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About the Collection

The Wilson Collection includes over 800 limited edition books, dating from 1929 to the present, published by the Limited Editions Club and Arion Press, as well as separate portfolios of some of the fine artwork that illustrates many of the beautifully-bound books.

A limited edition book differs from regular books in that the publisher limits the printing to a specific number, typically fewer than 1,000 copies. Small editions mean that the publisher can include artwork, high-quality paper, hand printing, and beautiful or unusual bindings. Many notable artists produced illustrations and artwork for Limited Editions books. Pablo Picasso created the drawings for Lysistrata, by Aristophanes, and Henri Matisse created the illustrations for Ulysses, by James Joyce.

Often the author and the artist sign the books. Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the original Alice from Alice in Wonderland) signed copies of the Limited Edition Club’s printings of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Ms. Hargreaves had previously refused to inscribe anything written by Lewis Carroll. She wasn’t able to sign every copy printed, but the two in the Wilson Collection are both signed.

The Wilson Limited Editions Collection was developed with a gift to the Nashville Public Library Foundation by Dr. Sadye Tune Wilson of Nashville.

Visit the Wilson Room

The Wilson Room is located in the East Reading Room on the Main Library, 3rd floor, next to the Fine Arts section. It is open to the public during regular library hours. Books and folios are exhibited on a rotating basis.

Groups must make special reservations to view the Wilson Collection. Staff members can provide a guided tour of the space and interactive activities. Tours are available for ages 12+ and can be tailored to your group.

Request a Tour of The Wilson Collection