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Notable examples and secondary works in Special Collections speak to history of printing and publishing, book design, paper, writing, and alphabets. The Private Press collection contains products of significant and representative 20th- and 21st-century presses; holdings of the Aldine and Giolito presses are also noteworthy. Also pertinent to the book arts are collections of bookplates and decorated paper, as well as examples of decorated trade bindings included in the online project Publishers’ Bindings Online, 1815-1930. Strong collections of British and American amateur journalism relate both to history of printing and to English and American writers, amateur and professional.
In addition to the named collections below, Special Collections includes other important holdings (especially early printed books) relevant to book history and print culture history. Check the Library Catalog and the card catalog in Special Collections for more information.
For more in the UW-Madison Libraries about the book arts and the history of print culture, see also the Silver Buckle Press (a working letterpress museum in Memorial Library), holdings in the Kohler Art Library (including its large Artists’ Book Collection), circulating and reference collections in Memorial Library, and collections of the SLIS Library. Activities of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture (co-sponsored by SLIS, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries) also speak to issues of authorship, reading, publication and distribution of print and digital materials.
Book and Print Culture History Collections