Max Yela

  • Head of Special Collections, Special Collections

Subject Contacts

  • Art & Design
  • Art History

Job Responsibilities

  • Head of Special Collections
  • Special Collections Instruction Services
  • Special Collections Research and Reference Services
  • Public Programs and Exhibitions
  • Collection Development and Management for Special Collections
  • Special Collections Student Assistant, Intern, and Fieldwork Programs


  • Master of Science, Information and Library Science – Simmons College
  • Bachelor of Arts, History (minors in Art History and Classical Civilizations) – University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Professional Activities


  • College Book Art Association

Selected Presentations

  • “The Code of Identity: Letter Forms and the Construct of Self,” Krug Rare Books Room, Milwaukee Public Library, October 14, 2017.
  • Why We Think the Way We Think: The Example of Book History,” Milwaukee Rotary Club, April 18, 2017.
  • "Borges, the Kabbalah, and the Artists Book: Jewish Interpolations in the Works of Jorge Luis Borges as Expressed in the Artist's Book-work of Mirta Kupferminc and Saúl Sosnowski," Midwest Modern Language Association, Milwaukee, November 8, 2013.
  • Panelist, “Evolving Practices in the Presentation and Care of Contemporary Photography,” Milwaukee Art Museum, February 3, 2011.
  • Lecturer, “Artists Books as Expression, Documentation, and Pedagogy,” Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, November 3, 2009.
  • Chair and Panelist, “Artists Books and Pedagogy in the K-12 Classroom,” 2009 Wisconsin Art Educators Association Annual Conference, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, October 29, 2009.
  • Lecturer, “Why Rare Books? A Discussion of the Continued Importance of Rare Books in a Digital Age,” Milwaukee Public Library as the inaugural presentation in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Book Room Educational Series, April 19 & 23, 2006.
  • Panelist, “Virtue and Vandalism: The Ethics of Breaking Books,” Newberry Library, Chicago, co-sponsored by the Caxton Club, May 20, 2005.

Selected Publications

  • Co-editor, Peter and Donna Thomas: Bibliography, 1974-2020. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The Legacy Press, 2021.
  • “A River Runs Through It: The India Milwaukee Confluence,” essay for the exhibition catalog Confluence, A Curatorial Endeavor by Nirmal Raja and Santhosh Sakhinala. Hyderabad, India: Nehru Art Gallery, Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, 2016.
  • "Greetings from America's Third Coast," essay for the exhibition catalog Works on Paper from the American Midwest, an exhibition at Gail Art Museum in Gyeonggi-do, Korea. Stevens Point, Wis.: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2014.
  • "The Book as Relationship," essay for the exhibition catalog Position/Opposition. Johannesburg, South Africa: Gallery AOP, 2011.
  • Caren Heft: The Arcadian Press; Giving Voice.  [Stevens Point, Wis.]: Noel Fine Arts Center, Dept. of Art & Design, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, [2010].
  • La Bendición.  Artist’s book designed and printed by Caren Heft.  Stevens Point, Wis.:  Arcadian Press, 2009.
  • 5th International Book & Paper Arts Triennial, July 25-September 12, 2008. Chicago: Columbia College Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts, 2008.
  • The Shape and Color of Research, An exhibition of new artwork based on research in Special Collections . . . .  Milwaukee, Wis.: UWM Libraries, 2002.
  • Contemporary Artists’ Prints in Books. Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Library, 1994.

Courses Taught

UWM Department of Art & Design

  • Book Arts Concepts
  • Book Arts Survey
  • Independent Reading & Research

UWM Liberal Studies Program

  • Books, Culture, and Change

UWM School of Information Studies

  • History of Books & Printing

Research Interests

  • Media Theory
  • The Book as Media Object
  • The Book as Art Medium
  • Print/Digital Relationships
  • Book and Publishing History