A guide to finding information about artists' books online, and about the ECA Library collection of artists' books, photobooks and zines.
Information about Library news, training, events and service updates.
New! You might find these online videos useful:
1: Nature Works: an exhibition of artists' books at the Upright Gallery, Edinburgh, December 2021. Take a look at their Instagram with daily mini videos of each artist's book.
2: "In Focus: Ed Ruscha at the Getty". Click here to watch a great introduction to the work of Ed Ruscha, featuring Twenty Six Gasoline Stations, which happens to be where the ECA Library artists' books collection begins!
3: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Artists' Books collection: a video tour. Click here to watch a great video exploring some of the treasures of the SNGMA ("Modern Two") artists' books collection, including works by Natalia Goncharova, Claude Cahun, Henri Matisse, and Tauba Auerbach.
4: Speaking Volumes: a miscellany of artists’ books was organised by the abcD (University of Dundee Artists’ Books Collection) curator Matthew Jarron and featured an afternoon of talks and ‘show and tells’ from practicing artist book makers including Priya Pereira, Julie Johnstone, David Faithfull, and Mark Addison Smith. You can access the recording of this lively and engaging session here.
5: Poet and artist’s book maker Thomas A. Clark of the Moschatel Press recently released this film to introduce his new publication The Threadbare Coat: selected poems, edited by Matthew Welton, published by Carcanet Press.
In this film, Thomas A. Clark discusses his new Carcanet collection of poetry, The Threadbare Coat: Selected Poems edited by Matthew Welton, his writing practice, eco-poetry, and reads some poems from the book.
6: Art and the Playfair Library: Speaking to Absent Volumes: a 2020 artists' books project:
Working in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh Library’s Centre for Research Collections (CRC), third year School of Art students from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) were asked to make artists’ books inspired by, or drawing references from, the volumes that once graced the shelves of the Playfair library.
For full details including video interviews, and images of each book made, click here.
ECA Library has an artists’ books collection of around 1500 artists’ books and zines. If you are planning on visiting the library to consult an artist's book please check the website for the latest opening hours and access information before you travel. All of our artists’ books are listed on the online catalogue, DiscoverEd
In the meantime here are some online resources that can help with your investigation of artists’ books as a medium:
For a great definition of the artist’s book, by GSA Librarian Duncan Chappell, take a look at the Scottish Visual Arts Group blogpost "What Are Artists' Books?" here
For many blog posts about our collection see ECA Library blog
Glasgow School of Art Library Artists’ Books collection Pinterest site
Scottish Visual Arts Group blog directory of artists’ books collections in Scotland.
If you are interested in bookbinding take a look at Bound in Edinburgh.
UWE also has a student research resources site
The V&A Library webpage on artists books is useful.
Bookworks is a specialist publisher in the artists' books world.
Ian Hamilton Finlay and Wild Hawthorn Press is another very important Scottish artist book maker and publisher.
Artists' books by Helen Douglas, Hans Waanders and Alec Finlay on display at ECA Library. Photo by Jane Furness.
Key texts held at ECA Library:
To find online full-text journal articles on artists' books you could also search the art related databases here.
The Edinburgh Zine Library is an archive and reference collection of contemporary zines, founded in 2017, and as a volunteer-run collective it organises the annual Edinburgh Zine Fest. Find out more here.
The Glasgow Zine Library is located in Govanhill. They have a great collection of contemporary zines, and organise the annual Glasgow Zine Fest. Find out more here.
The annual Fruitmarket Art Gallery artists' bookmarket and Edinburgh zines festival is a popular event held over 2 days each Spring (usually in February), at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, and is a great place to buy zines and talk to makers.
The Edinburgh Zine Fair is an annual event, for everyone interested in making and buying zines, and small press books, pamphlets, and artbooks. For 2023 the Fair will also include workshops and performances. For more information go here.
Are you interested in typewriter art and publishing? Take a look at TYPEWRITTEN, a series of works published by Joakim Norling of Timglaset ("publisher of visual poetries") in collaboration with contemporary authors and artists.
We have various databases dedicated to searching for theses and dissertations.