Special Collections include rare, and out-of-print monographs; limited editions of seminal works in the fields of art, architecture and design; catalogue raisonnees; special edition and pre-1950 art and architectural journals (including GA Document and Architectural Record); broadsides and posters; architectural treatises, plans and drawings; and other major historical works in art, architecture, design, garden history, the art of the book, and the decorative arts. Special Collections also include Artists’ Books, Children’s Books, Rare Books, master’s theses, and ‘Zines.
General Special Collections, Artists’ Books, Children’s Books, Rare Books, Theses, and some ‘Zines are catalogued in the Libraries’ online catalog PrattCat. All these materials, with the exception of most Children’s Books, do not circulate and are housed in closed stacks. They must be requested for viewing at the 1st floor Reference Desk and may be used only in the Reference Room.
The Artists' Book collection encompasses books crafted, published, produced or altered by an artist, including works resulting from an artist's collaboration with artist-run organizations, colleges, universities, galleries, and museums. The collection also includes non-book works that represent a conceptual renegotiation of the traditional book form. Works in the collection date from 1960 to the present.
The Libraries’ Children's Book collection dates from the early 20th century to the most recent Caldecott and Newbery winners, and features everything from lavishly illustrated picture books and non-fiction titles to 3-D pop-up books. Our oldest and most fragile picture books and children's novels form part of our Rare Books collection, while our pop-up books belong to our general Special Collections. These comprise the non-circulation portions of the Children’s Books.
The Rare Book collection, dating from the late-fifteenth through the twentieth centuries, consists of rare, out of print, and unique items, including examples illustrating the history of fine printing, rare children’s books, modern first editions, New York history, and early cookbooks.
The Brooklyn Campus Library acts as a depository for graduate theses required to complete most of Pratt Institute’s graduate programs. These theses form a significant portion of our research resources.
'Zines are do-it-yourself (DIY) magazines or journals, created by someone with something to say! 'Zine authors are typically unconventional; they may identify themselves as social outsiders or members of a subculture: artists, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) people, musicians, eccentrics, eggheads, feminists, goths, punks, anarchists, or others. The content and format of ‘Zines vary dramatically.
The Libraries have begun to acquire a variety of 'Zines, some of which are permanently held by the library while others are kept for a period and later sold at book sales or donated elsewhere. The Libraries collect 'Zines primarily to support classes that include 'Zine study and production as well as general interest.
The Libraries will gladly accept student or faculty 'Zine donations, but it is the librarians who will determine which be catalogued and included in the permanent collection. Criteria for permanent acquisition include production based in New York City and especially Brooklyn, outstanding writing or artistic values, and compelling subject matter. After initial display, some publications defined as "Zines" by the author, a bookstore, or a review source may be added to the Artists’ Book collection instead of the 'Zine collection, especially if the author is an artist or designer or if the publication is artistically outstanding.