For nearly four decades, The Center for Book Arts has facilitated communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary art and literature through a rich array of exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, and opportunities for artists and writers, publishers and collectors. During this time, The Center has also amassed a diverse and exemplary collection of artists' books and prints; built an in-house library that contains reference books and catalogues; and assembled an institutional archive that documents the history of the Center's unique programmatic and administrative activities.
In 2007, the Center launched a comprehensive Collections Program designed to advance its collections in three areas- Fine Art, Reference, and Archival materials. Through generous funding, the Center has been able to implement a comprehensive collections initiative which has at its dual aims to catalogue, preserve and make digitally accessible the entirety of its collections, and to encourage the use of materials therein by faculty, artist members as examples and teaching tools. As an extension of the Center's renowned educational offerings, exhibitions, and public programming, we are proud to present this free online gateway to our unique and diverse holdings.
The Center's collections database is created from CollectiveAccess, an open source, configurable cataloguing tool and web-based application developed by Whirl-i-Gig that is available free of charge under the GPL open-source license. The Center's collections database uses the Dublin Core metadata standard and its element sets for standardized attributes, and works displayed here have been cataloged in accordance with current bibliographic standards. Along with detailed bibliographic records, the Center additionally provides images that serve as access tools and a viewing aids for users of the Center's online collections. Works in the Fine Art Collection are represented by at least one image or a set of images including the cover, back cover, title page, colophon, and some spreads created through in-house flat-bed scanning and digital photography.
The Collections Initiative was spearheaded by Alexander Campos, Executive Director, and the Collections Committee of the Center including Committee Chair J. Fernando Pena (The Grolier Club), Virginia Bartow (New York Public Library), Deirdre Lawrence (Brooklyn Museum), Marysol Nieves (Independent Curator), Jae Jennifer Rossman (Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library Yale University), Maggie Portis (New York School of Interior Design), Ken Soehner (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Mark Waskow (The Waskow Group, The Waskowmium). The Collections Initiative was managed and realized by Collections Specialist, Jen Larson, with a cadre of dedicated volunteers including Charles Dellebovi, Brigid Ellen Ewald, Iris Lee, John Patterson, Arlene Rapchik, Diana Ro, Megan Rodzik, Satoshi Tabuchi, Felicia Tandiono, and John Paul Zuviate. The Center also gratefully acknowledges the administrative and collection preservation work of Corinna Zeltsman, as well as the technical and design expertise of of Amber Billey, Seth Kaufman and Maria Passarotti (Whirl-i-Gig), Ken Ficara (Harmonica, LLC), and Andre Lee.
The Center's Collections Initiative and Online Catalogue has been made possible by generous support from: the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Prior support for the Exhibition Archive was provided J.M. Kaplan Fund.