Art of the Book

About the exhibit

Celebrate the beauty and artistry of books from cover to cover. This exhibit showcases rare, fine press and artist-made books from Toronto Public Library's Special Collections. Discover early printed books from the 1400s, richly decorated covers, whimsical miniatures, and contemporary forms that challenge our ideas about what a book can be.

Download a large-print version of the exhibit text.

Reading List

Books you can borrow from the library, handpicked by the curator for Art of the Book.

View reading list


The Changing Role of the Book in Culture

Monday, March 16, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall

Wood engraver, book artist, author and educator George Walker explores our relationship with information and art as presented in the form of the printed book.

What We Learn from the Mistakes of Early Printed Books

Monday, April 6, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall

Lecture by Sarah Werner, author of Studying Early Printed Books 1450-1800: a Practical Guide, presented in partnership with the University of Toronto's Book History and Print Culture program.

Simple Book Structures Workshop

Tuesday, April 14, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall

Conducted by local book and paper conservator Rose Newlove. Materials and tools provided. Presented in partnership with the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild.

Registration for this program is full.


Drop-in tours

All are welcome! Join a library staff member on a free guided tour on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm — meet inside TD Gallery.


Schedule a tour

Want to schedule a tour for a class or large group? Contact

Roses by Robert Wu, Robert Chia-Yu; illustrations by Pierre Joseph Redouté. Toronto: Little Gem Press, 2006.
Wymps: And Other Fairy Tales by Evelyn Sharp, illustrated by Mrs. Percy Dearmer. London; New York: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1897.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. Czech Republic: Jan Sobota and Jarmila Sobotova, 2006.