24/ The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project is a collection of artist sketchbooks, physically housed at the Brooklyn Art Library and digitally available online.

The Library is comprised of more than 36,000 artists’ books contributed by people from over 135 countries. The digital library is made up of 18,464 fully scanned copies of these books, and is continually growing.

below the surface
‘Below the Surface’ by Walt Own, discovered using the ‘Random Book’ search feature.

The digital library is fully searchable, with each book tagged by subject area. However, recognising that few users are going to be searching for a particular book or artist, the search also suggests search terms that will return hits, and offers a feature that will jump you to a random sketchbook.


It’s also possible to browse by loose and intriguing themes from a drop-down list, including such titles as ‘Ahhh, Monster!’ (yielding 69 results) or ‘Science project gone wrong’ (with 135 results), suggestive of some very creative cataloguing processes!

Some sketchbooks take the form of comic strips, some are collages, some are painted, some use charcoals, some a pure book art. The variety and breadth of this digital collection makes for some very interesting viewing.

The Sketchbook Project can be accessed here: www.sketchbookproject.com/library/


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