UCB Libraries

Daguerreotype from Photo Collection

Special Collections

Special Collections at CU-Boulder houses rare books, artwork, and primary source materials for undergraduate and graduate research.  The general rare book collection is strongest in Western literature while the special subject collections allow us to welcome classes and researchers involved in both the humanities and the sciences.


Patrons are welcomed to the reading room Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Email spc@colorado.edu or call 303-492-6144 to schedule an appointment. Materials may need to be paged from our off-site storage facility through an advance request in Chinook.


Gifts & Donations
Many of the important works in the collection are gifts, or their acquisition was made possible by donation. Deborah Hollis, the Associate Faculty Director, would be pleased to consult with anyone interested in making a contribution. Call Special Collections at 303-492-6144.


  • Featured
  • Instruction
  • Internet
  • Search
  • Subject
  • What's

Coming Soon:
Global War:  Reflections on a Decade of Conflict, 1935-1945. 


26 January - May 15, 2015


The Book's Undoing: Dieter Roth's Artist's Books



The exhibit showcases Dieter Roth’s Gesammelte Werke (Collected Works), a 26-volume self-published catalog of reconstructed versions the artist’s books.


Dieter Roth (1930-1998) was a poet, artist, and master printmaker. Born in Hannover, Germany to a Swiss father and German mother, Roth was evacuated at age 13 from war-torn Germany to Zürich. He began a pursuit of art and poetry during the several years he was separated from his parents. Roth’s interests would lead him to collaborate with concrete poet Eugen Gomringer, artist Daniel Spoerri, and many other influential figures in the decades after World War II. His acute fascination with poetry, design, and print compelled him to experiment with books and bookmaking.


Roth’s innovative use of the book as an artistic medium has contributed to his reputation as one of the most original and imaginative post-war European book artists. Many of his books function as diaries documenting his daily activities and obsessive creative outpouring. Others, made by collaging accumulated studio waste, serve as tribute to his life and artistic pursuits.


Launched in 1969, Gesammelte Werke took Roth over 10 years to complete and involved collecting, editing, revising, expanding, and in some cases embellishing his unique and previously published works. Gesammelte Werke is not a chronological presentation of Roth’s activities, but rather an artistic archival undertaking.


The Book’s Undoing: Dieter Roth’s Artist’s Books, was curated by German PhD candidate and Museum of Field Studies graduate student, Maggie Rosenau.  An opening reception is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11th, from 4 pm to 6 pm. The exhibit is available to view Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


For more information, email spc@colorado.edu or call 303-492-6144.



Past Exhibits




With an active instruction program we are dedicated to enhancing the student experience by collaborating with instructors from the university and community to incorporate rare materials into their courses. These sessions are designed to provide context and increase engagement with the course through the opportunity to read and study primary and historical materials. Students are encouraged to return to the reading room to use our materials in their coursework.


Instruction for late afternoon or evening classes is possible; requests must be submitted at least three weeks in advance.  Please contact susan.guinn-chipman@colorado.edu to discuss instruction needs. 



Please note that many materials housed in Special Collections do not have online records in Chinook, the Libraries' online catalog.Access to materials not found in Chinook is provided here on the Department webpages and in the card catalog and finding guides kept in the Department's reading room.


Search the Special Collections webpages




Goethe: Faust Hurley: Antactica Cameraman New Receipts Monsson