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Artists' Books, Altered Books, & Book Art (Tri-Co): Special Collections

A guide to artists' books, book art, and related material in the Tri-College Libraries.

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore has an extensive collection of artist's books and book art in their Rare Book Room.  Their Book Arts and Private Press Collection contains more than 6,000 items from nearly 1,000 different presses, and "strives to represent all aspects of the physical book including bookbinding, typography, letterpress and offset printing, hand papermaking, illustration, and book design."   Click here To learn more about Swarthmore's Book Arts and Private Press Collection.  The Rare Book Room is accessible by appointment.  Contact Swarthmore's McCabe library at, or by phone at 610-328-8493. 

Exploring Swarthmore's Collection

To begin exploring Swarthmore's enormous collection of artist's books, altered books, and book art, check out the following subject searches:

"Artists' Books"  [limited to books in Swarthmore's Special Collections]

"Altered Books" [limited to books in Swarthmore's Special Collections]

"Books in Art" [limited to books in Swarthmore's Special Collections]

Haverford College

Haverford's Special Collections has a very small collection of original artist's books, chiefly composed of nine works by Belgian artist Christine Kermaire, along with a handful of works by Yasao Yamamoto, Emily Martin, Heather Weston, and Clarissa Sligh.  While currently small, the collection offers students a convenient opportunity to physical explore original artist's books.  To use the collection, visit Special Collections on the 2nd tier of Magill Library anytime from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.

Selections from Haverford's Collection

Haverford has 9 works by Christine Kermaire

Bryn Mawr College

While Bryn Mawr's Special Collections specializes in collections of fine printing, it also has a small but varied collection of original artist's books.  Easily accessible to Haverford students, the collection presents a good opportunity to further explore original artist's books.   To use the collection, visit Special Collections on the 2nd floor of Canaday Library, Monday through Friday from 9:00am-4:30pm (open until 8:00 pm on Wednesdays).

Selections from Bryn Mawr's Collection