Click here to skip to content

Ian Tyson Collection

The British Library has a special collection of artist’s books and other works made by Ian Tyson, including books produced by his Tetrad Press. An interview with him is also included in the Sound Archive as part of the Library’s Artists’ Lives project.

Ian Tyson was born in Wallasey, Cheshire in 1933 and educated at Birkenhead School of Art and Royal Academy Schools, London. His first solo show was at Ashgate Gallery, Farnham in 1961, followed by first prize at the Welsh Arts Council St David’s exhibition in 1964. Tyson has participated in over forty solo and group exhibitions in Europe and has taught drawing and printmaking at numerous schools in Britain and the United States. His contributions to book arts include work in graphics, design, publishing and typography. Through his Tetrad Press (1970-1995) and its successor (1995-), and through collaborations with poets Jerome Rothenberg, Jackson Mac Low and others, he has probed the relationship between text and its visual presentation. His solo exhibitions and commissions include those at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, University of East Anglia; the Eagle Gallery London; the Art Around the Book gallery, San Diego; and Sculptures and Prints, Eric Linard Galerie, Drome. He lives and works in Vaucluse, France.

The Ian Tyson Collection at the British Library is the most extensive public collection of Tyson-related books in Europe. Each book in the collection is entered on Explore the British Library with the shelfmark prefix “Ian Tyson”.


Explore the British Library The Ian Tyson Collection is on this catalogue

Cadensa Catalogue The British Library Sound Archive’s catalogue, which includes an oral history interview with Ian Tyson

Fine Presses, Artists’ Books and Book Arts A summary of the British Library’s modern book arts collections

Ian Tyson: 1995–2005 10th Anniversary exhibition at University of West England

Tate Collection Several prints by Tyson are held by the Tate.


General queries about finding and using printed books such as those in the Ian Tyson Collection are dealt with by the Library's main Enquiry Service.