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About - Artists' Books at the University of Oregon Libraries Artists' books have been described as the "quintessential 20th century art form" (Drucker, Johanna. The Century of Artists Books. New York: Granary Books, 1994), and indeed, though there were many predecessors to the contemporary artist's book, the form was really born in the late '50s and early '60s. The collection at the Architecture and Allied Arts Library, which is supported and extended by artists' books in Knight Library's Special Collections, spans the history of these works of art in book form from 1957 to books by artists today with special emphasis on artists working in the Pacific Northwest.

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Walter B. Wriston (August 3, 1919 - January 19, 2005) was a banker and former chairman of Citicorp. An expert on commercial banking, Mr. Wriston wrote and spoke widely on topics relating to finance, banking, technology, and international business. Mr. Wriston's career at Citibank/Citicorp spanned nearly forty years. He joined the company in 1946 as a Junior Inspector in the Comptroller's Division. He was assigned to the bank's Overseas Division in 1956, heading the European District for three years, and was named a Senior Vice President in 1958. Mr. Wriston became President and Chief Executive Officer of the bank in 1967 and of the corporation when it was formed in 1968.

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This was the background leading to the founding in 1965 of the Vancouver based Alcuin Society. The chief aims of the Society are “to further the interests of book collectors and to promote a wider appreciation of fine books…”. To that end the Society provides a wide range of book oriented activities, including since 1981 an annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The Society continues to flourish. The Society’s From Hand to Hand: A Gathering of the Book Arts in British Columbia… (1986) is a very useful introductory although dated directory of British Columbia fine printing and book arts. The 1970s were important to the British Columbia fine private press/typography scene.

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We can trace Scottish printing back to 4 April 1508.

On that date the earliest surviving dated book in Scotland was printed in Edinburgh.

Here you can read full texts of items printed on 33 of the first 38 printing presses set up in Scotland between 1508 and 1900. These have been digitised from the National Library of Scotland's collections.

They include that first dated printed book – see The Complaint of the Black Knight, printed by Chepman and Myllar.

You can also trace the geographical spread of printing in Scotland, from the first printing towns to the 'printing revolution' in the 19th century.

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