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​Rare Book Room

Ad for Rare Book Room Features: ArizonanAd for Rare Book Room Features: Book of Hours 

​About the Rare Book Room

Photo of the Rare Book RoomLocated on the fourth floor of Burton Barr Central Library, the Rare Book Room houses three collections:

The Alfred Knight Collection contains 3400 rare, historically significant books and ephemera including 4000-year-old clay tablets, illuminated manuscripts, Shakespeare's Second and Fourth folios and leaf from the Gutenberg Bible. 


The Artist Made Book Collection includes nearly 400 twentieth century and contemporary works from fine presses and leading artists. 


The Reference Collection is made up of 2000 books and periodicals on the history, structure and production of books and book arts. 

Image of Ed Zuercher talking to Heather Kendall in the Rare Book Room. 

​Learn more about the Rare Book Room from this interview with then-Acting and current City Manager Ed Zuercher and Rare Book Librarian Heather Kendall.

Visiting the Rare Book RoomImage of an artist-made book


Public tours are offered on a bi-monthly basis. Tours are free but space is limited.

Upcoming tour dates are:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017
(Registration begins April 18, 2017)

Saturday, July 29, 2017
(Registration begins May 30, 2017)

Saturday, August 19, 2017
(Registration begins June 20, 2017)

Saturday, September 30, 2017
(Registration begins August 1, 2017) 

Group Tours can be arranged for a minimum of 12 attendees.  Email for booking and information.


Research appointments can be arranged.  Appointments can be scheduled for up to 2 hours and titles must be provided in advance.  Email for booking and information.

​For immediate assistance please telephone the Call Center at (602) 262-4636 during our business hours.