Hands-On Object-Based Research
Gather ideas for a creative project, engage in scholarly research, or discover something new. Gain hands-on experience utilizing original source materials in our reading room, and explore our unique collections through an active exhibition program and campus events. As material objects with specific histories, the items in the Special Collections Center can be a great way to explore questions about conception, production, circulation, readership, and cultural histories.
We have a growing and diverse survey of contemporary artists' publication projects from the 1960s to the present; a study collection of broadsides and prints; rare and semi-rare books from the mid 18th century to the present; and more.
You'll find: broadsides, democratic multiples, documentation of time-based and performance projects, engravings, exhibition publications, experimental writing, fine press books, flip books, handmade editions, historic facsimiles, parlor toys, photo-bookworks, prints, rare books, and zines. See our Collection Highlights for examples.
Open to Everyone
Open to students, staff, faculty, art and design practitioners, and the general public. If you’d like to schedule a research consultation, class visit, or group tour please contact our Center staff in advance.
Faculty Resources & Curricular Support
As a teaching resource for faculty, the Center can be booked for class visits, critique sessions, performances, and extracurricular activities. See Using the Center for details. The Special Collections Librarian provides orientations to the collections, pulls pertinent resources in advance of a class visit, suggests ways of incorporating materials into project briefs and assignments, designs activities utilizing the collections, and leads exhibition tours/discussions. Interested faculty/classes are also invited to collaborate with the Center on exhibitions and special projects.
The Kitchen Is Now Open
On view August 12 through October 18, 2019
The Kitchen Is Now Open looks at the legacy of the cookbook as an expressive genre and the forms it has taken in the hands of modern and contemporary artists. The exhibition contains a selection of artists’ cookbooks, recipes, and food scores from 1945–2019. Readers will find recipe ideas—practical, delicious, humorous, pointed—for every course. More info.
Open late for Art Walk on Friday, October 18, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.! The exhibit will expand into the reading room with additional publications for readers to browse.
This exhibition will be traveling to the Venice Public Library Dec. 3-30, 2019.