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Artists Books

What is an artists' book

In a sense, every book in the art library is an artist's book.  However, there is a specific catagory of books created or conceived by artists, perhaps best described by Stephen Bury in Artists' books : the book as a work of art, 1963-1995:

 "Artists' books are books or book-like objects over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself." 

Both the Sherman Art Library, and the Rauner Special Collections Library have unique collections of artists books. Librarians Laura Graveline & Jay Satterfield, and Book Arts Workshop  Manager Sarah Smith, would be happy to meet with you, to show you artists' books that could relate to your research and projects.

Checkout the Book Arts Workshop in the library, to learn how to make your own books!

Find Artists' Books

Sample searches in the Library Catalog:

  • See the Artists Book Terminology list, for more search suggestions
  • Be sure to look at the whole catalog entry, includng the notes, these can give you more clues about the book
  • Try limiting your search to Special Collections

Artist Book Structure


  • accordion fold
  • bookbinding
  • clam shell box
  • colophon
  • concertina
  • coptic binding
  • flip book
  • hand made paper
  • letterpress
  • pop up
  • scroll
  • stab binding
  • vellum


Art Movements:

  • Artists Books
  • Conceptual Art
  • Fluxus
  • Mail Art

Videos about the Artist Book Collection

Dartmouth library Muse Blog