Book Arts Collections and archives

A selection of larger archives and collections. For a more comprehensive list of collections and archives, see the list of book art websites.

UK, Ireland and Europe 

British Library
96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Approximate number of books held: 5000. Public Access: By Reader’s TicketUK National Library, receiving legal deposit copies.

Chelsea College of Art & Design Library
John Islip Street, Millbank, London SW1P 4RJ
Approximate number of books held: 2500. The collection was started in the 1970s to document work produced by contemporary avant-garde artists; it is strong on Fluxus, American conceptual works and British artists. Public access by appointment.

King Saint Stephen Museum
Székesfehérvár, Fö utca 68000, Hungary
Approximate number of books held: 1200. A collection founded by the art historian Márta Kovalovszky in 1987.The Museum also organises artist’s book exhibitions. Open to the public.

Manchester Metropolitan University Library
All Saints, Manchester M15 6BH
Approximate number of books held: 1700. The artist’s book collection can be searched on the Library’s web catalogue. Reference collection. Public access by appointment.

Meermanno-Westreenianum – Museum van het Boek
Prinsessegracht 301514 AP, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Approximate number of books held: 1,000. Modern fine print collection: 30,000The museum, opened to the public in 1852, has since developed into the national museum of the history and the art of the book.

National Art Library: Book Art Collection, Word & Image Department, Victoria and Albert Museum
South Kensington, London SW7 2RL
Approximate number of books held: 5000. Catalogue: A major reference library and the Victoria and Albert Museum’s curatorial department for the art, craft and design of the book.

National Irish Visual Arts Library
National College of Art and Design, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, Ireland
Collection comprises books by Irish artists and non-Irish artists living or working in Ireland.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Special Books Collection, Dean Gallery, Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DS
Approximate number of books held: 4500. Open to the public, by appointment.

St Bride Printing Library
Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EE
A world-famous collection of printing and related subjects: paper and binding, graphic design and typography, typefaces and calligraphy, illustration and printmaking, publishing and book-selling.

Tate Library and Archive
Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Online catalogue:
Approximate number of books held: 4000. A comprehensive collection documenting the work of contemporary artists from the 1960s to the present. Reference collection, public access by appointment

Winchester School of Art Library
Park Avenue, Winchester SO23 8DL
Reference collection with public access by appointment. Online and paper catalogue. The collection was started in the early 1970s and includes a wide range of formats, with an emphasis on contemporary British artists.

USA and Canada 

#1202-3334 de Gaspé, Montréal QC, Canada
English/French library and reading room specialising in independent publications: zines, comics, artists’ books.

Booklyn Artists’ Books Study Collection/Archive37
Greenpoint Avenue, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11222, New York, USA
Approx. number of books held: 700. Reference collection, with some lending for institutional research or exhibitions.Booklyn has a wide spectrum of contemporary book arts by living artists including, fine collage books, collaborative projects, fine letter press, independent press, multi-media books, photographic books, unique books, and ’zines.

Brooklyn Museum of Art Library
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238, USA
Large reference collection, access by appointment only.

Franklin Furnace / MOMA Artist’s Book Collection
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Access by appointment, see website for details.

Joan Flasch Artist’s Book Collection
John M Flaxman Library, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 37 South Wabash, ChicagoIl 60603, USA
Approximate number of books held: 5000. Located within an institution but open to the public. The collection includes artists’ books and multiples as well as other experimental art forms from the 1960s to the present.

Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection
Rochester Institute of Technology, USA
Reference collection with access by appointment only.Approx. 20,000 manuscripts on: bookbinding, papermaking, type design, calligraphy and book illustration.

Rhode Island School of Design Library
2 College Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
The collection scope covers: multiples and limited edition small press, some unique books, late 1960s to present. Reference collection with public access by appointment.

Visual Studies Workshop Research Archive
31 Prince Street, Rochester, NY 14607, USA
An extensive collection and archive of artists’ books and related disciplines from the early 1970’s onwards. Visits by appointment.

Yale Center for British Art: Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts
1080 Chapel Street, P.O. Box, 208280 New Haven, Connecticut CT 06520, USA
The Center’s Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts houses c. 30,000 volumes, including a growing collection of contemporary British Artists’ Books.