Undergraduate Catalog
Graduate Catalog
Courses A–Z
Course Schedule
Academic Calendar
Study Abroad
Academic Research
Grants & Special Programs
Summer Session
January Term
F. W. Olin Library

Center for the Book

Publications | Past Events | Forthcoming Events

Book ArtsThe Center for the Book at Mills College was established in 1989 to promote the cultural, literary, and aesthetic heritage of the book. Programs and projects encompass contemporary and historical concerns, and include the book arts, literacy, and local history. The Center for the Book involves both Mills College and the local communities, acknowledging the extraordinarily rich resources of the Bay Area.

Projects sponsored or co-sponsored by the Center for the Book include publications, lectures and workshops by visiting or local book artists, historians, and others; exhibitions; conferences; and other special events. All the center’s events are free and open to the public unless otherwise specified.

Books Published by the Center For the Book
Click here for ordering information

Reading the Object: Three Decades of Books by Julie Chen
Published by the Mills College Center for the Book and Flying Fish Press, 2016
Catalogue raisonne of Julie Chen and Flying Fish Press. With essays by Kathleen Walkup and Sandra Kroupa, and commentary by Julie Chen. Designed by Julie Chen. Printed offset.
ISBN 978-0-9648938-9-4. $30 

Celebrating the Cultural Landscape Heritage of Mills College
by Vonn Marie May and Robert Sabbatini with Karen Fiene.
Mills College Center for the Book, 2008
ISBN 978-0-9648938-6-3. $18

Darius Milhaud Interviews with Claude Rostand
translated by Jane Hohfeld Galante.
First English translation of Entretiens avec Claude Rostand, Darius Milhaud (Zurfluh Editions, 1998). Designed by Peter Rutledge Koch and printed offset. Edition limited to 500 copies.
2002. This book is in print.
ISBN 0-9648938-4-3. $25

Why I Read Stein by Charles Shere.
Designed by Michael Sumner; forward by Melody Sumner Carnahan.
Printed offset. 2002. This book is in print.
ISBN 0-9648938-5-1. $10

A Salon at Larkmead by Drew Sparks and Sally Kellman.
A Salon at Larkmead, is about Lillie Hitchcock Coit's life in Napa Valley, based on the diaries of her mother, Martha Hitchcock, edited and arranged according to the seasons of a year. The diaries are part of the Hitchcock Coit Papers housed at the Special Collections Department of the F. W. Olin Library at Mills College. A Salon at Larkmead includes period photographs, news accounts, letters, poems, and recipes from Lillie Coit's journals. It was compiled and edited by Sally Kellman and Drew Sparks, who devoted several years researching Lillie Hitchcock Coit. This first edition was designed in a large square format and printed letterpress in three colors by Peter Rutledge Koch (Berkeley, California). The typefaces are Quadraat and Libra. The papers are Mohawk Superfine for the text and Cranes for the facsimiles. The book is richly illustrated with 48 duo-tone reproductions of nineteenth century photographs and several four-color ephemeral pieces. The book was bound by Peggy Gotthold in quarter Japanese cloth with printed Fabriano paper over boards. Edition limited to 250 copies.
1999. This book is in print.
ISBN 0-9648938-3-5. $195

A Line Between the Word and the Way: A Celebration of the Life and Works of Lou Harrison.
Designed and printed by students from the Mills College Book Art Program with previously unpublished poems by Lou Harrison. Printed letterpress at the Mills College Eucalyptus Press. Edition limited to 75 copies. 1997.
This book is out-of-print.

Literary and Cultural Journeys: Selected Letters to Arturo Torres-Riosecoby Carlota Caulfield and Miguel Angel Zapata.
This major contribution to the field of Spanish and Latin American Literature includes more than fifty letters from contemporary writers and poets (e.g., Gabriela Mistral, Miguel de Unamuno, Cecilia Meireles) to the Chilean scholar and writer Arturo Torres-Rioseco, during the early to mid-twentieth century. Scholarly commentary by the editors and others, and original Spanish or Portuguese text with facing English translations is included for each letter, as well as various appendices and bio-bibliographic information. Carlota Caulfield is  Professor of Spanish at Mills College. Miguel Angel Zapata is Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. 1995. This book is in print. ISBN 0-9648938-1-9. $20

The Flying Cloud and Her First Passengers by Margaret Lyon and Flora Elizabeth Reynolds.
This is an account of the first voyage of the clipper ship, The Flying Cloud around Cape Horn. The book is based on a diary in the Israel Whitney Lyon Family Papers which are housed in the Mills College Special Collections. The first printing (1992) was limited to 200 copies and went out-of-print almost immediately. The book was reprinted in 1998 in an edition of 500 copies. 1998. This book is in print.
ISBN 0-9648938-2-7. $25

Click here for ordering information


Forthcoming Events

Sunday, September 23, 2018
3:00–5:00 pm

Opening event for
A Passion for the Handmade: the Curatorial and Publishing Work of Linda L. Brownrigg

with remarks by Professor Eileen Hogan (Camberwell, Chelsea, and Wimbledon Art Schools) and Carol Sauvion (Producer of Craft in America)

All events take place in the Heller Rare Book Room, 
F. W. Olin Library, Mills College and are open to the public.

Call or email Janice Braun (510.430.2047) for more information.

Past Events the Center for the Book Sponsored or


Sunday, June 26th, 2016
2:30-4:30 pm

Opening event of the Mills College Summer Institute for Book and Print Technologies. Nationally known artists Tom Killion, Inge Bruggeman, and Julie Chen will show images and speak about their work. 
A reception will follow the presentations.


Sunday, November 2, 2014
2:00-4:00 pm

Opening Event for
On These I Stand:
An Exhibit of Rare Black Books and Collectibles

Conversation and Q&A featuring Ajuan Mance, Mills College professor of English, and Daphne Muse, writer, social commentator, and collector.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
5:30-7:00 pm

Kelsey Street Press is pleased to celebrate 40 years of publishing experimental writing by women with a Mills College exhibition and special opening night event—a reading and conversation on embodiment, gender and experimental writing featuring a diverse and dynamic panel of poets.

Embodiment, Gender and Experimental Writing: A Reading and Conversation with Kelsey Street Press Poets and Friends

Panelists: Patricia Dienstfrey, Amber DiPietra, Eleni Stecopoulos, Nico Peck Moderator: Susan Gevirtz

Co-sponsored by Mills College Center for the Book, Mills English Department Contemporary Writers' Series, and Kelsey Street Press.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lecture by artist and author Aimee Lee:

In this talk, Aimee will share her experience of excavating Korean papermaking traditions with first-hand images, videos, and samples of hanji and paper objects.
A reception will follow the talk.
Co-sponsored with the Mills College Book Art Program.

Thursday, February 7, 2013, 4:00-5:30 pm

Opening and reception for the exhibition with a brief talk by curator Thomas Günther:
Poesie des Untergrunds / Poetry of the Underground from East Berlin/GDR, 1979-1989: 
Artists' Books of Ten Women


Wednesday, March 28, 2012 :: 3-5 p.m.
The Aesthetic Woman

Lecture by Margaret Stetz (Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies and Professor of Humanities, University of Delaware) in conjunction with the exhibition, "The Angel Leaves the House: Women Bookmakers and the Aesthetic Page." Reception to follow. Co-sponsored with the Mills College Book Art Program.


Katarzyna Bazarnik & Zenon Fajfer
"Liberature or Total Literature"
Sunday, October 9, 2011, 3-5 p.m.
Reception and exhibition viewing will follow the talk.

Johanna Drucker
"Social Values and Available Means"
June 23, 2011

Co-sponsored with the San Francisco Center for the Book
in conjunction with their "Blanket Impressions" exhibition and symposium.


"Looking Bookward: Graduate Students Explore Book Art at Mills College"

Exhibition Opening and Panel Discussion with Julie Chen, Lara Durback, Ruth McGurk, Matt Runkle, and Dorothy Yule.
November 15, 2009

Reception & Talk by Malcolm Whyte
In conjunction with the exhibition (March 16-May 22, 2009): "The Book Art of Edward Gorey"
From the collection of Malcolm & Karen Whyte


Book release party for Celebrating the Cultural Landscape Heritage of Mills College: Using the Past to Inform Campus Planning and Design (March 16, 2008). 

Alisa Golden presented a talk, "Where Do {Artist} Books Fit In?" on Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. in conjunction with the exhibition "never mind the press:
25 Years of Book Art by Alisa Golden" (January 22–March 7, 2008). 


"Synesthesia: Selections from Granary Books, 1987–2006"

Publisher Steven Clay presented a talk on Sunday, February 11, 2007 in conjunction with the exhibit.


