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Special Collections, Newark Public Library

Parent Institution: Newark Public Library


The purpose of the Special Collections Division is to enhance the study of the visual arts, particularly the graphic arts. In 1902, the Library’s second director, John Cotton Dana, began assembling a circulating collection of thousands of illustrations from various periodicals. He supplemented this collection with original prints purchased from around the world. Dana also purchased many art books which he hoped would inspire and encourage Newarkers to learn more about different types of art. Over the years, the collection grew as a result of generous gifts of unique materials by artists, art enthusiasts, and collectors. In addition to prints, the collection now includes posters, artists’ books, autographs, cards, drawings, and shopping bags. The Special Collections Division is one of the foremost collections of graphic art in New Jersey.

Materials from the collections are regularly exhibited at the Main Library. The Special Collections Division is a research collection and materials of interest may be requested and viewed by individuals, small groups, and classes by appointment by writing to . While some items may be found in the Library’s catalog and some collections have been inventoried in finding aids, most of the holdings have not yet been cataloged. Subscriptions are also maintained for important periodicals about art, printmaking, papermaking, and artists’ books.

5 Washington Street
PO Box 630
Newark NJ 07102 USA

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