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Ladislav R. Hanka Book Arts Archive

Identifier: 05-exws_hanka

Scope and Contents

The Ladislav R. Hanka Book Arts Archive centers on the artist Ladislav R. Hanka (1952-) a graduate of WMU and resident of the city of Kalamazoo. Mr. Hanka's art is primarily concerned with the flora and fauna of forests and lakes. His background in biology and zoology reflects his artistic interests. He received a BA in Biology from Kalamazoo College (1975), an MS in Zoology from Colorado State University (1979), and an MFA in Printmaking from Western Michigan University (1981). In addition, Mr. Hanka was a guest student at the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms Universität in Bonn, Germany (1973) and at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, Austria (1979-1980). He also served a private apprenticeship in Prague with Jindra Schmidt, master engraver of stamps and currency (1979).

Mr. Hanka has had a number of traveling exhibitions including: Visions of a Wandering Naturalist (1997-2001), 50 x 25 Book Arts Exhibit (1993-1999), Boreal Meditations (1995), and County Survey (1989-2001) to name a few. His art may be found at the Fogg Museum of Art in Cambridge, MA., the Princeton University Print Collection in Princeton, NJ, the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, the New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress. His work may also been seen abroad at the National Museum (Prague, Czech Republic), the British Library (London, Great Britain), the Rembrandt House (Amsterdam, Netherlands), The Bookplate Society (Eubonne, France), Huang Zhe Temple (Sichuan Province, China), Jatson Chumig Special School (Lhasa, Tibet), and at the Graphic Arts Institute and Francisco Toledo Museum (Oaxaca, Mexico).

The archive also contains correspondence between Mr. Hanka and writers and publishers, sketches, trials, artist's proofs and numbered copies of his art, reviews of shows, exhibition booklets, and hand-bound volumes of his books printed under the imprint of the Rarach Press.


  • Creation: 1975-2007
  • Other: Majority of material found within Bulk 1981-1999
  • Other: Date acquired: 2005-01



51 boxes

Language of Materials



Bound and loose prints and artist's archive, which includes sketches, proofs, exhibition booklets, reviews of shows and correspondence between Hanka and other artists, writers, galleries, publishers, etc. Some of the books associated with this archive have been cataloged separately and are searchable via Western Michigan University Libraries online catalog otherwise they appear in this finding aid.

Physical Access Requirements

WMU Special Collections. Non-circulating. Contact department for access.

Physical Location

Boxes 13-16 are located in the Rare Book Room Vault Cage. Boxes 35, 47, 51, 34, and 17 are located in the Rare Book Room Vault. All other materials are located in the 2nd Floor Annex.

Source of Acquisition

Ladislav R. Hanka.

Method of Acquisition

Purchase and donation.

Physical Description

The collection spans 51 boxes (approx. 26.25 linear feet). The materials are housed in a variety of containers all labeled simply as 'boxes' in this finding aid to maintain consistency in nomenclature across the various archival collections held in WMU Special Collections. Folders and individual items are enclosed in either custom clamshell boxes, archival Hollinger boxes, custom phase boxes or custom archival broadside mounts.

Ladislav R. Hanka Book Arts Archive Finding Aid
Sydney Small
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Special Collections Repository

Western Michigan University Libraries, Special Collections
Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490