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​Rare Book Room

Image of an artist-made bookLocated on the fourth floor, the Rare Book room houses:

  • The Alfred Knight Rare Book Collection - 3400 items including cuneiform tablets, illuminated manuscripts, the second and fourth folios of Shakespeare and a leaf (page) from the Gutenberg Bible. Knight, a retired business executive, willed his books and manuscripts to the library in 1958.

  • An artist-made book collection - established in 1983, this collection includes works from the great presses of the 20th century as well as livres d'artiste, altered books, sculptured books, editions with special bindings and one-of-a-kind books. In 1993, Percent for Arts program funds enhanced this collection.

  • A reference collection on the history of the book and the book arts. 

  • A Washington Press (circa 1895) made by the Ostrander Seymour Company of Chicago and donated to the Library in 1988.

  • ​​Access to materials in the Rare Book Room is by appointment only. Call 602-534-9670 for an appointment.​

Take a Tour of the Rare Book Room

Rare Book Librarian Heather Kendall offers one-hour tours on occasion. Tours are free but space is limited. Check back for upcoming dates. 

Image of Ed Zuercher talking to Heather Kendall in the Rare Book Room. 

​Learn more about the Rare Book Room from this interview with then-Acting and current City Manager Ed Zuercher and Rare Book Librarian Heather Kendall.