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The Indie Photobook Library and Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive in Washington, DC September 20



Pop-up Exhibition of the Indie Photobook Library and Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive

Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 11-6pm
Talk by Larissa Leclair and Christine McFetridge 4:30-5:30pm

Hosted by Leica
977 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 787-5900

The Indie Photobook Library welcomes the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive to the United States! Come join us in DC for the third stop in the APPA’s roadtrip of pop-up exhibitions. For the first time ever, the iPL and APPA will exhibit together contemporary self-published photobooks from around the world from both of their permanent collections. Browse almost 100 titles, socialize, be inspired, get creative!

Modeled after the Indie Photobook Library, founded by Larissa Leclair in 2010 and based in the DC area, the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive (APPA) is a unique collection of self-published, limited edition, and handmade photobooks and zines whose sole purpose is the promotion of photographic work/books from the Asia-Pacific region. The AP region has some of the most exciting and vibrant photographic work being produced currently – due to economic and, sometimes, political and social constraints, photobooks from most countries in the AP region are not able to be seen at fairs and festivals internationally, and do not get shortlisted for the top awards in the USA and Europe. The Archive redresses this balance by getting copies directly from the photographers themselves, from countries big and small in the Asia-Pacific region and then traveling to events and festivals worldwide to show and promote these books; these books are ones that would not be seen and experienced otherwise. In 2013 the Archive traveled to Tokyo, Cambodia, and Malaysia, and in 2014 with huge collection of books now in the Archive we are traveling to the USA to bring a selection of photobooks never before seen in North America.

The Archive has a permanent home in Melbourne, Australia, which is open to the public, researchers, artists, and institutions. The Archive also runs photobook talks, workshops, competitions, discussions, advisory sessions, and helps unknown Asia-Pacific photographers to get their work published. The Archive is directed by Daniel Boetker-Smith; Daniel is also the founder of Photobook Melbourne, an international photobook festival happening in February 2015 in Melbourne.

Join the facebook event.


Becky Nunes, Co-Orbital
Camilo Bustamante, Duck vee do si… Lido, Hong Kong
Chie Murakami, Japanese Girl
Chie Murakami, Island
Chris Leskovsek, Observations No. 2
Chuchuart, ?
Clinton Hayden, Fugue
Dina Gadia, Buxxxom Grind
Dirty Right Brain magaZINE, I’m Hard Worker
Emma Phillips, Volcan
Fujiwara Atsushi, Butterfly had a dream
Hiro Imai, Bangkok
Huang Qingjun and Ma Hongjie, Family Stuff
Isabella Capezio, Compōnere, To Construct
Jacob Raupach, Radiata
Jiang Yue, Inessential
Jippy Pascua, Half and Half
Kanako Sasaki,Ukiyo
Karl Binger, The Green Cresent Classifieds and Supplements
Leon Qu, Glass 2
Li Jun, Impermanent Instant
Li Kejun, The Good Earth
Linsay Vavari, Return to Me
Lui Waitong, Rust of Time
Luo Changwei, Da Qin Island
Louis Porter, Conflict Resolution
Louis Reith, Jordskred Två
Luke Moran Morris, Riders of Phanom
Luke van Aurich, Thanks but not thanks
Miki Iwanaga, Carnelian
Miti Raungkritya, Thai Politics No. 2
Miti Raungkritya, Thai Politics No. 3
Mohini Chandra, Album Pacifica
Nadia J. Mahfix, [n]
Nguan, How Loneliness Goes
Pablo Bartholomew, The Calcutta Diaries
Pulp Matter, Tough Guys
Rennie Ellis, Cup Fever
Risu, Moon
Robyn Daly, Collingwood: Volume One
Saori Ninomiya, Requiem
Sarah Pannell and Nicholas Hawker, Hyper Observation No. 01
Sean Fennessy, Gold
Shireen Seno, Trunks
Shuichiro Shibata, Bus Stop
Sigue Sigue, Saturnino Basilla
Simon Aubor, Document A: Hidden
Solomon Mortimer, Solomon’s Travels: Volume One
Sun Yanchu, Obsessed
Various (Bernhard Handick, Brian Sergio, Everywhere We Shoot, Fade Longboy, Inez Moro, Lena Vazhenina, Mike Spears, MM Yu) Chop Suey
Various (Pub. Bec Capp) street/stop
Various (Pub. Lloyd Stubber) Oasis
Various Tribal Kitchen: The Aytlas
Vincent Huang, Eyes in the Air
Yi Hui, Winds from Aydingkol
Yoshikatsu Fujii, Welcome Home
Weilun Chong, Please Mind the Gap: Singapore
William Sim, T(in)y
We Chenghuan, Street Fighters
Zhao Lei, Rock Songs


