The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 11, Number 7
Oct 1987


Special Collections on Books & Paper

The list that follows is not complete, but it is long enough to be useful. It was compiled from one reference book on subject collections and from the files in the Abbey Newsletter office. Additions to the list will be published as they become known. There was an article on book arts collections in the Fall 1983 Guild of Book Workers Newsletter (#32), and one on museums of the book in the Designer Bookbinders Newsletter #44, but neither was consulted to compile this list.

1. Melbert B. Cary, Jr., Collection of Printing Arts, at the BIT School of Printing Library, 65 Plymouth Ave., Rochester, NY 14608. Includes press books and fine bindings. An article on RIT's purchase of Bernard Middleton's library is on p. 69 of the December 1983 Abbey Newsletter. (The books, however, are to stay with him as long as he needs them.)

2. Columbia University's Graphic Arts Collection is fairly extensive, though it does not have many recent acquisitions. It is housed in the Butler Library, in the Library Service Library, and is open to the public with certain restrictions; but check first (212/280-3543).

3. Dalhousie University's Cockerell Collection contains 140 volumes that have representative bindings of the 15th to 18th centuries assembled by Douglas Cockerell. Open to the public for reference use only. (University Library, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4H8, 902/424-3615).

4. Grolier Club of New York (47 E. 60th St., New York, NY 10022, 212/838-6690) has a 70,000-volume library that includes a special collection on historical and fine book bindings. Open to the public with restrictions.

5. Guild of Book Workers Library, for members' use only, is in the process of being transferred from Boston to the University of Iowa. Books are sent by mail to members who cannot visit the library personally.

6. Library of Congress, Preservation Office (Madison Bldg., Rm. G-21, Washington, DC 20540, 202/287-5213). 1500 books and 50 journals on preservation and paper technology. Open to the public.

7. Newberry Library (60 W. Walton St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312/943-9090). This library is said to have an extensive collection on book arts.

8. Northwestern University, Rare Book Room (exact address not at hand, but it is in Evanston, IL and phone # is 312/ 492-3635). They bought the Cuneo Press's hand binding equipment (AN, Aug. 1979) and have been collecting books on bookbinding assiduously for years.

9. Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (Box 105113, Atlanta, GA 30348, 404/394-6130). The library has 2000 books and 100 subscriptions on pulp, paper and related subjects. Reference and copying services; open to the public.

10. University of Iowa Library (Iowa City, Iowa 52242, 319/335-5868). The Guild of Book Workers library will be housed here soon.

11. University of North Carolina, Wilson Library C24A, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (919/962-1143). The collection includes books on the history of the book and the George Baer Collection of Fine Bindings. (Other Baer bindings went to Northwestern University's Rare Book Room, along with the equipment and bindings that Bill Anthony did while he was at Cuneo.)

12. University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Canter, P.O. Box 7219, Austin, TX 78713 (512/471-5495). Both Carolyn Horton and Tommy Thompson's libraries have come to the HRC, which already had a good collection on books.

13. University of Toronto, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (120 St. George St., Toronto, ON, Canada M5S lAS, 416/978-5285). Includes the L. B. Duff Collection and reference collections of works on the arts of the book; Birdsall Collection of binders' finishing tools, 18th and 19th centuries (3000 tools); and special card catalogs on bookplates, bindings and printers. Emrys Evans is the conservator and binder there.

14. Wellesley College, Margaret Clapp Library, Special Collections, Wellesley, NA 02181 (617/235-0320). Their Book Arts Collection has 4600 volumes and is open to the public.

15. Yale University, Arts of the Book Collection (Sterling Memorial Library, New Haven, CT 06520, 203/436-2200). Gay Walker is the curator here. There are 12,000 books total, some of which are on bookbinding. Open to the public.

Corrections and additions are invited, and will be published in future issues.

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