Center for the Book

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Graduate degree: MFA in book arts

Graduate certificate: book studies/book arts and technologies



The University of Iowa Center for the Book represents a community of faculty, staff, students, and local book specialists with interests in all facets of book production, distribution, and use. Some members of the center actively research the history and circulation of the book, examining the role of books in cultural and historical processes. They also look at how changes in book production affect the way books are viewed as artifacts. Specialists in book arts and technologies study the history and technique of book crafts, including letterpress printing, typography, calligraphy, papermaking, and bookbinding. Others engage in the conservation or production of books, including artists' books and literary fine press publications.

The center offers classes; sponsors lectures, seminars, and workshops; and encourages the exchange of ideas among individuals with interests in the book. A wide range of perspectives on the book as an aesthetic, cultural, and historical artifact is provided by associated faculty, staff, and graduate students in the schools of Art and Art History, and Library and Information Science; the departments of History and English; the University of Iowa Libraries; the Creative Writing Program (Iowa Writers' Workshop); and other areas. This interdisciplinary membership and the center's facilities combine to provide an exceptional environment for studying the history of the book, its evolution, and its future.

Three students looking at an old book.

Graduate students may earn a master's degree or a graduate certificate through the Center for the Book. Undergraduate students may add dimension to their majors in English, art, journalism, history, and other disciplines by taking Center for the Book courses in book arts and book studies. They also may include an emphasis on book arts or on cultural and historical aspects of the book in the interdepartmental studies major.