Rutherford Witthus has worked with books for most of his life, starting in high school as a page in the Denver Public Library, where he was introduced to the world of rare books and fine editions by curator Harry Mooney. His subsequent interest in ancient philosophy led him to the University of Denver, where he received a BA and an MA in Philosophy. He taught there as an instructor during the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. An additional degree in Librarianship and Information Management allowed him entry into the professional library world, where he specialized in archives and manuscripts. After working for a number of years at the Denver Public Library and the University of Colorado at Denver, he finished his career at the University of Connecticut's Thomas J. Dodd Research Center as Curator of Literary and Natural History Collections.

  As a retirement gift to himself, he enrolled in the Book Arts and Printmaking MFA program at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His interest in book structures was ignited in classes taught by Hedi Kyle, with whom he independently studied the design of Asian books. Combining his interest in ancient languages and book structures, he is currently working on a series of books of literary fragments. Over the course of the last decades, Rutherford Witthus has pursued traditional and alternative photography. His images are used primarily in his own book structures, although a few hang in various private collections.


Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University
Boise State University, Special Collections & Archives
Brandeis University, Archives & Special Collections
Brown University, John Hay Library, Harris Collection of American Poetry & Plays
Denver Public Library, Douglas Collection of Fine Printing
Duke University Libraries, Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Harvard University, Houghton Library
Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Kent State University, Special Collections & Archives
Lafayette College Library, Special Collections
Princeton University, Rare Books & Special Collections
Rhode Island School of Design Library, Archives & Special Collections
Smith College Library, Special Collections
Smithsonian Institution, Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology
SUNY Buffalo, Special Collections
Swiss National Library, Bern, Switzerland
Temple University, Special Collections Research Center
University of Arizona, Poetry Center
University of Connecticut Libraries, Dodd Research Center
University of Denver, Special Collections & Archives
University of Nebraska, Archives & Special Collections
University of Virginia Library, Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division
Wellesley College Library, Special Collections
Wesleyan University Library, Special Collections & Archives
Yaddo Author's Library


1994 Bookbinding in Colorado: Creating Practical Art Through Hand and Machine 1980-1980. Friends of Auraria Library, Denver, Colorado.

1986 Blickensderfer: Images of the West. Cordillera Press, Evergreen, Colorado.

1986 "The Artist and the Architects: Laura Gilpin Photographs Fisher and Fisher Buildings of 1920s Denver" Colorado Heritage 4 (1986).

1983 The Fisher Architectural Records Collection, 1897-1978: An Inventory. Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado.


2006 The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. MFA in Book Arts & Printmaking.

1981 University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. MA Librarianship and Information Management.

1968 University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. MA in Philosophy.

1965 University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. BA in Philosophy.