Conference Announcement:
[r] evolution in print:
New Work in Printing History & Practice

Join us for the annual American Printing History Association conference in the extraordinary San Francisco Bay Area on September 22–23, 2005. The conference will convene in San Francisco at the historic Sir Francis Drake hotel and continue the following day at Mills College in Oakland.

The keynote speaker will be linguist Geoffrey Nunberg. Nunberg is a senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University, where he is Professor of Linguistics.

Detailed description of the conference.


Precious Playthings: Black Paper Dolls, 1885–2003. An exhibition from the collection of Arabella Grayson (MA Mills 1996). January 20–February 29, 2004. Reception: Sunday, February 8, 2004. 2:00 pm–4:00 pm.

Barbara Guest Poetry Reading. Cosponsored with the Kelsey Street Press. Sunday, February 29, 2004. 2:00 pm.

Sounding Joe Catalano. Exhibition opening, lecture, live music, and reception. Sunday, March 28, 2004. 2:00 pm. Speaker: Pauline Oliveros.


Contributed funding to the San Francisco Center for the Book’s Massin Symposium.
This symposium which was connected to the San Francisco Ceneter for the Book’s exhibition Massin in Continuo: a Dictionary featured Robert Massin from Paris, curator Laetitia Wolff from New York, and type and design authority John Berry from Seattle discussing Massin's career as one of the world's great book designers. September 20, 2003.


“Works in Progress,” Exhibition of new work by Book Arts Program post-baccalaureate Teaching Assistants. Reception (held in Heller Rare Book Room) and exhibition fully funded by the Center for the Book. January 21–March 7, 2003.

Charles Shere, “Why I Read Stein.” Lecture, music performance, reception, and exhibition opening to commemorate the acquisition of the Charles Shere Archive. November 24, 2002. The lecture was published in book form by the Center for the Book and is still available.

Gunnar Kaldewey exhibition and lecture, “The Artist Book in a Global World.” April 21, 2002.


“The Parmenides Project: The Hand & Computer in an Early Twenty-first Century Book,” A Symposium, The San Francisco Public Library, June 10–11, 2001. Co-sponsored with The Bancroft Library (U.C. Berkeley), San Francisco Public Library, The Reva & David Logan Foundation, The California Center for the Book, The Book Club of California, and Stanford University Libraries.

Zapfest at Mills College—Women & Typography: Gudrun Zapf von Hesse in conversation with Gerogianna Greenwood, Anna Wolf, and Linnea Lundquist. Exhibition, lecture, reception, and keepsake consisting of five postcards designed and printed by Mills College alumna using Gudrun Zapf’s typefaces (Diotima, Ariadne Roman, and Smaragd). The digital typefaces were donated by Adobe Corporation. September 9, 2001.

November 12, 2000
spheres of influence: A Symposium
Participants: Sas Colby, moderator, Frances Butler, Julie Chen, Anne Siberell, Theresa Whitehill
Heller Room, F. W. Olin Library, Mills College, Sunday November 12, 2:00 pm
How do influences operate in the work of an artist? How do they change as we move from being students to being teachers or professional artists? How do you know when we're under the influence? Four artists whose work has spanned a broad variety of media, including books, will discuss the ways in which their work has functioned both inside and outside spheres of influence. Sas Colby, a Bay Area artist of long standing whose own work has often included unique and small edition artist's books, will moderate the discussion.
Satellite, an exhibit of current and past artists' books by Mills alumnae curated by Janice Braun, will be on view.

Sponsorship of a juried exhibition of artists' books: Dressing the Text: The Fine Press Artists' Books , on display at the F. W. Olin Library at Mills College. A panel discussion with members of the jury, Felicia Rice, Gary Young, Ruth McGurk, and Peter Thomas took place in conjunction with the exhibition. January 12–March 6, 1998

Co-sponsorship with The Book Arts Program, Mills College of "Catalysts: Continuing Dialogues in Book Arts," a joint celebration and symposium with Mills College and Camberwell College of Art (The London Institute). April 11–12, 1996.

For more information on the Center for the Book, please contact Janice Braun, Special Collections Librarian & Director, Center for the Book at 510.430.2047
or email her at jbraun@mills.edu

Check out these sites:




Departments & Staff

Questions & Feedback


Library Hours


Contact Information

P: 510.430.2047
E: Special Collections

Last Updated: 8/7/18