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Special Collections Center: Welcome

Hours & Location

Fall Hours

Monday - Friday: Open by appointment 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., no drop-ins
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Ringling College of Art + Design
2nd floor of the Alfred R. Goldstein Library
2700 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234

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Contact Us

Schedule a viewing appointment

Sign-up for a research consultation

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

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

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New Items in Special Collections

The Dragon King's Daughter by Jaroslav Serych cover image
Ideas in pictures #5 by Colins Matthes
The Anne Anderson Fairy Tale Book by Anne Anderson cover image
47 Undertakings by Pedro Reyes cover image
Georges Méliès: The Magician of Cinema Flipbook by Flipboku cover image
PL8SPK by Daniel Nussbaum cover image
Daphnis and Chloe by Longus cover image
Land Back / Water Is Life bandana by PM Press image
Storm Surge by Joseph Sanders cover image

Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center

The Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center specializes in artists’ publication projects, prints, and illustrated rare books.

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. 

Collection Types
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 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.

Upcoming Event


Making Lesbians Visible: Recovering the Social History of the 1990s Lesbian Comics Boom

Special lecture by Margaret Galvan, RBS-Mellon SoFCB Fellow, and Assistant Professor of Visual Rhetoric, Department of English, University of Florida

Friday, September 9, 2022 • 3:30-4:45 pm
Orkin Lecture Hall, 113, Alfred R. Goldstein Library

In the early 1990s, lesbian and bisexual women cartoonists were befriending each other and supporting each other’s professional endeavors, facilitating an unprecedented boom in lesbian comics publishing. Cartoonist Andrea Natalie founded the Lesbian Cartoonists' Network (LCN) in 1990 and started publishing a quarterly newsletter that circulated among an international network of women. The newsletter allowed the women varied ways to connect, which they carried over into their comics-heavy zines where they wrote each other fan letters, spoofed each other's characters, and lovingly reviewed each other's comics. Due to the grassroots, small press nature of these publishing venues, many of these comics are inaccessible today and the women’s important contributions to documenting changing social mores around sexuality and simultaneously celebrating and critiquing lesbian culture has been forgotten. Through archival research in grassroots archives, this talk recovers the social history of this fervent community building.

Margaret Galvan is Assistant Professor of Visual Rhetoric in the Department of English at the University of Florida. Her archivally-informed research examines how visual culture operates within feminist and queer social movements and includes a forthcoming first book, In Visible Archives (University of Minnesota Press). In 2021-2022, she was in residence at the Stanford Humanities Center as the Distinguished Junior External Fellow researching a second book about how communities of LGBTQ cartoonists innovated comics through grassroots formats. Her publications on comics in social movements can be found in journals like American Literature, Archive Journal, Australian Feminist Studies, iNKS, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and WSQ.

Organized by Janelle Rebel, RBS-Mellon SoFCB Fellow. Co-sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School and the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center and Alfred R. Goldstein Library at Ringling College of Art and Design.

Note: This lecture will be recorded and made available on our website after the event.

Current Exhibition


Tarot Visions: Illuminating Decks by Womxn Artists
August 17 through November 23, 2022
Art Walk: Friday, November 11, 2022 from 5-8 pm & artist's talk by special guest Sabrina Hughes @ 6:30 pm

Tarot Visions showcases the art of tarot decks created by womxn artists using photography, collage, painting, and illustration. Fascinating and influential tarot decks from the past one hundred years are on display, with an emphasis on recent decks by living artists.

Newly released reference sources on tarot art published by Taschen, Abrams, Quarto, and Frances Lincoln allow readers the opportunity to discern the contributions of womxn artists upon the imagery of tarot.* While the history of tarot dates back to 1441 or possibly as early as 1420, the internationally popular Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck (originally published in 1909) with illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith has influenced generations of tarot artists, including many in this exhibition.**

The assembly of decks included here is not exhaustive but one entrée into an illuminating, and ongoing story about womxn artists in the world of tarot. Discover symbolically intriguing decks intended for divination or self-discovery, diverse visual interpretations of the archetypes and emblems on the major and minor arcana cards, and the creators behind the decks in their own words. Tarot Visions gathers work by: Pamela Colman Smith (1878–1951), Tillie Walden, Alejandra Luisa Léon, Maja D’Aoust Witch of the Dawn, Mary Evans, Ithell Colquhoun (1906–1988), Bea Nettles, The Story Medicine, Safara Wanjagi, and Olivia M. Healy.

The Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center recently began collecting tarot decks to increase equity in our history of illustration collection. We seek out areas of graphic arts where womxn artists have historically been present (even if not properly credited or recognized), are currently flourishing, and altering our expectations.

Check out our weekly artist features on Facebook and Instagram throughout the exhibition!

* See e.g. Jessica Hundley, Tarot (Taschen: Köln, 2020); Laetitia Barbier, Tarot and Divination Cards: A Visual Archive (New York: Abrams, 2021); Holly Adams Easley and Esther Joy Archer, The History of Tarot Art: Demystifying the Art and Arcana, Deck by Deck (Bellevue, WA: Quarto, 2021); and Sarah Bartlett, Iconic Tarot Decks: The History, Symbolism and Design of over 50 Decks (London: Frances Lincoln, 2021).
**Although not included here, other influential 20th century decks by womxn artists include the Thoth Tarot which is based on a system designed by Aleister Crowley with artwork by Frieda Harris (first published in 1944) and Motherpeace which is a mini round tarot deck published by Karen Vogel and Vicki Nobel in 1981.