Andrea Stultiens, Intensive Care
Andres Medina, Nebula
Andrew Youngson, Aida
AntiKira, Kristof Guez
Anton Kusters, mono no aware
Arianna Arcara, Luca Santese, Found Photos in Detroit
Arthur Meyerson, Color of Light
Arthur Tress, Barcelona Unfolds
Ben Rasmussen, Home
Benny Asrul, Monochromia Botanica
Bryan Schutmatt, Grays the Mountain Sends
Carolyn Drake, Two Rivers
Christopher Colville, Movements and the Iceland Trilogy
Douglas Stockdale, Ciociaria
Emily Shur, The Woods
Florian Reischauer, Pieces of Berlin
Florian van Roekel, Fear of Fall
Fujiwara Atsushi, Mangokusho
Gita Lenz, Gita Lenz
Graham Vaughn, Palermo
Henrik Malmstrom, On Borrowed Time
Illusion of Traquility, Francois deladerrier
Irina Popova, Another Family
Italo Morales, Overnight Generation
Jan Dirk van der Berg, Censorship Daily
Jay Tyrrell, Weather
Juan Valbuena, Noray
Kevin Kunishi, Los Restos de la Revolucion
Kevin Kunishi, Los Restos de la Revolucion
Kris Vervaeke, Ad Infinitum
Maggie Harrsen, Kanoa
Marco Grabowiecki, babie lato
Marco van Duyvendijk, Eastward Bound
Maria Sprowls, Adieu Mademoiselle
Mark Nozeman, bor
Max Pinckers, Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty
Nick Brandt, On this Earth, A Shadow Falls
Nicolo Degiorgis, Hidden Islam
Paul Gaffney, We Make the Path by Walking
Paula McCartney, A Field Guide to Snow and Ice
Paula McCartney, On This Ice
Paula McCartney, Bird Watching
Paula McCartney, Book of Trees
Per England, Passenger Seat
Rafal Milach, Black Sea of Concrete
Rob Hornstra, The Secret History of Khava Gaisanova
Robert Zhao, A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World
Stefan Bladh, The Family
Tammy Mercure, 12 Nashville Waffle Houses
Telos, Clay Harmon
various, Peninsula
various, Tell Mum Everything is OK
Vasantha Yogananthan, Piemanson
Wawi Navarroza, Dominion
Wawi Navarroza, Hunt & Gather, Terraria
Yanina Shevchenko, Crossing Over
Ying Ang, Gold Coast

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iPL moves to Yale

iPL Yale

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University recently received, through acquisition and donation, the Indie Photobook Library (iPL), a major collection of photobooks from Larissa Leclair ’03 M.A. The collection includes more than 2,000 photobooks from around the world along with related ephemera, archives of the iPL’s history, and Leclair’s personal collection related to self-publishing.

“We were delighted to work with Larissa to acquire this major archive,” says George Miles, Curator of the Yale Collection of Western Americana at the Beinecke. “These volumes build on an already great strength of the library and will surely be used extensively by scholars and students at Yale and beyond for a long time.”

The iPL focuses on self-published photobooks, imprints independently published and distributed, photography exhibition catalogs, print-on-demand photobooks, artists’ books, zines, photobooks printed on newsprint, limited edition photobooks, non-English language photography books, and more.

“This collection reflects a contemporary movement in publishing,” explains Leclair, who began collecting independently produced photobooks in May 2010, “and it allows for the development of future discourse on trends in self-publishing, the ability to reflect on and compare books in the collection, and for scholarly research to be conducted years, decades, and centuries to come. To have this work now at Yale ensures this legacy.”
Inspired by Wexler’s master class

The catalyst for her collection, Leclair notes, was Yale professor Laura Wexler’s “Photo Memory Workshop” master class at the Beinecke, which focused on Peter Palmquist’s Women in Photography Archive. “He had and his collection will continue to have a big impact on the history of photography specifically relating to women in photography,” said the alumna. “He was one individual collecting independently of an institution, making an impact and shaping history. What he had encapsulated for his collection was what I wanted to do for self-published photobooks.”

“As early as 2005, with photographers Stephen Gill, Rob Hornstra, Jason Fulford, and Alec Soth independently publishing amazing photobooks, there wasn’t a platform for the presentation of self-published titles. So the idea of wishing for a central place to look at self-published photobooks was in my head on the day I saw Peter Palmquist’s collection,” notes Leclair.

The moment spurred her own specific collecting, she says: “I was blown away that a single individual could follow his passion, create a collection, and in the process have an impact on the history of photography. I was not only interested in promoting these kinds of books but most importantly I was very interested in creating an archive for the long-term. So two weeks after that master class, with an idea, one book, and a Facebook page, I founded the indie Photobook Library, a browse-able archive for self-published photobooks.”

For Leclair, placing the iPL at the Beinecke fulfills an aspiration she had from the very beginning. “I always intended that the iPL would one day transfer to an established archive. I wanted it to be preserved and accessible to future photo-bibliophiles long after my lifetime. For the legacy of the photographers and photobooks that collectively make the iPL what it is, I am absolutely thrilled that these artists will be part of the Beinecke’s collecting history.”

[Yale Professor Laura Wexler presented the Larissa Leclair with the 9th Annual Focus Awards’ Spotlight Award for far reaching impact in the field of photography, October 2014. (Copyright Griffin Museum of Photography)]

Yale Professor Laura Wexler presented the Larissa Leclair with the 9th Annual Focus Awards’ Spotlight Award for far reaching impact in the field of photography, October 2014. (Copyright Griffin Museum of Photography)
The Beinecke has an renowned collection of 19th century American photographically illustrated books, including such classics as Alexander Gardner’s “Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War,” A.J. Russell’s “Great West Illustrated,” Josiah Whitney & Carleton Watkins’ “The Yosemite Book,” and Ferdinand Hayden’s “Sun Pictures of Rocky Mountain Scenery,” as well as dozens of other, less well-known examples of the genre.

In the 1920s and 1930s photobooks continued to be a form of artistic expression but also emerged as a major vehicle of social commentary and criticism. The Beinecke holds first editions of such artistic works as Ansel Adams’ “Parmelian Prints of the High Sierra” and Taos Pueblo,” Walker Evans’s “American Photographs,” and Paul Strand’s “Paul Strand.” The Beinecke also boasts a wide range of such politically charged books as Julia Peterkin and Doris Ulman’s collaboration, “Roll Jordan Roll”; James Agee and Walker Evans’ “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” and “Many are Called”; and Evans’s collaboration with Carleton Beals “The Crime of Cuba.” Yale’s library also holds first editions of all the important Farm Security Administration related books featuring work by Dorothea Lange and Margaret Bourke-White among other photographers.

“Robert Franks’ ‘The Americans’ is often seen as ushering in a new kind of photobook,” Miles observes. “We at the Beinecke have both the French (1958) and American (1959) first editions, as well as a complete collection of every book in which Lee Friedlander has ever published a photograph, while the acquisition of Peter Palmquist’s collection of women photographers brought more than 2,200 photobooks by and about women photographers.”

The iPL is particularly interesting in its own right, according to Miles. “While photobooks became more economical with the emergence of photo mechanical reproduction in the 19th century, they still required considerable investment and with the exception of a few very high-end artistic productions, they were commercial ventures that relied on publishers to underwrite production in the hope/expectation of profitable sales.”

However, the early 21st century emergence of digital photography and ink-jet printing dramatically changed the landscape for photographers looking to present their work in book-form. “Photographers can now self-publish their work in ways unimaginable 15 to 20 years ago,” he emphasizes. “They can distribute them through their websites and book fairs. This has allowed photographers to experiment in content and in form: to share images that commercial publishers might have been reluctant to take on, or to play with sequencing and/or narrative strategies.”

Leclair recognized the potential of this transformation when it was in its infancy and cultivated relationships with photographers. She has been a leader in creating this independent archive and identifying artists important to the contemporary movement in self-publishing, all while curating exhibitions and lecturing throughout the United States and in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Australia, the Philippines, and China. The alumna has built an “extraordinarily complete” collection of these books, according to Miles. “The staff at Haas Arts Library and I have been following and collecting photobooks, and when Larissa first approached us, I thought we would have at least half, if not more, of the books in her collection. I was way off. Our searching revealed that we had only around 10% of the collection.”

