The Jack and Shirley Silver Special Collections Library at the University of Vermont has assembled a large collection of artists' books. Although artists' books might be simply defined as works of art that use the book as a theme and/or format, by their very nature they defy easy definition. As Johanna Drucker points out in The Century of Artists' Books, "Artists' books take every possible form, participate in every possible convention of bookmaking, every possible "ism" of mainstream art and literature, every possible mode of production, every shape, every degree of ephemerality or archival durability....Artists' books are a unique genre...little bound by constraints of medium or form."
The UVM collection is eclectic, broad, and deep. It contains different kinds of works by many artists and presses, as well as all or significant portions of the body of work produced by a number of individual artists. It emphasizes elaborate books made by hand, but also includes fine printing, illustrated books, and some livres d'artistes. Vermont book artists are well represented among the North American and British artists in the collection. The collection also includes works by UVM students and faculty.
Articles about the Collection
Gallagher, Connell. Collecting Artists' Books. Liber 41 (2005): 1-2.
Johnson, Katherine Quimby. The Illuminated Word: Special Collections Celebrates Artists' Books. Vermont Quarterly 41 (2006):26-31.
Labor/Movement, Amy Borezo.