Tuesday in Pittsburgh was damp and snowy, and it was comforting to enter Hunt Library and be greeted with the gentle murmur of an espresso machine in an open café on the left. The atmosphere was elegant and cool, much like the aluminum and glass design of the building itself. I quickly got a cup of coffee, peeled off my wet coat and relaxed on one of the lounge chairs. It was easy to get comfortable, but I had an appointment to visit the Artist’s Book collection on the 4th floor.
Managed by librarian Mo Dawley, the Artist’s Book collection contains over one thousand zines, livres d’artistes, and artist’s books. They include handmade one-of-a-kind, limited edition, small press editions, and quarterlies, such as Louise Neaderland’s ISCA (International Society of Copier Artists).
|Louise Neaderland's I.S.C.A. Quarterly, 9th Annual Bookworks Issue|
|The I.S.C. A. Quarterly, Summer 1994, Opening the box . . .|
|Pulling out all the wonderful original art created with Xerox machines!|
Ms. Dawley allowed me to hold the books and leisurely read them. She explained that it is important to touch the books and feel the textures.
Ms. Dawley was right, the handmade tactile nature of artist’s books gives them another dimension, one you must experience in person-- up close and personal.