*New Hours (Fall and Spring Semester)*
Monday - Friday: By appointment from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., no drop-ins
Saturday - Sunday: Closed
Reading Room Occupancy: 3 people (2 researchers + 1 staff member max)
Ringling College of Art + Design
2nd floor of the Alfred R. Goldstein Library
2700 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234
Our educational mission is to introduce our publics to diverse voices and ideas that challenge staid constructions of the canon and the master work. The Center routinely juxtaposes the familiar and widely recognized with the lesser known and the underrepresented. Through our work, we hope that the next generation of thinkers and makers will draw inspiration from a nuanced web of references.
Hands-On Object-Based Research
At the Special Collections Center, you can gather ideas for a creative project, engage in scholarly research, or discover something new. Gain hands-on experience utilizing primary sources in our reading room, and explore our unique collections through an active exhibition program and campus events. From social justice activism to international folktales to the latest in fabrication techniques, the material objects at the Center can be a great way to explore questions about conception, production, circulation, readership, and cultural histories.
The collections namely consist of artists’ books and photo-bookworks from the 1960s to the present; illustrated books and periodicals from the 1700s forward; historic and contemporary prints and printed matter from the 1450s forward; specialty archives and collections; and a new institutional archive.
You'll find: broadsides, campus materials, 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, photographs, pop-up books, prints, rare books, zines, and more. See our Collection Highlights (new!) for details.
Open to Everyone
Open to students, staff, faculty, art and design practitioners, and the general public. Our Center functions as a reading room, classroom, print study center, and gallery. To schedule an individual appointment, 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 utilized for class visits, critique sessions, performances, and extracurricular activities. For class visits, see How to Use the Center for a brief overview and the SC Educator Guide (new!) for more information about our educational offerings, lesson plan ideas, and ways to browse and learn about the collections. Interested faculty/classes are also invited to collaborate with the Center on Exhibitions and Special Projects.
VIS / BIB
Exhibition on view January 25 to April 30, 2021
Video preview online
This exhibition theorizes and recognizes experimental subject bibliography—projects that explore artifactual, intellectual, spatial, and design possibilities simultaneously—as an artistic and poetic practice. It hones in on a niche territory that has blossomed in recent history, reviewing fifteen compelling visio-biblio-centric projects undertaken by artists, writers, designers, and other cultural workers.
Researching and selecting works to include in a bibliography is an act of model-making, of knowledge production. Partial knowledges come together in a bibliography to form an evolving body of knowledge, to make a new model.
We are undoubtedly at a critical juncture in our collective narrative. Destabilizing arrangements of resources challenge canonical norms and counter algorithmic recommendation loops. The visual bibliographic model, like other theoretical models, has an important role to play as “a co-producer of reality” to use a phrase of Olafur Eliasson.
From artists’ books and online media to stack interventions and reading room installations, the makers gathered here are imagining and enacting new realities.
This exhibition is a small part of an ongoing research project and forthcoming monograph Bibliographic Performances & Surrogate Readings (The Everyday Press, UK) that is expressly dedicated to surveying artistic and poetic practices in bibliography, defining a new art historical genre, and learning from a host of diverse voices.
Image: Cauleen Smith, Human_3.0 Reading List 2015-2016, designed by David Giordano (Chicago: Corbett vs. Dempsey, 2016).