Experience a Creative Space for Book Artists.

At Mills, your creative work will be supported by book art facilities that are among the most comprehensive in the nation. Our library’s extensive Special Collections and Center for the Book will provide you with inspiration and scholarly resources. And our location on a campus with acclaimed programs in studio art, dance, and music provides spaces for interdisciplinary arts collaborations.

Since 1932, the Eucalyptus Press has been the imprint of the Book Art Program at Mills College. In its early days the press published a wide range of books by Mills faculty, students, and administration. Today the Eucalyptus Press publishes broadsides by writers in the Contemporary Writers Series, including Anne Carson, Joyce Carol Oates, Kenneth Goldsmith, and Victor LaValle.

The creation of broadsides is a core component of the Book Art Program. Students print broadsides as they learn the techniques of letterpress printing or study the history of typography. Graduate students, teaching assistants, and staff produce broadsides by writers reading in the Contemporary Writers Series, which brings national and international writers to campus.

MFA students in the Book Art Program have access to a variety of presses in both the Eucalyptus Press and the adjacent graduate studio. The presses include two Vandercooks, a Chandler & Price platen press, an etching press, and an 1860 Albion handpress, along with hundreds of cases of metal and wood type. The studios are available 24 hours a day, with many hours of on-site support by our teaching assistants and our studio manager.

The Eucalyptus Press was established in 1932 by Professor Rosalind Keep. Professor Keep and her student assistants set type and printed many small projects, including a literary magazine. Some of the type and equipment is still in use in the Mills book art studios today.

Students can apply traditional methods to contemporary letterpress projects using metal type—some dating from the 1930s—in a wide range of styles and sizes. Students also have access to a large-format polymer platemaker if they choose to combine computer typesetting and design with relief printing.

The use of metal type continues to play a central role in the teaching of letterpress printing and typography at Mills. The Book Art Program offers significant type resources, all of which are accessible to MFA students. While students have the option of using digital type for their projects, handset metal type remains the most popular way for our students to produce text.

Mills studio resources include a broad range of wood type, all of which is available to students for their printing projects. MFA students might explore early 20th-century avant-garde typography, set titles for their broadsides, or create 21st-century experimental work.

In addition to the Eucalyptus Press, book art MFA students have exclusive, full-time access to the graduate studio. This studio includes Vandercook presses, a Colts Armory platen press with metal type, and individual work spaces that provide students with significant assets to complete their creative projects.

MFA student Kate Robinson locks up a form using handset metal type on one of the two Vandercook presses in the graduate studio. Our dedicated graduate studio provides students with the space, time, and resources to complete a broad range of creative projects in addition to their graduate theses.

This large, light-filled studio houses equipment and materials for both contemporary and traditional binding. Our traditional binding equipment includes French handmade presses, sewing frames, and tools bequeathed by the daughters of noted fine hand-binder Florence Walter.

Internationally renowned book artist Julie Chen teaches a class in the bindery. Graduate students develop their individual projects based on traditional and contemporary binding styles. As with the Mills book art studios, students have 24-hour access to the bindery to work on their projects.

MFA students in the binding class develop a wide range of models while they hone their binding skills. The various contemporary and traditional structures they are taught then become the basis for individual and collaborative books.

The Heller Rare Book Room in the F. W. Olin Library at Mills College houses printed books from the 15th century to the present and is the location for the Mills Center for the Book. The center offers lectures, exhibitions, and workshops led by visiting or local book artists and historians.

Access Top-Notch Resources. 

Our facilities feature green book art studios that reflect our commitment to sustainable art practice. The resources you’ll use as an MFA student include:

      • A dedicated, shared MFA graduate studio, where you’ll have exclusive, 24/7 access to individual work spaces and a broad range of letterpress, printmaking, and bookbinding equipment, including Vandercook presses and a Colts Armory platen press with metal type
      • A digital lab/clean room for MFA students, featuring Apple computer workstations, a color laser writer, a large-format flatbed scanner, and a large-format inkjet printer
      • The Eucalyptus Press, with two Vandercook presses, a Chandler & Price platen press, an etching press, an 1860 Albion handpress, hundreds of cases of metal and wood type, and a large-format polymer platemaker to combine computer typesetting and design with relief printing
      • The Florence Walter Bindery, containing equipment and materials for contemporary and traditional binding; our traditional binding equipment includes French handmade presses, sewing frames, and other tools bequeathed by the daughters of noted fine hand-binder Florence Walter
      • Our Book Art Pocket Gallery, which provides opportunities to curate exhibitions of your own and other's work
      • The Special Collections of the Heller Rare Book Room in the F.W. Olin Library, with a broad and deep range of rare antiquarian and contemporary books, including hundreds of handmade artists’ books
      • Our library’s Center for the Book, which offers lectures, exhibitions, and workshops led by book artists and historians

Collaborate Across Disciplines.

As an MFA student at Mills, you’ll become part of our lively, cutting-edge arts community. Several spaces support artists’ interdisciplinary collaboration and creativity:

  • Slide Space 123, featuring student exhibitions in diverse media as well as work by artists who pose new problems and connect the Mills community with current trends across multiple disciplines
  • The Mills College Art Museum, which hosts professionally curated exhibitions of contemporary art and holds a collection of more than 10,000 works from the first century BC to the present
  • The newly renovated Lisser Hall, with performance spaces for dance and theater
  • Littlefield Concert Hall in our historic Music Building