Art Special Collection

Collection Area

Rare and unusual publications on art, with a special focus on artists' books, and manuscript facsimiles.

General Purpose

The general purpose of this collection is to preserve and facilitate access to rare and unusual publications on art.  The collection supports the undergraduate curriculum, and research requirements of the faculty in the major areas of Art History and Studio Art, as well as other departments.  The collection also supports the research needs of the Hood Museum of Art curatorial staff.  Particular emphasis is placed on developing the collection of artists' books, and also on building a collection of manuscript facsimiles which support the curriculum and faculty research needs.

Dartmouth College Program

The Art Special Collection is a teaching collection which supports the curriculum across disciplines.  Special emphasis is placed on the preservation of rare art historical texts, along side the development of the artists' book collection, which is relevant to the Book Arts Program, Art History, Studio Art, and Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies, as well as other departments across campus.  The manuscript facsimile collection is tailored to the curriculum, and is used intensively by faculty from Art History and Religion, as well as other departments.  The collection of early art historical texts is used by faculty in Art History and Studio Art, and has been incorporated into exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art.

General Subject Boundaries

Due to the diverse subject matter of artists' books, as well as facsimiles, the Art Special Collection collects in all subject classifications, with the majority of the holdings falling within the LC class of N, for Fine Arts, and TR for photography, or 700 for the older Dewey classification.   Areas of strongest growth include N7433 for artists' books, and ND331-, for many manuscript facsimiles.  There is also a growing collection of Spanish language artists' books, based on literature and poetry, with a P classification.


No language is excluded.

Geographic Areas

No geographic area is excluded.  There is currently a particular interest in artists' books from Latin America, as well as North America, within the curriculum.

Types of Material Collected

Artists' books, with a focus on handmade quality, as well as less expensive printed publications, for use as examples for the Book Arts Program, and Studio Art major.  Manuscript facsimiles, catalogue raisonnes.  Rare, early art historical texts, early architectural treatises, unusual or limited edition monographs and exhibition catalogues. Select, seminal journals on the history of art & architecture.

Format of Materials Collected

No formats are excluded.  In general, microform materials, and digital, or other audio/visual media, are housed in the Jones Media Center

Other Resources Available

The Rauner Library collections offer access to a variety of artists' books, fine press editions, and manuscripts, which compliment the Art Special Collection.  In addition, the Hood Museum of Art provides access to art work which augments the Art Special Collection.

LC Class

All classification numbers, with a focus on N and TR.

Related Policies

Architecture, Fine Arts, Manuscripts, Rare Books: Presses


Laura K. Graveline