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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Asao Shimura-Gary Frost Correspondence

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1977-1988
Creator: Shimura, Asao
Extent: .25 linear foot.
Collection Number: MsC0934
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: Gift of Gary Frost, 2000.

Preferred Citation: Asao Shimura-Gary Frost Correspondence, The University of Iowa Libraries.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Asao Shimura was born August 1, 1950. He graduated from the Industrial Chemistry program of the Tokyo Technical College and later studied papermaking and indigo dyeing by fermentation. In 1972 he began an apprenticeship with Japanese papermakers and in 1975 began to travel and study papermaking in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Korea as well as Japan. Frost writes in Fine Printt Shimura writes of himself as a bookmaker but he is also an ethnographer. His field work is with craftspeople. His area of study is early hand papermaking and near-paper sheet forming. To document his work, Shimura produces films and publishes books.

Shimura wrote to Frost in 1977 to request the latter bind a small edition of a book. This led to a continuing correspondence (only Shimuras letters to Frost are present here) in which Shimura reports on his extensive travel, attendance at international paper conferences, and his international public speaking tours (including visits to Chicago and New York and stays with Frost). At the beginning of the correspondence, Gary Frost was a book conservator at the Newberry Library; by its end he had moved to New York City as a conservation instructor in the Columbia University Library School.

As a means of introducing Shimura more widely to an U.S. audience, Frost reviewed several of his miniature books in the April 1983 issue of Fine Print.

The letter files include printed and ephemeral materials documenting Shimuras work and travel. A large group of his miniature books with Bunseido Press and Cannabis Press imprints, most on papermaking subjects, has been re-housed to the Charlotte Smith Collection of Miniature Books (which contains a similar, and similarly extensive, collection).

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • 1977
  • 1978
  • 1979
  • 1980
  • 1981
  • 1982
  • 1983
    Includes Fine Print review
  • 1984
  • 1985-1986
  • 1987-1988

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.