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Rare Books and Manuscripts: Book Arts & Artists' Books

Book Arts and Fine Printing

The Book Arts Collection contains books about fine printing, binding, and handmade papers. Included are examples and fascimiles of quality private press books. All items have a unique call number of Book Arts (SPEC BA).

Pop-Up Books

The Eugene D. Valentine Pop-Up Book (SPEC VAL) Collection contains examples of numerous movable book formats on a large variety of subjects from Disney alphabet books to adult-themed books on menopause and cigars.

Consummate Cigar Book

The Consummate Cigar Book : A Three-Dimensional Reference Guide, designed by Kathryn Siegler; paper engineered by Rives; illustrated by John Rowe; written by Robert Kemp.

To Find Pop-up Books

All the pop-up books in Rare Books and Manuscripts are cataloged using the subject heading toy and movable books. To find books about pop-up, toy or movable books, do a Subject search for Toy and Movable. You can also do a Local Call Number search using SPEC VAL. For more instructions on this search strategy see the Quick Search Tab.

toy movable


Kelmscott Press

When William Morris founded the Kelmscott Press in 1891, it heralded the renaissance of fine printing in England and greatly influenced the work of printers throughout the Western World through today. This Press is known for printing ample amounts of work from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in addition to reprints of difficult-to-locate medieval texts. Morris believed that every page should be a visual experience and designed his own typefaces and ink. 

Kelmscott Chaucer

The Kelmscott Press' edition of Chaucer, with woodcuts by Edward Burne-Jones, is his most famous publication, and considered by many, such as author George Bernard Shaw to be the most beautiful book ever created.

To find books about or published by the Press in the ASU Library online catalog, search using the SPEC PRB local call number or do a keyword search for Kelmscott Press.

Artist Books

Artists books are publications that were created as works of art, as well as to convey information. Artists' Books exemplify the importance of collaboration between writer, artist, papermaker and printer.


Image of The Blame Game: Winning Excuses and Strategies on and off the Court by Carolyn Shattuck.

Thomas Bird Mosher Press

Rare Books and Manuscripts has the second largest publicly held collection of books printed by Thomas Bird Mosher in the world and is one of the most complete in existence. Thomas Bird Mosher founded his Mosher Press in America the same year that William Morris established his Kelmscott Press in England (1891). 

Mosher Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves from Maple Cottage, A collection of maxims compiled by and printed for Mrs. Walter G. Ladd by Thomas Bird Mosher, 1919.

Mosher is recognized as one of the early fine printers in America and is a central figure in the revival of printing that swept America at the turn of the century. His books were only available by mail order, and were inexpensive (usually 10-15 cents each, with nothing exceeding $25). He helped to preserve great works of literature that might have been lost and from 1891-1923 published 413 titles.  All were printed on handmade paper and type set by hand by Mosher.  

To find these books, search by local call number SPEC TBM.

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