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Books of the Heart :: Heart of the Books

The Baylor Libraries celebrates "books of the heart" with an online exhibition of materials from its special collections.

Ab (miniature) by Alicia Bailey

'Designed, illustrated & hand bound in a limited edition of 25 ... by Alicia Bailey. [From] Suggestions for improving the heart and its workings, Aubri Aleka Keleman, © 1997."--Colophon.

"This small book is bound in millimeter style with a maroon leather spine and Pamela Smith hand marbled papers on the covers. The title label is gold laserfoil printed on the same marbled paper and inset. Each of the 32 pages is hand painted with inks on Sumi paper. Text is laserprinted. Title page is heat embossed Gocco print with hand painting on Nideggan paper. The wraparound case is of burgundy book cloth and lined with Smith marbled paper with a complementary pattern to book's cover. The case cover is Gocco printed in gold. Illustrations and book design by Alicia Bailey. Ab means, in Aramaic, "the breath of life." The text of this book includes descriptions of the physiological workings of the circulatory system and Aubri Aleka Keleman's poem "Suggestions for Improving the Heart and Its Workings."--Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers website (accessed Feb. 26, 2014).


1790 Puzzle Purse Valentine (Alice Simpson)

Continuing in a forty-six year tradition of creating original Valentines, Alice Simpson has created a Victorian style puzzle purse with 17th-Century style alphabet, offset printed in Monadnock Dulcet 100 lb. with 17th Century print and Zapfino fonts. Edition of 100.​

Admonition (Sara Parr)

Alchemy (Roni Gross)

Bequeathe Love (Cari Ferraro)

Bequeathe love : poetry / by Walt Whitman; in a book made by Cari Ferraro

"Concertina-folded. Reproduced from original watercolor painting and calligraphy. Printed two-sided with archival pigment inks on Arches Text Wove paper. Wrapped in heavyweight handpainted paper. Ribbon closure."--Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers website (accessed Feb. 26, 2014).

"The book is of a size which may be held in the hands and read while turning pages, or displayed out of its wrapper for the full painting. The pages make interesting use of the writing in the landscape, for instance, the fold breaks 'bequeathe love' into 'the love' on one page spread. The landscape writing was made in the wet paper before paint was applied, allowing it to become the land, sky and wind of the earth."--Artist's statement, Vamp & Tramp website (accessed Feb. 26, 2014).

"This is the first printing of 17 copies in an open edition."--Colophon. Baylor's copy is number 14 and is signed by the artist.

Book of Hearts (Marian Crane)

Book of Hearts by Marian Crane (2014)

" . . .Book of Hearts is a 'non-verbal Valentine of geometric and botanical hearts.' It is a small, gorgeous one-of-a-kind book made with wooden pages, burned heart designs and vibrant red tassels and beads." (23 Sandy Gallery)

The book of love / [printed by Marina Acona and Laimah Osman ; translated by Wazmah Osman and Abdullah Osman].

[New York : Persian Poetry Project : 10 Grand Press], c2011.

"Ishqnama/The Book of Love is silkscreen and letterpress printed ... in an edition of 50 copies. Each book is unique, numbered and signed. Type and imagery are inspired by the classic Shahnama/The Book of Kings manuscripts."--Colophon.

Accordion folded with 4 pockets on one side. Each of the the first three pockets contains a poem in English and Persian, printed on 2 leaves, bound together on one side. The 4th pocket contains the colophon printed on one leaf.



Box of Eros by Alicia Bailey

Chansonnier de Jean de Montchenu




Cherished, Beloved, and Most Wanted (Maureen Cummins)

Cherished, Beloved, and Most Wanted by Maureen Cummins 

Materials: found antique photograph albums, found photographs. Each photo album is unique and includes a separate archival envelope, the "rejected" family photographs it once contained. Album photographs laser printed. Title page letterpress printed. Limitation or colophon letterpress printed.


Maureen Cummins: "Altered Victorian photo albums are paired with reproductions of mug shots from a police ledger, circa 1930. These textless books are experimental rather than didactic (other than title and colophon pages, the book is comprised of photographic spreads) and inspire in the viewer a process of examination, out of which questions and observations - about history, crime, the family, and the process of collecting itself - naturally arise. "The photo albums used for this project are decorative to the point of decadence: constructed of rich materials such as brass, velvet and celluloid, they also contain highly ornate (and largely feminine) iconography - floral borders, roses, cherubs, and maidens - which are meant to both exalt and domesticate the portraits contained within. However, when the viewer opens the album to find it filled with stark photographs of numbered men, their heads held in place by devices that resemble instruments of torture, the effect is emotionally unsettling. These men clearly 'do not belong,' either in cherished photo albums, or society at large.


