Special Collections

The special collections are kept in locked cabinets for safety and are reference only. They may be viewed with prior notice to the Library staff.  See our main portal page for contact details.

Books from the collections are shown regularly in exhibitions within the University and at other institutions

Artists’ Books  (Blenheim Walk) These original works of art, utilise and explore the qualities of the book, through content, context and form. The collection represents the work of many established artists including Tacita Dean, Ed Ruscha and Richard Long. There are also many excellent examples of student and staff work. Please click the link to browse the titles on the Library catalogue.

Artists' Books A-Z list

Photobooks  (Blenheim Walk) The collection comprises over 300 signed, limited edition photography books and is available to view by all college students and staff. Photographers represented include: Nick Brandt, Corinne Day, Lee Friedlander, Stephen Gill, Rinko Kawauchi, Daido Moriyama, Anders Petersen and Martin Parr. Please click the link to browse the titles on the Library catalogue.

Photobooks A-Z list

Illustrative Books (Blenheim Walk) The youngest of the library’s Special Collections; Illustrative Books are defined as books whose meaning and form hangs on the illustrated or graphic content: Comics, graphic novels, illustrated texts, picture books, or zines. (Zines are defined as independently produced magazines. Most are of a pamphlet format, either stapled or stitched.) Unlike the two previous categories, this Special Collection does hold items from mainstream publishers or larger print runs; however the curation of this repository is looking for the following unique elements: Design – where design and format have been used to push the concept of what an illustrative book can be. Fragility - books that are fragile and would be damaged easily. Edition - books that are printed in limited or special editions (may include signature, alternative binding, ephemera etc.). Cost – books which are expensive to buy and would be difficult to replace.

Illustrative Books A-Z list