The UCLA Libraries’ holdings of artists’ books include over 1,000 editions and unique works, ranging from fine press editions to sculptural and dynamic books with movable parts, to newly imagined forms and definitions of what a book can be and how its message can be conveyed.
Current Collecting Priorities
- Works that reflect the politics of power and contemporary challenges to individuals and communities, especially those related to emigration or diaspora, otherness in society, and issues having a global environmental impact.
- Works that envision solutions to those challenges, whether they be based on fact or imagination.
- Works that relate topically to other LSC collections that are strengths + high priority; e.g., contemporary emigration and immigration (including from Latin American, Middle Eastern, Southeastern Europe, Southeast Asia/Philippines)
- Works that reimagine the parameters of the book format in new ways, or expand the concept of the printed codex as a vehicle for intellectual and aesthetic expression.
- Works that resonate on a personal, communal, or global level with regard to current human challenges.
- Works that integrate well its message with its material form and craft.
- Works that challenge commonly held perceptions, assumptions, or biases that have become widely accepted through enculturation, education, and media saturation by, for example, juxtaposing visual imagery and language that present new or alternative ways of viewing, interpreting, and understanding the physical and spiritual world.
Out of Scope
- Artists’ books whose form and content duplicate the collecting strengths of other local institutions and UCLA Library units.
More About the Collection
Some exemplary artists’ books held in the UCLA Library Special Collections, UCLA Arts Library and other local Southern California institutions can be seen in these exhibits:
- SOCALled Books: Diversity in Artists' Books from Southern California, July - September 2002
- Recent Acquisitions in the Department of Special Collections: Modern Fine Printing and Graphic Arts: Artists’ Books by Julie Chen and Mary Heebner, September 2001
- Recent Acquisitions in the Department of Special Collections: Popular Literature and Printed Materials: Illustrated books by Barbara Hodgson, November 2001