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Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections at Decker are unique records and work related to MICA, including its students, faculty, and alumni.

Special Collections at Decker Library include artists' books, rare books, architectural records, audiovisual materials (moving images and audio), manuscripts, publications, graduate theses, yearbooks and scrapbooks, ephemera, reports, catalogs, student rosters, financial ledgers, meeting minutes, and more.

Please note that some materials may be restricted. Unpublished MICA records are not available for outside research for 70 years from date of creation. Documentation is sporadic for many eras.

Special collections and archives material are available for in-library use (unless otherwise noted) during the hours the Research Help desk is open. During the academic semester, those hours are:

Mon - Thurs: 12p-6p; Fri: 12p-4:30p; Sat & Sun: 12p-6p

Special collections and archives material are not available for browsing. For this reason, we highly recommend making an appointment and requesting materials in advance of your visit. To make an appointment, contact us at

Check out just a few of our Special Collections:

From Special Collections

Book Arts Collection

Decker Library's Book Arts collection is a teaching collection of almost 800 unique, limited-edition artists' books and fine press editions. Authors include nationally and internationally renowned artists, and among them are MICA alumni, faculty, and staff. Faculty can request instruction sessions with these materials and individuals may view materials in the library. See Access and Use for more information.

Some of the items in this collection have been digitized. Browse the collection on Digital Decker.

Audiovisual Materials

MICA Mades Audiovisual Collection

The MICA Mades Audiovisual Collection contains audio and visual materials that document artist lectures, poetry readings, exhibitions, and special events at MICA dating back to the 1940s. The collection is made up of over 700 VHS and Beta tapes, almost 800 cassette tapes, and a dozen film reels. Many of these items have been digitized and are available for viewing/listening on the Internet Archive.

MICA Graduate Theses

MICA Graduate Theses Collection

Decker Library is the official repository for graduate theses from MICA's graduate programs. Theses from 1956 through 2014 are available in-library only. Search the library catalog for this portion of the collection, or take a look at our inventory of theses collected during this time period, arranged by program.

Theses from 2015 through present day are available via Digital Decker. Theses authors dictate permission level for their work, therefore some theses are open to the public, some are restricted to the MICA community only (MICA username and password are required), and others are embargoed (unavailable) for five years from the creation date. This portion of the collection is also searchable through our library catalog.

From Special Collections

Erotic Collection

This collection is focused on the underground and alternative publications of sexual communities and demonstrates historic restrictive values of publication of erotic or sexually explicit materials. This collection began with a donation of gay male erotica, which currently makes up the majority of the collection. However, the goal is to collect broadly across sexualities and genders. The works in this collection range from the 1930s through the 2000s and are predominantly created by groups who were marginalized and persecuted during a time when subscription services to publications were necessary to build a safe community around sexual expression. Works include Tom of Finland, Alan Moore, and several zines, artists' books, and photography. We are continually collecting materials for this collection.

From Special Collections

Zine Collection

Zines are often described as self-published works, non-profit, limited printing, folded or simple stapled, and photocopied or offset, letterpressed, etc. We're committed to collecting works by MICA students, staff, and faculty, zines that reflect and encompass issues and artists of Baltimore City, and those that highlight marginalized groups and support the MICA curriculum. We are continually collecting materials for this collection.

Study Collections

Ellen Dorn Levitt Book Arts Collection, 1988-2014

Ellen Dorn Levitt (1947-2014) attended MICA from 1965-1969. Levitt's work focused on teaching art and teaching students of education, particularly in the area of book arts. This collection consists of completed book arts projects, as well as teaching materials and book arts program proposals and syllabi.

Study Collections

Morris Louis Study Collection, 1958-2011

This collection documents the work of American painter and MICA alumnus Morris Louis (1912-1962). It includes publications that feature his work including monographs and exhibition catalogs, and audiovisual materials.

Study Collections

S.C. Malone Penmanship Collection, 1890-1932

This collection includes 73 examples of penmanship created by Samuel Curtis Malone: alphabets, projects for specific clients, decorative borders, and promotional pieces for S.C. Malone's business in Baltimore, Maryland. Malone was a nationally-known penman and engrosser, working in Baltimore for over 50 years to produce bookplates, coats of arms, crests, diplomas, and more.

Some of the items in this collection have been digitized. Browse this collection on Digital Decker.

Study Collections

Sophia L. Crownfield Textile Design Collection, 1890-1925

This collection conists of approximately 1200 drawings of floral subjects in various media, mainly study designs for textile patterns, by Sophia L. Crownfield. Some samples of completed silk textiles are included. Crownfield (1862-1929) was a Baltimore-born artist who worked in New York as a designer for companies such as the Cheney Silk Company.

Study Collections

Virginia West Fiber Art Study Collection, 1969-2012

This collection documents 68 fiber artists working in the late 20th century. It includes over 200 items, including photoprints of artist work, postcards, ephemera, and clippings. Fiber artist Virginia West was a MICA faculty member in the late 1970s through mid-1980s.

Study Collections

William Henry Jackson Photochromes, 1895-1908

This collection consists of 187 photographic productions made by William Henry Jackson (1843-1942) and the Detroit Photographic Company. Jackson was an American painter, photographer, and publisher who traveled the world as a photographer under the auspices of corporate and governmental entities, producing a large quantity of documentary images.

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