OPENING REMARKS by Jack Robertson, President
Ladies & Gentlemen:
Good Evening. I am Jack Robertson, President of ARLIS/NA, and I have the honor of welcoming you to the 25th anniversary conference convocation!
When I joined ARLIS/NA in 1976, I was intrigued by the SIGs and TOLs and other semi-mythical entities. Not knowing that art librarians in North America, as a group, had joined forces only within the past five years, I was much impressed, and somewhat overwhelmed, by the complexity and diversity of this international organization. But what struck me most forcefully and favorably, as I began to attend conferences and read the publications, was the sincerely welcoming and supporting disposition of the individuals I met. I learned that I could rely on my colleagues and that my problems (in the '90s we say "challenges") were everyone else's shared concerns. I learned that I could talk to anyone else to get advice and moral support.
In 1997, celebrating the Society's 25th anniversary, we are still distinguished as a group of professionals, with very varied experience and expertise, but all committed to common concerns and goals and, ultimately, committed to each other. The "network" of art librarians in North America is tremendously powerful because ARLIS/NA provides the mechanisms for communication (now enhanced by electronics), and all of us as individual members are committed to talking, helping, advising, and supporting each other. More and more networking creates a powerful reality to the concept -- and practice -- of a global arts information community.
This conference will exemplify the Society's commitment to mutual support through collaboration and communication. Over 500 people have chosen to get together at this silver jubilee event to listen and learn and to share knowledge and skills. Our colleagues in attendance are also a wonderful celebration of the Society's -- the arts information communities' --diversity: there are 30 first time conference attendees and first year ARLIS members, 5 founding members, 14 past presidents, 7 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award and Honorary Life Memberships, 70 representatives of commercial enterprises, and 30 individuals from countries outside of North America.
The convocation program tonight will be a showcase of notable examples of service and performance. Over the years the Society has established a number of awards and fellowships to recognize and promote excellence. We are honoring both the recipients and donors, as well as our 25-year old Society which engenders the performance and support.
PHILIP PACEY -- INTRODUCTION
I am pleased to introduce as our special guest speaker this evening a man whom I have had the opportunity to meet face-to-face only once prior to this event, and yet I feel I know him well. Philip Pacey as editor, author, and compiler has a pervasive worldwide presence in the arts information community. He is a champion of international art librarianship. Founding editor of Art Libraries Journal in 1976, and then editor again from 1986 to the present, he has transformed the Journal from a Society organ into one with a strong international focus, attracting contributions from art librarians working on all continents. The acronym, "ALJ" has currency around the world, and his editorials often are rallying cries on behalf of international art librarianship.
Philip chaired ARLIS/UK from 1978 to 1982, and he chaired its International Committee from 1982 to 86. He has made numerous speaking trips throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, encouraging art librarians to become involved internationally, and helping to launch new ARLIS societies. When the IFLA Section of Art Libraries was created, Philip served as its first chair from 1981 to 1985. He edited A Reader in Art Librarianship for the Section of Art Libraries of IFLA. This collection of essays has served us well as a kind of handbook of art librarianship and visual resources curatorship in an international context.
Besides being a prolific author on the subject of art and image librarianship, he is also an award-winning poet with two volumes published to date.
British colleagues offer words which help round out his professional character. Sonia French, chief administrator of ARLIS/UK & Ireland says, ... "the words that come to mind when thinking of Philip Pacey are 'idealistic, determined and a genuine internationalist'."
Trevor Fawcett, longtime colleague and founding member of ARLIS/UK, coined the memorable description of Philip as ...'the Preston globe-trotter - the ambassador at large', and also described the ALJ as the 'principal vehicle for promulgating this concern ... for redefining the subject specialist area and creating international links'.
I am pleased on this occasion to present Philip with a special award. This certificate says:
In recognition of his formative and sustaining contributions to international art librarianship as author, advocate, editor, and esteemed colleague, the Executive Board of the Art Libraries Society of North America bestows on Philip Pacey the rank and privileges of Honorary Life Membership.
In closing I'd like to present a 25 year retrospective "roll call of honor" to highlight the names of individuals who, in their presence tonight or in absentia (or posthumously in a few cases), must be recognized and given homage. These individuals, the Charter Committee, Distinguished Service Award Winners and Honorary Life Members, and Past Presidents, have given freely of their energy and commitment, insight and knowledge. The Society has survived and thrived during its first quarter century due to the contributions of MANY; these distinguished few deserve special recognition:
Ann Abid. Past President
Nancy Allen. Past President
Peter Anthony. Charter Committee & Honorary Life Member
Mary Ashe. Charter Committee & Past President
Caroline Backlund. Distinguished Service Award & Past President
Phyllis Cohen. Charter Committee
Susan Craig. Past President
Andrea Dragon. Charter Committee
Janis Ekdahl. Past President
Wolfgang Freitag. Charter Committee & Distinguished Service Award & Past President
Judith Hoffberg. Charter Committee & Honorary Life Member & Past President
Jeff Horrell. Past President
BJ Irvine. Past President
Lois Swan Jones. Distinguished Service Award
Lyn Korenic. Past President
John Larsen. Charter Committee
Antje Lemke. Distinguished Service Award
Joyce Ludmer. Past President
Kathy Martinez. Past President
Philip Pacey. Honorary Life Member
Toni Petersen. Past President
Clive Phillpot. Past President
Herb Scherer. Charter Committee
Elmar Seibel. Honorary Life Member
Jacqueline Sisson. Charter Committee
Deirdre Stam. Past President
Luraine Tansey. Distinguished Service Award
Ed Teague. Past President
Jacqueline Viaux. Distinguished Service Award
Bill Walker. Charter Committee & Past President & Distinguished Service Award
Mary Williamson. Distinguished Service Award
Although she was not a charter member, Distinguished Service Award recipient, or Past President, I cannot leave the name of Pam Parry off this eminent list.
Trevor Fawcett, our distinguished colleague and founding member of ARLIS/UK and Ireland, has sent a message: "Here's to ARLIS/NA! ... I send warmest congratulation from across the Atlantic on your quarter-century of splendid achievement, and offer best wishes and every encouragement for the years ahead. Have a great party! Enjoy the birthday cake! Everyone win prizes.!"
And with that, I invite you to enjoy the party generously supported by the San Antonio Public Library and The Dictionary of Art.
Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library
University of Virginia