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About the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book: The Dianne and Michael Bienes Special Collections and Rare Book Library

  

The Bienes Museum of the Modern Book: The Dianne and Michael Bienes Special Collections and Rare Book Library is a state-of-the-art facility where more than 15,000 items, rare books and Special Collections are housed, preserved, actively collected and researched.

  

A key area of collection specialization is artifacts and literature pertaining to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs of the 1930s. The collection contains important holdings from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Historical Records Survey, Writer’s Project children’s books, Florida publications, Handicraft Projects and the Museum Extension Project. The Jean Fitzgerald Collection of WPA Federal Writer’s Project Materials contains approximately 2,000 titles and is generally considered to be the largest and most comprehensive in the United States. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) collection consists of approximately 200 titles and other ephemera.

  

Other highlights of the collection are Children’s Literature and Artifacts, with holdings including the Nyr Indictor Collection of Alphabet and Related Materials, a research-level resource of approximately 2,000 items that records in detail the worldwide development of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century alphabets; the Jean Trebbi ABC Collection, featuring 300 alphabet books that are first editions, signed and numbered copies, artists’ books, and other rare and out-of-print titles dating from the late nineteenth century to the present day; the Duane H. Siers Family Collection of Big Little Books, a collection of 500 Big Little Books dating from 1932 to the 1970s; and the Bienes Museum Comic Books Collection, which contains approximately 2,400 vintage comic books dating from the 1950s to the 1980s.

  

The Bienes Museum also contains significant holdings in the illustrated work of author and illustrator Leonard Everett Fisher and Czech paper engineer, children’s book illustrator, and graphic designer Vojtech Kubašta, with one of the largest public institutional collection of Kubašta’s works in the United States.

  

In the area of Floridiana, the Bienes Museum maintains the Florida Artists’ Book Collection, going back to 1997, the year in which the Museum established the annual Florida Artists’ Book Prize competition. Other Floridiana consists of the the archives and papers of Florida authors Connie May Fowler, Olivia Goldsmith, Michael Shaara, and Charles Willeford and rare books, periodicals, manuscripts, documents, and other material in which the author, subject, theme or setting is related to Florida or Broward County, such as the John D. MacDonald Collection, wherein many of the author’s novels are set in his adopted home of Florida.

  

The Museum also contains the Dianne and Michael Bienes Art, Architecture and Fine Facsimiles Collection of approximately 600 titles; the Deicke Collection of Books on Rare Tropical Fruits and Vegetables, with more than 150 titles by leading horticulturalists; the General Collection of Books contains reference material pertaining to book collecting, conservation and preservation of books; the Paulette and Robert Greene Collection of Books about Books and Florida Fine Press Publications; and the lrving Weil Coin Collection.

  

In May 2012, the Bienes Museum had the distinction of being the subject of Broward County Library’s first e-book, The Bienes Museum Catalogs of James A. Findlay. The publication honors the work of librarian and curator James A. Findlay, who served as head librarian of the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book from 1995 to 2010. The publication may be accessed at no charge by visiting Broward County Library’s online Digital Collections page. It is available in EPUB eBook format for iPad, NOOK, Sony Reader, Kindle eBook or by viewing with Adobe Digital Editions.

  

For more information about the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book: The Dianne and Michael Bienes Special Collections and Rare Book Library, call 954-357-8692 or 954-357-8243 or email bienes@browardlibrary.org. The Bienes Museum may be visited online at Broward.org/Library/Bienes/.

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