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[BKARTS] A Field of Owls

Book Arts & Letterpress Lists:

Florida Atlantic University announces its millionth volume: Book number 1,000,000 is a very special homegrown volume called "A Field of Owls: The Burrowing Owl Observed." It's a collection of three essays about one of FAU's original residents: the burrowing owl. This dimunitive bird lives under the ground, though it's often seen perched outside its burrow. Our campus is a burrowing owl sanctuary, and the burrowing owl is our school mascot.

The three essays were written by Dr. William Miller, director of FAU Libraries, Zita Cael, head of our Special Collections department (which includes the Jaffe Collection), and me. There's a foreword by FAU President Frank Brogan, and a description of the owl and its call from the Audubon Society Field Guide. The book is illustrated by Terri Berns, FAU Libraries' director of communications.

The book was printed letterpress by Seth Thompson (collections specialist at the Jaffe Collection) and myself at our press in Lake Worth, Florida, on handmade paper from the Twinrocker paper mill, in a limited edition of 100 copies, and the books are currently being bound in Eugene, Oregon, by bookbinder Paula Marie Gourley. Copy number one, which is the Libraries' millionth book, was specially bound by Gourley in full leather with marbled endpapers. It's currently on exhibit, along with other owl-themed books and prints, at the Jaffe Atrium Book Arts Gallery, through December. The book will be housed permanently at FAU's Jaffe Book Arts Collection.

Though the book is not for sale, Seth and I also printed a limited edition commemorative broadside for A Field of Owls. It, too, is letterpress printed on handmade paper. It features an excerpt from the book and the book's main illustration, tinted by hand, and is signed by the illustrator and the printers. It's a limited edition of 100 copies, available framed and unframed, and is your gift with a contribution to the Jaffe Collection Support Fund in amounts beginning at $75. Full details are at our website, and here's a link to the home page to get you started:


Come to think of it, I don't know if I've ever told you all know about our wonderful website. It was designed by Seth Thompson, and is constantly evolving. Currently on its pages you will find an online version of our Field of Owls exhibit, as well as information on the millionth book and the limited edition broadside. You can also download an e-version of the book so you can read the three essays, which I've grown rather fond of, even after printing them and being immersed in nothing but burrowing owl lore all these months. I think you'll like them, too. The website also features photographs and discussion of a small selection of books from the Jaffe Collection, a feature we will be adding to over time.


John Cutrone Book Arts Coordinator The Arthur and Mata Jaffe Collection: Books as Aesthetic Objects Florida Atlantic University Wimberly Library Boca Raton, Florida

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