Ornate sets of handheld drawing instruments may have been hastily pushed aside in the wake of BIM software, AutoCAD, and other digital-imaging tools, but one collector’s nostalgia is helping to spur their comeback. In Catalogue of the Andrew Alpern Collection of Drawing Instruments, architectural historian and architect Andrew Alpern chronicles the uses and composition of the profession’s founding tools. The book offers 235 close-up images of a range of devices, from compasses to protractors to their fish-skin-covered carrying cases, and includes technical and background information about each revealing along the way some fundamental differences between today’s drawings and those of the past. The collection depicted is housed at Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library in New York. • $60; W.W. Norton & Company., September 2010