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On Color: The Faber Birren Book Collection

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About this Collection



The Faber Birren Collection of Books on Color on microfilm by Research Publications (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group) is the single, most comprehensive assemblage of publications pertaining to the study and theory of color usage available to researchers and artists today. The collection contains 497 titles selected by Faber Birren, a foremost authority on the subject of color relations. It entails all aspects of color study, with special emphasis on color theory, art, painting, and the graphic arts in books printed from 1558 to the 1930s.

Over half of the material included in the Faber Birren Collection of Books on Color has been provided by the Yale University Libraries. Many books formerly owned by Faber Birren can be found on the microfilm; in 1971 he donated his private collection of research works assembled during his career to the Art and Architecture Library at Yale University. Coupled with publications filmed from the holdings of the Colour Reference Library at the Royal College of Art in London, and supplemented with material from the New York Public Library and the Harvard University Libraries, this microfilm collection will enable researchers at any library or institution to study these unique texts.

The Faber Collection of Books on Color contains monographs written on a variety of subjects including color use and contrast by Michel Chevreul; painting in different mediums by John Burnet; decorative design by Christopher Dresser; art criticism and preservation by Henry Merritt; glass manufacturing and coloring by Antonio Neri; educational color manuals by Louis Prang; the art of illuminating by William Tymms; and light, electricity, and radiation theory by John Tyndall. The Faber Birren Collection of Books on Color also covers the practical aspects of color application in printing and graphics, photography, dyeing and clothing, interior decorating, architecture, mosaic and tile manufacturing. Scientific implications of color in optics, medicine, and astral and supernatural phenomena are also researched by contributing authors. A primary advantage of the collection is the manner in which it combines works by such renowned historical figures as Leonardo da Vinci with books written by contemporary authors like Faber Birren. This makes it possible for the user to compare writings and follow artistic trends as they developed over the years.