"Ironically however, the cabinet cards originally intended for these albums (thick photographic cards depicting cherished friends and family members) are now virtually worthless, while convict photos have become a rare and costly collectible. By placing them within prized family photo albums, the artist alludes not only to this telling fact of material culture, but to a myriad of related phenomenon: the Freudian analysis of language and imagery by criminal groups, and our own inconsistent attitude about crime and criminals. While we fear and demonize criminals, we are also secretly fascinated by them, often to the point of celebration: we adopt glamorous figures such as Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and Bonnie and Clyde, claiming them as part of our cultural heritage, at the same time that we disown, deny, and revile other common or less romantic criminals.


"Meanwhile, the quiet pleasure provided by leafing through family photo albums has been replaced by our obsessive involvement with mass media. Violence is our new entertainment; and criminal families from the Corleones to the Sopranos have entered our hearts and homes, inviting us to pore over their images and recall their words and deeds with fondness."


Concrete Love (Aimee Lee)

Crab (Andy Farkas)

Duncan & Imogen (Mukti Nurya Cerio)

Tuscaloosa, Alabama : Honey Tree Press, 2010-2011.

"This book was printed in the autumn of 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; using Centaur and P22 Dearest fonts. There is hand coloring on the images with prisma colored pencils. Fifteen copies are printed on Arches text wove paper with marbled endsheets. The remaining fifteen are printed on handmade cotton rag and linter paper made at the Lost Arch Papermill."--Colophon, [1st] volume.

"This book was printed in the spring of 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; using Centaur and P22 Declaration fonts. Fifteen copies are printed on Rives paper. The remaining fifteen are printed on handmade cotton abaca paper made at the Lost Arch Papermill."--Colophon, [2nd] volume

Each volume contains addressed envelopes and letters, addressed to Duncan Brooke or Imogen Spencer.

Full Circle (Julie Chen)



By Julie Chen
Berkeley, California: Flying Fish Press, 2006. Edition of 100.

Rotating wheel in a 15" x 15" x 3" silk-covered box.

A spinning wheel — that the reader controls and rotates — suggests a clock, or progressive stations along some journey. The contents of the book are viewed by turning a wheel and pausing whenever text and image are centered in 4 windows. At 3 intervals a drawer lines up with the opening in the front of the box. Pulling a tab reveals a tongue-like 3-dimensional diagram of the mind and heart in relation to each other.

The subject? The clue is on the face of the top of the box: an array of intersecting circles hold phrases like "Things I was told to believe in," "Things I would like to believe in," "Things I used to believe in." Full Circle is about belief, or more pointedly, about cycles of belief.

Heart Assortment: A Bittersweet Sampler

Heart Book VI (Ron King)

The Heart Wants What It Wants (Lauren Faulkenberry)


Hole in My Heart (Kumi Korf)


Hole in my Heart
By Kumi Korf
Ithaca, New York: Rikka Press, 2010. Edition of 20. 


13.4 x 13.4 x 1.5" lidded box containing 12.75 x 12.75 x .5" octagon. Four triangles and four squares connected by hinges form a folding octagon structure with a hole in the center. Four 3.75 x 3"books with 10 leaves each slip into cavities that have been cut into the outside edges of the four squares. The squares and triangles are covered with papers that are Kumi Korf's intaglio prints printed by Christa Wolf on Akatosashi paper. Text is set in Electra and letterpress printed on Kitakata paper by Roni Gross. Box lid covered with a print with title inset. 

By folding and twisting the octagon, multiple symbolic structures can be created. The hidden books contain poems by four Japanese court women who used poetry to fill the holes in their hearts.

Colophon: "The concept of this book, the structural design and the selection of the four poems from Japanese women are by the artist. The four poems are: Ono no Komachi (9th century), Izumi Shikibu (10 -11th century), Hachijo-In no Takakura (13th century), and Go-Saga In Chunagon no Suke (14th century). 

"Across the centuries, their sorrow and sadness reach us in our hearts. Creating their poetry in turn, each one of them gracefully accepted the human condition. In expressing their grief, the holes in their hearts were filled with poetry and the play of words using 5-7-5-7-7 syllables of the tanka format."

