Collecting Special Collections, the current exhibit in the Harris Lobby, showcases unique items from Skidmore’s Department of Special Collections, home to the College’s rare books and archives. Our rare books collection is made up of the General Collection and numerous smaller named collections, such as the John J. Cunningham Science Fiction Collection.
Materials on display represent the delightfully eclectic nature of our General Collection, where an old favorite children’s book shares space with an illuminated Book of Hours from the 1440s and Edward Curtis’s The North American Indian. Among the individual collections featured, the Artists’ Books and the Fox Collection are also highlighted.
An artist’s book is itself an original work of art, as visually and conceptually whole as a painting or sculpture. This collection is the only one among our rare book collections to receive new purchases every year thanks to a generous donor’s endowment. It has been carefully and wisely developed over the years by College Librarian Ruth Copans. Additional selections from our Artists’ Books are also available through our Digital Collections.
The Fox Collection contains over 400 books predominantly from the Victorian era. It was collected with a strong focus on the illustrated books from that time period. The collection showcases in particular the works of George Cruikshank but also features authors and illustrators such as William Blake, Robert Browning, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, and the Grimm Brothers. The Fox collection is a perennial favorite of Skidmore students and faculty alike, and is the most heavily utilized rare book collection in Special Collections.
The exhibit will be on display through February 13, 2014.