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Special Collections Center: Welcome

Hours & Location

*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

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Contact Us

Schedule an appointment, in-person or virtual

Sign-up for a research consultation, virtual

Virtual services: Special Collections staff are available to answer reference questions and meet for research consultations by phone, email, or Zoom. To request a scan from physical library materials, please use our Scan Request Form.

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

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

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New Items in Special Collections

How to Art Book Fair by Paul Shortt cover image
Poster: Women in America Earn Only 2/3 of What Men Do, 1985
Venture Magazine Aug/Sept 1967 lenticular cover image
Touch and Go by Tesco Vee and Dave Stimson cover image
Harlem: Gordon Parks cover image
Helene Kottanner's Memoirs - Gwen Diehn
No New Theories by Kameelah Janan Rasheed cover image
Bea Nettles: Harvest of Memory cover image
From Fair to Fine by Stephen Daiter cover image
Lewis Hine, Ellis Island by Walter Rosenblum 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 (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.

Current Exhibition

cauleen smith human 3.0 reading list

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).


paper jam logo

Paper Jam Virtual Alternative Book Fair

February 8-12, 2021

Paper Jam, an annual event at Ringling College of Art and Design that brings independent artists' publishing to Sarasota and the Creative Coast, is going virtual this year! Our 2020/2021 event will be an interactive, virtual showcase on social media happening February 8-12, 2021. 

At a time when many are coming together to call for systemic change, Paper Jam’s mission to empower emerging and diverse voices has never felt more relevant. This year's chosen theme—MOVEMENT—is inspired by ongoing social movements for racial justice, gender equality, and diversity inclusion.

Paper Jam’s Instagram (@rcadpaperjam), Facebook (@rcadpaperjam), and hashtag (#rcadpaperjam) will spotlight artists who are engaged in community activism or are addressing themes of injustice in their work, plus interactive stories to foster dialogue and encourage collaboration with other thinkers and makers. The event will focus on the ideas, interests, and processes that drive folx to publish.

Discover new artists and publishers daily! The following featured artists, invited by the Paper Jam organizers, self-curated a small selection of their work for our virtual showcase: Adriana Monsalve + Caterina Ragg (Homie House Press), Allison Leialoha Milham, Ben Blount, Chip Thomas (of the Painted Desert Project), Gonzalo Guerrero (Secret Riso Club), Jen White-Johnson, Jia Sung, Meredith Stern (of the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative), Rockland Page (ROCKaBLOCK LLC), and Vivian Sming (Sming Sming Books).

Join in! Create a public post on Instagram or Facebook during the Paper Jam Virtual Alternative Book Fair from February 8-12 that engages with the MOVEMENT theme. This post can feature your work or boost the work of other creators that inspire you. Tag @rcadpaperjam and #rcadpaperjam so we can share your post. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to get the latest updates and more ideas on how to participate!


Organized by the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center, Alfred R. Goldstein Library, Makerspace, and Print St. Pete.

Inquiries: /