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Spring 2021: Sherrill and Moriarty Library are closed as part of the Lesley University COVID-19 response.  Please visit us online through our library website and via our Ask-A-Librarian service,and see our Remote Services Guide.

Photography Research

A research guide created for students in the photography program at Lesley University's College of Art & Design.

Photobooks in a Pandemic

undefinedSince you can't browse the Moriarty Library photobook collection right now, we've collected some tips for finding scans and excerpts online:

  • Try adding the term photobook to your search for a photographer to see if they've published a book.  Do another search for the title of the photobook in quotation marks to see if there are scans or videos of the book online.
  • Check out the list of Photobook awards below and visit the websites to see past winners
  • Browse some examples we've included at the bottom of this page

Types of Photobooks

You'll find plenty of scholarly texts in the library, discussing an artist's work, a specific technique, etc. But you can also find books full of large images. Some might me a mix of scholarship and images, some are primarily photo prints.  As always, when you do research consider who is speaking, what their bias might be, and whether or not you should be seeking out the voice of the artist themselves.

Anthology: Contains work from many artists, sometimes a comprehensive theme like "icons of the 21st century" sometimes more specific like "Food Photography".  The book will feature many artists, sometimes multiple authors, and an editor to pull everything together.

Monograph: This is a book all about one photographer.  There are even different types of monographs:

  • Photo Project: A book designed by the artist to feature work for a specific project
  • Life's work: A book that attempt to comprehensively cover all of an artist's work, sometimes published by the artist themselves, sometimes published by someone else after their death.
  • Exhibition Catalog: There is another category for exhibit catalogs below that don't take the form of a traditional hard-bound book, but sometimes they are published as monographs.

Exhibition Catalog: Accompanies a museum or gallery exhibition. Often it's a paperback catalog meant for practical purposes as people visit the exhibit, but with enough interest it could also be published as a hardcover book to be sold widely. Tip: include filetype:pdf in your Google search to limit your results to just PDF catalogs you can view entirely online.

Artist's Book: A book that not only contains artwork, but serves as a work of art itself. The form of the book is part of the concept and aesthetic of the project.


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