Lionel Fanthorpe

The Library Service is delighted to be the custodian of the Lionel Fanthorpe Collection & Archive. It will be kept with other notable collections (Ceramics Collection, Artists’ Books Collection, archive material relating to Cardiff School of Art & Design, the Archives of Howard Gardens Gallery and more) in our Special Collections Room which is on the 2nd floor of Llandaff Library.

Lionel Fanthorpe (2)

We were privileged for Lionel to visit Cardiff Met last week to celebrate the inauguration of the collection. He spoke about his extraordinary writing process and engaged in a Q&A session with students from our Creative Writing course. What an inspiration!

A display of a selection of his books, the cover artwork, pages from his writer’s ledger and the reel-to-reel tape recorder he used to dictate many of these novels can now been seen on the ground floor of Llandaff Library.

If you would like any further information about our Special Collections, or to arrange a group workshop or a time to visit these collections, please email


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Lionel Fanthorpe Lecture

Do you enjoy pulp fiction … sci fi … the paranormal? Then maybe this is the event for you . . . . .

Cardiff Met’s Library’s Special Collections is now taking care of a substantial number of author Lionel Fanthorpe’s science fiction novels from the 1950s and 60s, along with the reel to reel tape recorder used for dictating the stories and his working ledger which includes examples of  cover design artwork from many of these books. The novels are unusual in that the title and text were usually written in response to a cover design, rather than the other way around.
Lecture publicity Fanthorpe

Lionel, now in his 80s, lives in Cardiff and we’re excited that he’ll be visiting us this month to deliver a lecture in Cardiff School of Art & Design Heart Space on Thursday 21st March 4.30 – 6pm. The Department of Creative Writing has arranged this event where, to celebrate Cardiff Met’s acquisition, he will discuss “his work, his legacy and his mind-bending powers of imaginative speculation” . All are welcome and places can be booked through  Eventbrite:

To give you a flavour of his extraordinary writing process, the Lionel Fanthorpe Appreciation site describes it here –

We’re looking forward to exploring ways of using this collections with students in the future!

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Special Collections

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Special Collections at Llandaff Campus Library, Cardiff Metropolitan University

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Just some of September’s new books . . .

new books sept (2)

Llandaff Library – 2nd floor

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Special Collections drop-in sessions

Special Collections drop-in

If you can’t make these times and would like to visit, then just email and we’ll arrange a time for you to call in.




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New Books

Do check out the displays around the library of new books – many of which are on the 2nd floor of Llandaff Library.


Mid-Century Modern Complete (745.2 BRA)

One mighty big read, featured here, is Dominic Bradbury’s Mid Century Modern Complete from Thames & Hudson . . .

“This definitive survey of one of the most popular, collectable and dynamic periods of international design offers a rich overview of all aspects of the subject. Mid-century furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics, textiles, product design, industrial design, graphics and posters are covered, as well as architecture and interior design, exemplifying post-war optimism and energy, use of innovative and affordable materials and forms of mass manufacture, and newly developed precepts of ‘good design’.

Nearly 100 major and influential creators of the mid-century period are highlighted, whether based in Scandinavia, Western Europe, America, Japan, Brazil or Australia. They include icons such as Saul Bass, Robin Day, Charles and Ray Eames, Marimekko, Isamu Noguchi, Dieter Rams, Lucie Rie and Paolo Venini, as well as architects Alvar Aalto, Philip Johnson, Richard Neutra and Oscar Niemeyer.

An additional illustrated dictionary features hundreds more key mid-century designers and manufacturers as well as important organisations, schools and movements.

The book showcases both classic designs and mass-produced items as well as little-seen rarities and unusual objets d’art. Complete with thirteen specially commissioned essays by renowned experts and over 1,000 mainly colour illustrations, it is a must-have for any design aficionado, collector or reader seeking inspiration for their home”.

All books on display can be borrowed.


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New Books


Currently on display (and available for loan) on the 2nd floor of Llandaff Library.

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Artist’s Books: ottoGraphic

On display at Cardiff Met’s Llandaff Library are eight works from Cardiff Met’s Artists’ Books Collection by ottoGraphic.

Otto is a Graphic Artist who practices as Illustrator, Screen Printer and Book Artist. He has worked as Editorial Illustrator since graduating in 1991 from Bristol Polytechnic in Graphic Design. After a Masters in Illustration at Kingston University. In 1996 Otto was among a handful of Illustrators pioneering a conceptual graphic style based on screen print and collage, often accompanying texts on the Internet revolution.  Otto’s illustration method is derived from Russian Constructivist design, which provided the visual backdrop to the political revolution in Russia 100 years earlier.  During his career Otto made countless illustrations for numerous international print publications including The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, The Economist, Libération, Le Monde, The New York Times, Der Freitag, Cicero.

Flat Holm 1

Flat Holm

Twenty years ago Otto began creating and publishing screen printed books. His first participation at an Artists’ book fair was at the Barbican in 1996 where he showed his conceptual visual narrative ‘Helping You Back to Work’. Since then he has been presenting books at major Artists’ Book Fairs around the world and has now published in excess of 50 titles.

Galactic Narrowboat & Folding Space Ship

All the books are made by him at Marshfield Print Studio. He creates the concept, the illustrations, screen prints and binds the books himself. On some titles he has worked with writers or poets. Otto runs a printmaking workshop near Bath, UK, which also offers open access to other Artists.

Other works on show: Planets, The Return of Europa, We will rule the world, Camino de Santiago and Schrödinger’s card.

These books will soon be added to our Artists’ Books Collection. To arrange a visit please email You can also read more about these works at Otto’s website here.



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Books on Books

books on books 2

Currently on display on the 2nd floor of Llandaff Library – books on books – book history, bindings, book design, exhibition catalogues and more. Included are two new books by Keith Houston.

In The Book (002.09 HOU) Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages-of civilisations, empires, human ingenuity and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000 year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-colour illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity’s most important-and universal-information technology.

Shady characters: ampersands, interrobangs and other typographical curiosities.  (411.09HOU ) Where does the ampersand get its name from? What does the hashtag have to do with commerce in ancient Rome? Keith Houston gives the answers in this delightfully entertaining book.From the pilcrow to the ampersand, the entire cast of Shady Characters reflects the changes in written communication through the ages, charting how punctuation has adapted to each new technological innovation. Together, these shady characters form a rich, entertaining and surprising history of the written word and our ongoing attempts to shape it

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Morocco travels

We’re delighted that the CSAD Level 5 Field project students could explore our Artists’ Books Collection before their journey to Marrakesh in January. As their Lecturer, Chris Glynn said “students inspired, seeds sown”. Job done! We’re even more delighted that their resulting work is now on display on the ground floor of Llandaff Library. On show until 24th April.



Special thanks to Chris Glynn & students for showing the sights of Morocco this lunchtime & their marvellous artistic creations




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