The Seattle office of GIRVIN maintains and grows a multi-thousand volume collection of books on design. There is a wide range of reference works that has taken multiple decades to collect. There are rare books, ranging from signed and numbered limited edition books, to rare books that are centuries old. A hand-illuminated Quran reside beside an ancient cuneiform ceramic cone from ancient Mesopotamia, a first century Greek tutelary epigraph and hand-drawn books from the last 500 years, as well as a boxed and preserved collection of magical and talismanic books found far afield in Turkey, Indonesia, Tibet and Mongolia, North Africa, along with hand-bound European curiosities.
These collections include books on fine printing, type design and rare typographic collections and specimen booklets, type history and paleography, paper making, calligraphy and lettering books, bookbinding, architectural design, encyclopedia, botanical and anatomical treatises, perspective analysis and mathematics, and grimoires, as well as dozens of other rarities that encompass religion, mysticism, witchcraft and the occult. The library also houses a collection of master piece zenga — Zen paintings executed by abbots, monks and nuns from China and Japan, mostly as statements of their satori or enlightened condition as spiritual leaders. The zenga in this collection consists of poetry, enso — mystical circle strokes, and calligraphic exemplars.