Painters' books, fine press books and artists' publications

William Blake: The Song of Los. Lambeth, 1795 | © BSB/ Chalc. 160
William Blake: The Song of Los. Lambeth, 1795 | © BSB/ Chalc. 160


The collection of painters' books, fine press books and artists' publications currently amounts to around 14,000 titles and is administrated as a special collection group by the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books. The works are registered as Libri selecti (L.sel.), bearing the classification mark L.sel.I and L.sel.III for books with original works or particularly valuable pieces. Painters' books, fine press books and artists' publications can also be found in other historical special collections of the library, though, such as the Chalcographa (William Blake), the Rariora (Russian futurism and constructivism), Reserve (Italian futurism) or even the Remota.

The collection group of Libri selecti was started in 1915 in response to the renewal of book art in England in the outgoing 19th century. Initially, predominantly German titles were acquired; the issues of the Munich luxury print works in particular. As of 1958, the collection focus was on German fine press books and works of Expressionism and the great French painters' books among other things. The collection has been expanded further comprehensively and systematically since 1972. Its expansion to also encompass the artists' publications created in the context of contemporary art during the 1950s/ 1960s has been of particular importance.

Today, painters' books, fine press books and artists' publications are collected, i.e. artists' books, artists' journals, artists' newspapers, limited editions, multiples, photo editions, graphics, graphic works, ephemera, artists' records, audio cassettes, CDs, film/ video editions, multimedia editions, up to zines (or graphzines) – all this on an international level as far as possible. These works document the complete diversity of contemporary art up to the year 2015.

The Libri selecti have been entered in the OPACplus/ BSB catalogue:

OPACplus/BSB-Katalog  (with default setting searching for the shelf marks L.sel.I and L.sel.III)

OPACplus/BSB-Katalog  (with default setting searching for the shelf mark L.sel.III = particularly valuable pieces)

Literature

Bowlt, John E.; Hernad, Béatrice: Aus vollem Halse: russische Buchillustration und Typographie 1900 – 1930 aus den Sammlungen der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München: Ausstellung 1. Dezember 1993 bis 29. Januar 1994. München: Prestel, 1993. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Ausstellungskataloge. 61.

Hernad, Béatrice; Maur, Karin von: Papiergesänge: Buchkunst im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert, Künstlerbücher, Malerbücher und Pressendrucke aus den Sammlungen der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München: Ausstellung, 24. September bis 19. Dezember 1992. München: Prestel, 1992. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Ausstellungskataloge. 60.

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