The Artists' Books Collection Dundee (abcD) was founded in 1999 as the Centre for Artists' Books, located in the Visual Research Centre, the University's space at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Launched at the same time as the building, it was the first combined collection and exhibition space of its kind in the UK. A specially designed book display unit was created by Roland Ashcroft and Jeanette Paul, researchers based in the School of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. From 1999-2002 the collection was curated by publisher and artist Alec Finlay, who staged a number of exhibitions exploring all aspects of the artist's book.
In 2010 the collection was formally accessioned into the University of Dundee Museum Collections and the following year a re-launch exhibition, cabin:codex was curated by Exhibitions at DJCAD in collaboration with artist David Faithfull. Click here for images of the exhibition and here for further information and footage of the accompanying performance events. Other exhibitions have included A Book is a Performance and The Book Artist as Explorer.
One of the aims of abcD since its inception has been to publish its own titles, starting with Selected Walks by Richard Long in 1999. Recent additions include Tent by Paul Noble and Cabin:Codex Titles by Zoe Irvine and Pernille Spence. To accompany the Impact8 conference several works were commissioned for the collection from leading book artists including Helen Douglas, Imi Maufe, Emmanuelle Wackerle and Frans Baake.
In 2018 abcD was relocated to the Library of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design but is still managed by Museum Services. The collection now comprises over 1200 books by many major Scottish and international artists including David Bellingham, Roderick Buchanan, John Cage, Nathan Coley, Marcel Duchamp, David Faithfull, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Douglas Gordon, Zoe Irvine, Yoko Ono, Julian Opie, Toby Paterson, Olivia Plender, David Shrigley, Edward Summerton and Andy Warhol. You can search a database of the entire collection, which is being regularly updated. Appointments can be made to view abcD by Contacting Us