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Special Collections Center: Searching the Collections

Contact Information

Questions? Just Ask!

Janelle Rebel
Digital Curation and Special Collections Librarian
(941) 359-7583

Alexandra Vargas-Fournier, CA
(941) 309-4055

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Search the Library Catalog

How to Search the Catalog for Special Collections Items

Start your Search at the library website ( or in the widget above. Leave the text field blank, then click on the Search button to open the exlibris Simple Search interface. You have several options: 

  • You can search by Keyword, Author, Title, etc. then limit the location to Special Collections.
    • ​Tip: Once you click on a title that interests you, some of our records give you the option to View images.
  • If you'd like to see a list of all our artists' books, simply type in artists books specimens as a Subject search.
  • If you'd like to see a list of all of our special collections materials, type in spcol as a Keyword Anywhere search.
    • ​Tip: Use the Sort By feature to manage the results
  • If you'd like to search within our artists' book collection only, click on the Advanced Search tab in the catalog. In the first text field type artists books specimens with Subject selected. Use the fields below to combine additional terms relevant to your topic with the operators AND, OR, or NOT. Click Search.
    • Example: artists books specimens [Subject] AND moon [Keyword Anywhere]
  • You can also do other types of complex searches using the Advanced Search tab in the catalog. If you want to find books of poetry for example, do a Keyword search for poem? combined with the Boolean operator OR plus poet? to retrieve all the items that contain a variant of those words, e.g. poem, poems, poet, poetry.
    • ​Example: poem? OR poet?
    • Tip: Use a question mark to truncate any term.

Collection Highlights

Artists’ books and artists’ publication projects
Over 1,100 titles and growing!

  • Handmade and finely-printed books: e.g. Islam Aly, Hannah Batsel, Julie Chen, Fred Hagstrom, Karen Kunc, Leah Mackin, Heidi Neilson, Women’s Studio Workshop, San Francisco Center for the Book
  • Democratic multiples: e.g. Warja Lavater, Louise Neaderland, Clarissa Sligh, Visual Studies Workshop Press, Tauba Auerbach, Christian Boltanski, Bruno Munari, Visionaire
  • Photo-bookworks: e.g. Helen Douglas, Michael Snow, Sophie Calle, Joachim Schmid, Philip Zimmerman, Dayanita Singh, Kyoko Matsunaga, Graciela Iturbide
  • Small press: e.g. Ian Hamilton Finlay/Wildhawthorn Press, Coracle Press, Cuneiform Press
  • Zines: e.g. Eloisa Aquino, Daniel Gorostiaga, J. Morrison, Sofia Szamosi

Contemporary fine art prints

  • Works by Ed Ruscha, Sue Coe, Gladys Nilsson, Melissa Meyer, Nancy Fried, Alan E. Cober, and others

Histories of book illustration collection 

  • Works by Kate Greenaway, N.C. Wyeth, Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott, Howard Pyle, Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, Charles Dana Gibson, Lynd Ward, Rockwell Kent, John Tenniel, and others

Histories of moving images collection of optical toys and parlor entertainments

  • ​Phenakistoscopes, praxinoscopes, thaumatropes, stereoscopes, and flip books