Artists' Talks on Artists' Books - archive
One-Day Symposium at Winchester School of Art,
A one-day symposium at Winchester School of Art
co-hosted by the Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, Bristol &
Winchester School of Art Library, University of Southampton.

Friday 13th July 2007

21 years in 21 minutes: past present and future – the artists' book collection at Winchester School of Art Library
Linda Newington and Catherine Polley

A brief summary of how the collection here has grown and developed

The 1970s – the beginning
Collection started in the early 1970s by Tony Godfrey and located in the Rotunda
Books were on open shelves, described as “artists' fiction” and “reference only not to be removed from the Library” written in biro on the covers!
Examples include works by Ed Ruscha, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Stephen Willats and Richard Long

The 1980s - consolidation
Linda started at WSAL in 1986 and brought the artists' fiction together as a separate and distinct collection of artists' books
Continued to add to the collection mainly through purchases from the Nigel Greenwood Gallery and Ian Shipley bookshop

The 1990s - development
Catherine arrived at WSAL in 1993
Previously worked at Chelsea College of Art and Design
Some contact with the artists' books collection there and items such as a milk bottle started me questioning what artists' books were
Beginnings of the LAB enabled me to start adding to the collection
WSA became part of the University of Southampton in 1996
Moved into a new library in 1996 and were able to house the artists' books collection in purpose built cabinets with linked reading room
Accepted that while the collection was valuable and contained in locked cabinets, would be a handling collection
Started retrospectively converting the records
Successful application to the University's Strategic Fund enabled us to buy the complete set of John Bently's Liver and Lights Scriptorium together with related ephemera
Collection development decisions informed by
Teaching and research needs of School
Strengths of collection (particular artists, presses, themes)
Acquisitions from staff and students

The 2000s – collaboration and promotion
Collaborative projects with Winchester Gallery showcasing aspects of the collection eg. 50 concertinas
Workshops for schools and colleges
Produced printed 'collections guide'
Stands at artists' book fairs with WSA
Adding to the collection from further afield, beyond the UK
Embedding book arts in the curriculum across a range of disciplines
Creating the 'inspiring collections' project with support from the faculty
A potential new project with an emphasis on linking the Knitting Reference Library with making artists' books for the 'In the loop:
  past present and future' conference at WSA in July 2008

Above all the collection is there to inspire!

Intrduction talk mp3 (7.4mb) to download, right click and 'save as'