Kumi Korf: "The women poets in my Hole in My Heart were women serving at Emperors' courts in order to make their wives' surrounding culturally glamorous. They had cubicles partitioned by screens made of beautiful fabrics. My structure of Hole has two distinct such cubicle positions – two cubicles each."


How To Love Someone Forever (Ellen Knudson and Kevin Knudson)

How to Write A Crazy Love Letter


I Love You! (Peter and Donna Thomas)

Love and Marriage (Nava Atlas)


Love Is Everlasting (Peter and Donna Thomas)

Lover's Knot (Roni Gross)

Mallard (Jesse De Long and Sonja Rossow)

Mallard- Jesse De Long and Sonja Rossow

Gordo, Alabama: Curly Head Press, 2012. Edition of 22.

link to record in Baylor Libraries catalog:

4 x 6 "; 8 shaped leaves printed on handmade cotton and abaca paper treated with a watercolor and salt technique. Letterpress printed wtih photopolymer plates. Bound with thread and wood. Slipped in envelope cloth wrapper.

The artist and poet met through the collaboration developed between the University of Alabama's Book Arts and Creative Writing programs and this work marks their third collaboration.

". . . Not parting the water, no, but moving its shape aside the way I would a lover. . . ."

migration: a field guide to love that was and might have been

Paradise: Nature, Stardust, Music, and Romance (Peter and Donna Thomas)

Postscript (Roni Gross)

r & J: the txt msg edition (Elizabeth Pendergrass & John Hastings)

Reciprocal (Louise Levergneux)

Secret Love (Amandine Nabarra-Piomelli)


Separate (Karen Hardy)

Should Cards (Sarah Smith)

Should cards : package no. 1: dating / Sarah M. Smith.

Beverly, MA : Olfactory Press, 2009

"Images of desirable (?) men on one side; on the reverse, hints for meeting them. Tongue firmly in cheek, but which cheek?"--Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers website (accessed 2-2614). Baylor's copy is number 121 of 125 and is signed by the artist.

Strike Gently (McFadden/Elsaesser)

Theia Mania

El Torero ya la bailarina (Ellen Ziegler)

Ellen Ziegler had this to say about her work: "The love story of a young ballerina (my mother) from New York's Ballet Theatre, in residence at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. She fell in love with Cantinflas, Mexico's most famous actor and comedian (and a bullfighter.)"

Hard-bound limited edition, hand-stitched, paper with cloth corners, 8" x 11".
Photos hand-tipped in, archival inkjet printed.
Text in Spanish and English.
Overlays hand-typed on vintage onionskin paper in the Portal de Evangelistas, Mexico City.

Click here to for a video of Ellen Ziegler talking about her book El Torero y la Bailarina.

Turn Over Darling (Ron King)

A Very Valentine (Roni Gross)

The Wedding Plans (Kirstin Demer)


When You Are Old (Yeats/Amy Pirkle)


Your Favorite Love Songs (Miriam Schaer)


For much of her artists books, Miriam uses garments — girdles, bustiers, brassieres, aprons, children’s’ clothes — as means of containment. Inside these stiffened, shaped, embellished enclosures, she places books and other objects that document her explorations of feminine, social, and spiritual issues.


Ms. Schaer is a recipient of an Artists Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has been exhibited in the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series at Mabel Smith Douglass Library, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, the oldest and longest-running exhibition series dedicated to showcasing women artists in the United States, as well as at the Feminist Art Base in the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Ms. Schaer’s work has been shown in the Cheongju International Craft Biennale, South Korea, and in Imagining the Book Biennale at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt.


Miriam Schaer lectures and teaches books structures and printmaking at universities and art centers in the U.S. and abroad. She also runs teacher training and artist workshops, and taught in artist-in-the-school programs throughout the New York region. Venues in which she has taught and lectured include Sarah Lawrence College, Colorado College, and Rutger’s Center for Innovative Paper and Print, Memphis College of Art and Design; Facultad de Bellas Artes de Universidad de Castilla la Mancha in Cuenca, Spain; the Graphic Artists Union in Tallinn, Estonia; Cinema Rex in Belgrade, Yugoslavia; and the Center for Book Arts and the Lower East Side Printshop in New York City. She currently teaches in the Interdisiplinary MFA in Book and Paper at Columbia College in Chicago.


To see more of her work, visit:

University Libraries

One Bear Place #97148
Waco, TX 76798-7148

(254) 710-6702