The purpose of the Special Collections Division is to enhance the study of the visual arts, particularly the graphic arts. In 1902, the Library’s second director, John Cotton Dana, began assembling a circulating collection of thousands of illustrations from various periodicals. He supplemented this collection with original prints purchased from around the world. Dana also purchased many art books which he hoped would inspire and encourage Newarkers to learn more about different types of art.
Over the years, the collection grew as a result of generous gifts of unique materials by artists, art enthusiasts, and collectors. In addition to prints, the collection now includes posters, artists’ books, autographs, cards, drawings, and shopping bags. The Special Collections Division is one of the foremost collections of graphic art in New Jersey.
Materials from the collections are regularly exhibited at the Main Library. The Special Collections Division is a research collection and materials of interest may be requested and viewed by individuals, small groups, and classes by appointment by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org . While some items may be found in the Library’s catalog and some collections have been inventoried in finding aids, most of the holdings have not yet been cataloged. Subscriptions are also maintained for important periodicals about art, printmaking, papermaking, and artists’ books.
Contributions to the Library’s Gertrude Fine Prints Endowment Fund are used to acquire original prints for the Library’s Special Collections Division. To learn more about how to contribute to this fund, please click here.
3,600 works, have been catalogued), this collection has major value to casual as well as dedicated scholars concerned with printing history, paper making, and the art of fine typography and design. Publications from more than 800 presses are included and these are augmented by manuscript pages, incunabula, broadsides and announcements, periodicals and the art of papermaking. Begun by Richard C. Jenkinson, a Trustee of the Newark Public Library for more than 35 years, the collection represents the history of books and written communication, and the arts of typography and fine printing. Contained are examples from the great printers and typographers from the 16-18th centuries, including Aldus Manutius, William Caslon, and Giambattista Bodoni. Works by noted book artists William Morris, Dard Hunter, and Bruce Rogers are also represented, with examples of notable illustrations, bindings, title pages, and colophons from the past 500 years. Also included are:
ADVERTISING AND GRAPHIC DESIGN
The Newark Public Library’s Special Collections Division has many unique files on artists from 19th and 20th century. The files contain such items as: news clippings, articles from various art magazines and journals, brochures and flyers from exhibitions and events, pamphlets, and reproduced images. Over the last 50 years, staff from the Library’s Special Collections, Reference, and New Jersey Information divisions have continued to add to these files.
Art For All: The Special Collections, a short documentary on the history of the Special Collections at the Newark Public Library in Newark, NJ, is a film by Samantha Johnston and Rosie Uyola.
©2008 Clementine Productions.