Skip to main content

COVID-19 Library Services Update

Artists' Books

Works of art inspired by the form or function of the book


Care & Handling of Artists' Books

Artists’ books are works of art and due to design and composition, may lack the strength of standard books. Always handle with caution and care. Some artists’ books are delicate and complicated; library staff may unpack and set up the books on your behalf.


Artists' books hours 

  • Artists' books must be used in the Library and cannot be checked out. Access is by appointment only; email Kathy Blasko at for an appointment​.

​Rules for handling artists' books

  1. Hands must be freshly washed with no hand sanitizer or lotion.  
  2. No food or drinks are allowed (that includes sweets, gum and water bottles). 
  3. Pencils are permitted for note taking, no ink. Materials are not to be marked in any way including sticky notes. 
  4. No tracing.
  5. Do not stack artists’ books. Do not put/stack items such as notebooks, phones, laptops, tablets etc. on top of artists’ books.
Handling books 
  1. Books must lay flat on the table or in a book cradle; they cannot be held in your lap. If a book doesn’t lay flat it may be the design of the binding. Do not force the book open; use the book cradle or weights. 
  2. Do not thumb through the pages, but rather turn the pages slowly and do not touch images or turn pages at corners as a way of bookmarking. 
  3. If an artists' book is in a box, note how it is arranged as you remove if; if you cannot safely return the item to the box, please ask for help from library staff
Handling concertina, leporello or accordion books 
  1. Avoid strain on the folds by keeping the text block in alignment by carefully turning the pages. This will prevent twisting. 
  2. Return the item to its box, the way it was delivered. 

Photographs and copyright

  1. Ask permission prior to taking photographs. 
  2. Flash photography is not permitted; ensure the flash is off. 
  3. Tripods, video cameras, audio recorders are not permitted. 
  4. Photos may be taken only for the personal use of the researcher. For images intended for publication, researchers must submit a request for reproduction(s) or clear copyright. This is subject to copyright, donor restrictions and physical condition of items. Researchers must adhere to Canadian Copyright Act. Follow up with MacEwan Copyright Office. Use the following citation when displaying the image: “Image courtesy of John L. Haar Library, MacEwan University.
This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International license. For exceptions, see the Library Copyright Statement.