District of Columbia Public Library

About the Collection

The District of Columbia Public Library serves the residents of DC and the surrounding areas. In addition to a large collection of fiction, nonfiction, ebooks, audio books, films, archives, and other materials, DCPL has a small holding of reference works related to artists’ books. Some of these works can be found in neighborhood libraries, but most are found at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, DCPL’s main branch. Since these are nearly all secondary sources about the field of artists’ books, rather than primary source artists’ books, they are all part of the general collection and can be checked out of the library.

Finding Artists’ Books

On the main DCPL page, access the catalog by using the search on the right-hand side. Use the drop-down menu and select “Subject.” In the text box, type “artists’ books.” Make sure you include quotation marks around the phrase, otherwise your search will return unnecessary results. The “catalog,” not “site,” radio button should be selected. Click the “Go” icon. The next page will show you the small collection of works about artists’ books. To get more information about the content and location of any book, click on the image or title.

How to Get There

901 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

To get to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, where most of the artists’ books reference works are located, take the Yellow, Green, or Red line to Gallery Place. Exit toward 9th Street. The library is diagonally across G Street.

What to Expect

DCPL’s collection of works about artists’ books can be checked out of the library. Unlike most of the other book art collections in DC, these works are not rare or housed in special collections. Since they circulate, you can bring them home to do research. Reference works about artists’ books are in Room 220. If you prefer to check a book out of your neighborhood library, you can instead place a hold on it and request that it be delivered to your preferred branch. For questions, call 202-727-0321.

Other Resources