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Artists' Books, Fine and Private Press Books, and Miniature Books at RBSC

About Artists' Books at RBSC

Though different creators may have varying definitions, an artist's book is a work of art that takes inspiration from the form and function of the book. Artists' books differ from a book by or about an artist because its emphasis is on the artistic medium and form rather than informational content.

Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) has a number of artists' books in its collection. While many of the artists in our collection are from British Columbia, our collection also includes notable examples of artists' books from other areas of Canada and around the world.

Book Artists of British Columbia

Barbara Hodgson is an artist, author, and book designer from Edmonton, AB. She received a BA from Simon Fraser University and has lectured at Emily Carr University of College & Design in addition to writing, illustrating, and creating books. She is based in Vancouver, BC. 

RBSC has records in our archives that were created and donated by Barbara Hodgson, related to her nonfiction works on opium. Learn more about those materials here

Her frequent collaborator, Claudia Cohen, is a bookbinder who has been working with some of the top names in fine press and artists' books for over three decades. She is based in Seattle, WA. 

An example of their work that can be found in our collection:


Jan Kellett spent much of her artistic career creating miniature books that were published under the De Walden Press imprint from 1996 to 2013. She trained originally as a bookbinder and uses her experience and skills to ensure that everything she makes reaches a high standard of construction. She is based in Qualicum Beach, BC.

An example of her work that can be found in our collection:


Charles Mayrs is an artist, writer, and book designer from Winnipeg, MB. After fifty plus years in the arts, in 2003, he shifted the focus of his creative energies to writing, illustrating, and publishing fine press limited-edition letterpress books. He is based in West Vancouver, BC. Pictures of his photography, paintings, drawings, and books may be found on his website.

In addition to holding his published works, RBSC has records created by Charles van Sandwyk in its archives. Learn more about those materials here.

An example of his work that can be found in our collection:


Ann Vicente is a local Vancouver artist who has been making handmade paper for over thirty years. As the owner of Papermaker’s Press, she often creates artists’ books for special collections at public institutions and for private collectors. She is involved with the entire process of creating books, from making the paper, to setting the type on her old-fashioned press, to binding and decorating the books.

An example of her work that can be found in our collection:

Finding Materials: Subject Headings

Try following one of these links. These subject headings are used throughout the UBC libraries, not only for RBSC.

Related Works in the UBC Catalogue

Beyond Our Collections

Artists' Books Organizations, Blogs, and Journals

Related Resources and Events

Local Resources & Events


International Resources & Events