August 21, 2008 – The University of California, San Diego Libraries and San Diego Book Arts are co-sponsoring a Fall Festival of the Book: a series of exhibitions, lectures, and a film screening to celebrate the artistry and craftsmanship of handmade and rare books. The events, which will be held from September through October, are all free and open to the public.
The Festival will kick-off Sept. 2 with "Books in Miniature," an exhibition at UC San Diego's Geisel Library that will feature a selection of rare and unusual miniature books from the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA. The show, curated by UC San Diego's Mandeville Special Collections Library, will be on display through Sept. 16 and will coincide with the Miniature Book Society's annual meeting to be held in San Diego from Sept. 12-14.
Miniature books, which are no more than three inches in size (height, width, or diameter), range from diminutive bibles and antiquarian volumes dating back to the 1700s to locket and picture books, some so tiny that they require a magnifying glass. The first U.S. book under two inches was Verbum Sempiternum, published in the mid-1700s for Samuel Parker in New York City. Other tiny books of note include a thumb bible, The Bible in Miniature, measuring 1 5/8 x 1 3/8 inches, published circa 1792 in Philadelphia by J. Babcock. The books, increasingly rare, are highly coveted by "microbibliophile" collectors and antiquarian book dealers.
More than 60 artists' books will be on display at UC San Diego's Geisel Library from Sept. 20 through Oct. 31 in the San Diego Book Arts 2nd National Juried Exhibition. The works that will be on display were selected by Erika Torri, executive director of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla, from a pool of 200 submissions. The exhibition will feature a wide range of artists' books— works of art that resemble or take their cue from the book format, either literally or figuratively— from artists across the nation. The artists' books in the exhibition include mixed media, letter press, acrylics, silkscreen, and woodcut works by well-known and emerging artists. The opening reception for the exhibition will be held Sept. 20, 3:30-5 p.m., at the UCSD Geisel Library.
Other Festival of the Book events include a lecture by renowned book artist Julie Chen on Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. In addition, a new film about internationally recognized artist Mary Ellen Long, Seeing the Forest for the Trees, will be shown Oct. 11, 3:30-5 p.m., in the Seuss Room at the UCSD Geisel Library. The San Diego premiere will include a reception and a talk by the artist. The Colorado book artist's work is well-represented in the UCSD Libraries' collection of artists' books. The short film sheds light on the inner thoughts and outer workings of Long, who is known for her site-specific environmental works and her sculptures and book works that often incorporate indigenous materials found in nature.
The last Festival of the Book event will take place from Oct. 11 through Dec. 31 at the San Diego State University Library. SDSU Special Collections and University Archives will host "Lost & Found," a display of works of art in book form by fine art, graphic design, multi-media, and applied art students. A reception and interactive event will be held Oct. 17, 3-5 p.m.
UC San Diego's Mandeville Special Collections Library holds one of the largest collections of artists' books-more than 1500 works- on the West Coast.
With nearly 3.5 million print and digital resources in its collections, the UC San Diego Libraries are the largest academic library system south of Los Angeles. Comprising nine distinct libraries ranging from arts and oceanography to biomedicine and special collections, the UCSD Libraries rank in the top 25 U.S. public libraries among the members of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries.
San Diego Book Arts is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the book as a vital contemporary art form. Membership is open to anyone interested in the book arts; current members include artists, collectors, graphic designers, bookbinders, conservators, librarians, and teachers, among others.
For additional information on the Festival of the Book events, please visit: