ARCANA: A Dialogue

Publication Launch

Location: Maclean Hunter Room, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
Time: 6pm

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and Theorema Editions/PUBLIC Books are pleased to present ARCANA: A Dialogue. The evening will introduce an exciting new project of collaborations between four contemporary artists and four Fisher librarians, and feature conversations about their collaborations. 

In this project, the artists - Maria Hupfield, Diane Borsato, Jarrett Earnest, and Thyrza Nichols Goodeve -  and Fisher librarians - David Fernández, Alexandra Carter, Grant Hurley, and John Shoesmith - have been paired to explore the structure, systems, and holdings of the library and to produce a series of four artist books in response to its holdings. 

Each artist and librarian pair creates a synergistic relationship: the librarian shares their deep knowledge of the collections while the artist explores their research interests and material practice, calling into action, engaging, and making use of the rare books, archival materials, and special collections of the Fisher.

With these four publications, knowledge of the collections becomes viewable through the prism of artistic practice and lived sociocultural perspective. Consisting of new works and critical texts, these collaboratively produced artist books - the ARCANA book series - are a living engagement with history.

ARCANA was conceived by artist Christine Davis in collaboration with John Shoesmith and Anna Kovler. Generous support is provided by Canada Council of the Arts and a Chief Librarian's Innovation Grant from the University of Toronto Libraries.  

A packaged, limited special edition of 30 copies of the four-book series is available for pre-order now. Design and typesetting by Hahn Studio. To reserve your copy, write to Erika Biddle at