a classroom exercise exploring the construction of exhibit spaces, and "From Trauma to Cosmeceuticals..." catalogs the numerous student contributions made in a freshman seminar taught by Prof. Amy Elkins in 2013 entitled: "Literature, Space, and Gender.”

In order to explore the full collection of artists' books contained in our archives simply navigate to the Emory FindingAids database and use the search bar to search Artists' Books. Alternately, you can use our DiscoverE catalog to explore individual artists' books by typing in: Artists' Books - Specimens. Our current artists' books expert at Emory is Elizabeth Shoemaker who works as a Rare Book Cataloger in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archive, and Rare Book Library.