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CC, Fine Arts Center Collaborate on Library Collection

Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center have entered into an agreement to ensure that much of the FAC’s library – more than 15,000 books – is catalogued and integrated into CC’s renowned Tutt Library.

The collection has been inaccessible since 2006, when the books were put in storage during the Fine Arts Center’s expansion. The partnership between the two neighboring institutions ensures that the books will not only be available to CC students and faculty, FAC patrons, and the general public, but also preserved under library conservation protocols.

At the core of the collection are 6,000 books donated to the Fine Arts Center by co-founder Alice Bemis Taylor. These volumes focus primarily on art and artists of the Southwest from prehistory through to contemporary times. Also in the collection are rare museum catalogs and studies of Egyptian antiquities published under Napoleon. Most of the books will be housed in Tutt Library's art reading room, but books on the history of the Southwest, Native Americans, etc., will be shelved with books on those subjects.

Books in the FAC collection have the designation "Gift of Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 2014" in their catalog record, making the collection searchable as a group. Additionally, the physical books also have a bookplate inside the front cover that reads “Gift to Colorado College from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.”

“This remarkable collection from the Fine Arts Center meshes well with the major renovation and expansion of the Tutt Library currently underway as a key initiative arising from the new strategic plan of Colorado College,” said CC’s Library Director Ivan Gaetz.

“This collaboration ensures that the FAC library collection will once again be a living, breathing resource," said FAC Executive Museum Director and Chief Curator Blake Milteer. "It will be in such good hands at Tutt Library, where the books will be expertly catalogued and attentively cared for.”

Colorado College expects to pay nearly $30,000 in labor and materials to add the additional books. “That’s a fraction of what we’d pay to buy this many books, and that doesn’t take into account how many extremely rare and valuable titles are in this collection,” said Steve Lawson, CC art liaison librarian. “We here at Tutt Library are very thankful for the gift, and are very excited about the opportunity to once again offer these books to scholars and the public. Tutt Library's art book collection has always been strong, and adding the FAC's rich and unique collection will make it truly exceptional.”

The process of moving and cataloguing the FAC collection has already started and will continue into the fall. Books already in the Tutt Library will be offered to University of Colorado—Colorado Springs for possible inclusion in their library collection.

“The FAC and CC have a long history of collaboration, and we’re thrilled that we can continue that tradition,” said Jean Gumpper, an FAC trustee and CC visiting professor of art, who spearheaded the effort to make the library accessible.