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Studio Art Library Resources: The Graphic Arts Collection

A short description of the collections, tools, and research help available to Studio Art enthusiasts.


C Floor of Firestone
One Washington Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098

About the Graphic Arts Collection

What is the Graphic Arts Collection?

The Graphic Arts Collection is a special collection within Princeton's library system that collects original art, bound in books or looseleaf.  The goal of the collection is to document the history of printing without being confined to works of high art.  Instead of just collecting fine art like a museum or just collecting books like a library, the collection contains all kinds of materials from labels to tobacco packaging to livres d'artistes to cartoons.  This collection is a great way to see artwork and texts in person, either for research or for reference in your own works.

What kinds of materials does the collection have?

You can view some of the finding aids of the collection here, you can search the collection of fine press and illustrated books in the main catalog, and there is a separate catalog for prints, drawings, and other non-book materials.  Here are a few highlights of the collection:

  • Cruikshank collection--a collection of the prints and drawings of early 19th century caricaturist George Cruikshank
  • Livres d'Artistes--The Graphic Arts Collection has works from artists such as Picasso and BlakeCheck out Delacroix's Faust on the blog.
  • Baskerville collection--The collection contains several works by John Baskerville, designer of the Baskerville typeface and 18th century printer, including the Baskerville Virgil--the first book to use the new "wove" paper.
  • Broadsides by Thomas Nast
  • A collection of optical devices--Including magic lanterns, cameras obscura, zoetrope, peep eggs, and more.

There are tons of other interesting works and objects in the collection, and it's well worth exploring!

Can I go there?

Yes.  Come prepared with a work in mind that you want to view (depending on what it is, the librarians may have to get it out of storage), or contact or schedule an appointment with Julie Mellby, the collection's curator, if you're not sure what you're looking for. 

Contact the Graphic Arts Collection

Julie Mellby

Graphic Arts Collection's Blog

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