Our Rare Books Collection contains many historical items in the fine arts and art history, including scarce nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and American periodicals, important catalogues, rare photography monographs, artists’ books, fine press editions, and materials on the history of printing.
Janus Press Collection
Claire Van Vliet started the Janus Press while a student at San Diego State in 1955. Janus Press is recognized as an outstanding leader in the book arts field and has made a major contribution to American fine printing. The independent small press is noted for creating innovative, hand-made, and experimental limited editions of contemporary poetry, literary classics, and fine books of art. A winner of the MacArthur "Genius" grant, Van Vliet has an extensive list of collaborators in literature, including Galway Kinnell and Rita Dove. Special Collections has a full run of Janus Press productions.
Roycroft Press Collection
Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) founded his Roycroft Printing Shop in 1895 and created books treasured today for their craftsman style, fine bindings, handmade paper, and elaborately designed and decorated pages. The San Diego State University Library is pleased to own a collection of over one hundred books printed by Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters.
Richard Yale Western Printing Collection
This collection was created by Dick B. Yale, printer and lithographer who operated a printing shop in San Diego’s Old Town. Mr. Yale was a long-time member of the Zamorano Club and printed and collected many keepsakes for the Club. The collection includes monographs, serials, and ephemeral items, all of which relate to aspects of printing in the West.
Wilfrid Dellquest Print Collection (unprocessed) This collection of over 2000 original prints, dating from the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, was donated in 1969 by Wilfrid Dellquest, a rare book and print dealer in Los Angeles. Steel engravings, lithographs, mezzotints, stipples, woodcuts, and etchings make up this unique collection, and prints from Sartain, Scott, Hall, Marshall, Robinson, Kelly, and Hollyer are among the holdings.
Vince Meades Sheet Music Collection (unprocessed)[MS-0004]
This collection contains approximately 58,000 sheet music titles, in the form of individual popular songs, music from movies, from Broadway shows, and from television and radio shows. Many of the pieces are significant for their cover artwork as well as for the music contained within. The individual pieces of sheet music within this large collection are not included separately with the SDSU library catalog.
Edward Gorey Collection
During his lengthy career, Edward Gorey illustrated more than 100 of his own books and more than 60 by other authors. His characteristic style, which mixes humor with horror and mystery, is widely recognized by readers of all ages. Special Collections holds an extensive collection of Gorey’s drawings, proofs, and collaborations with other authors.