“Larissa started collecting this material at a critical time, when photographers started to reconsider and experiment with the printed book format through self-publishing,” notes Heather Gendron, director of the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale. “A lot of these publications fall outside of typical library acquisition streams, making it a real challenge for librarians to keep up. That’s what makes this Indie Photobook Library so special. On the heels of the reopening of the Beinecke, this broadens the university’s holdings in a very contemporary way.”
“Essential records of human expression”

Miles says that the Beinecke’s growing collection of photobooks, including this new acquisition, complement important creative work across campus collections, such as the Arts Library and galleries, and the curriculum. “These materials in the Indie Photobook Library/Larissa Leclair Collection are essential records of human expression,” he notes, “and the Beinecke works to make sure they are accessible and used by students and scholars through our reading room, classroom visits, and our fellowship programs for graduate students and for visiting postdoctoral scholars.”

Barbara Tannenbaum, curator of photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art has described the Indie Photobook Library as “an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the contemporary photobook.”

The iPL also complements other collections at Yale, Miles adds. “One of the great strengths of the Yale Collection of American Literature are the many examples of poetry and short stories published by small, non-commercial presses throughout the country — ‘Little magazines’ as Pat Willis and Nancy Kuhl call them. They reflect the ways in which American writers have found to share their work. The photobooks in the iPL reflect a similar pattern in the visual arts and scholars will be able to explore and discover how these materials speak to each other and speak to the broader culture.”

Leclair says that the iPL inspired the creation of other independent photobook archives, including the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive; influenced museum photobook exhibitions; and spawned the promotion and celebration of self-published photobooks. “I’m thrilled that the photographers in the iPL who challenged and subsequently shaped the current publishing industry will add to the continuum of printed expression at Yale along with cuneiform tablets, the Gutenberg Bible, Fox Talbot’s ‘Pencil of Nature,’ and works by Robert Frank and Ed Ruscha — adding to that Soth, Fulford, Fujii, de Middel, Galjaard, Cartegena, and Sancari, among many others,” she says.

With the iPL now part of the Beinecke collections, Leclair will promote its use with the library’s curators and collaborate on curriculum. The entity of the iPL is closed to submissions now, existing as a unique look at self-publishing from around 2008 to 2016. Leclair will continue to look at new titles and work directly with museums and libraries to collect self-published titles from around the world, directly connecting collectors and makers and shaping photobook history.

“Ahead of her time, Larissa’s farsighted vision will benefit future generations of photographers and scholars to come,” states Elizabeth Avedon, independent curator and photobook designer.

For more information on the Beinecke Library, visit:

Exhibition Catalog for “A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks”

More about the exhibition here, here and here.
Order the book here.
Thank you to Patrick Aguilar of Owl & Tiger Books who did such an outstanding job designing the iPL’s first exhibition catalog!

“…the Indie Photobook Library is fast becoming one of Washington’s more interesting small collections.” – Mark Jenkins, Washington Post Express, November 9, 2011

America in Color

America in Color

Title: America in Color

Photographer/s: Brian Dailey

Contributor/s: Wendy Grossman, Klaus Ottmann

Date of publication: 2013



Title: Grìmsey

Photographer/s: Cole Barash

Contributor/s: Ian Frisch

Date of publication: 2015

Grays the Mountain Sends (Second Edition)

Grays the Mountain Sends 2

Title: Grays the Mountain Sends (Second Edition)

Photographer/s: Bryan Schutmaat

Date of publication: 2014

Islands of the Blest

Islands of the Blest

Title: Islands of the Blest

Photographer/s: various

Date of publication: 2014

L.A., 1971

LA 1971

Title: L.A., 1971

Photographer/s: Anthony Hernandez

Date of publication: 2014


Title: Transmission

Photographer/s: Lucy Helton

Date of publication: 2015




Photographer/s: Jonathan Shaw

Contributor/s: Andy Adams, David Campbell, Charlotte Cotton, Donall Curtin & Nathaniel Pitt, Mishka Henner, Francis Hodgson, Dewi Lewis, Stephen Mayes, Katrina Sluis

Date of publication: 2014



Title: Crash

Photographer/s: Jonathan Shaw

Contributor/s: Foreword: Stephen Snoddy and Stephen Dutton Essay: Jean Baird

Date of publication: July 2009



Title: (re)collect

Photographer/s: Jonathan Shaw

Contributor/s: Foreword: Debra Klomp, Essay: Peter Ride, Essay: Jean Baird

Date of publication: 2006