Art Documentation is the official bulletin of the Art Libraries Society of North America, 1982-present. It includes articles and information relevant to art librarianship and visual resources curatorship. Since 1996, it has been published twice yearly (spring and fall). The subscription to Art Documentation is included as part of membership in ARLIS/NA. To obtain individual issues, see ordering information below.
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Current Issue Abstracts
Fall 2013: Volume 32, Issue 2
Wolfgang M. Freitag, 1924-2012: A Tribute
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Betty Jo Irvine and William B. Walker
Wolfgang M. Freitag was a distinguished leader in the fields of art history and international art librarianship, a charter member of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), former ARLIS/NA president, recipient of the ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award, and an author of important publications in art librarianship and the literature of art history. Through his vast range of contributions and prophetic insights, he significantly influenced and enhanced the development of art librarianship. With the help of friends and colleagues, this article paints the portrait of a master librarian and leader in the profession who deserves our praise and recognition.
The Psyche of the Library: Physical Space and the Research Paradigm
When one explores the evolution of library architecture, the designs themselves reflect the changing functions within the library space. Do such designs impact the person's experience beyond offering modern, stylized study space? Can one detect an architectural code shaping the research process? To consider these questions, the author compares Erik Gunnar Asplund's Stockholm Public Library (1928) with Norman Foster's Philological Library (2006). When seen together, the two buildings represent differing processes of research. At the same time, in their appeal to contemporary understanding of the nature of intelligence, they both aim to inspire and perhaps even shape current ideas of research.
Understanding the Impact of the New Aesthetics and New Media Works on Future Curatorial Resource Responsibilities for Research Collections
The author examines the emerging impact of the works of the "New Aesthetic," along with other works that have their genesis in the rapid technological changes of the last fifty-plus years. Consideration is given to the history of digital audio/visual works that will eventually be held by repositories of cultural heritage and how this history has, or has not, been documented. These creations have developed out of an environment of networked, shared, re-usable and re-purposed data. The article briefly examines how these works are utilized while looking at the future impact of the growing creation and use of complex, compound multimedia digital research and cultural collections as evidenced by augmented and virtual reality environments such as smartphone apps and Second Life.
The Performance and Practice of Research in A Cabinet of Curiosity: The Library's Dead Time
Bonnie Mak and Julia Pollack
A Cabinet of Curiosity: The Library's Dead Time, an exhibition held at the Figure One Gallery in Champaign, Illinois, investigated how the materiality of information shapes the making of meaning. By showcasing the materiality of the codex, PDF, online catalog, and librarian, the exhibition fabricated an archive of the "dead time" of research in the humanities, and thus made visible for analysis some of the oft-overlooked practices around the production of knowledge. The following discussion explores the ways in which information is constituted, configured, and communicated, and suggests how the influential role of materiality in the transmission of ideas might be further exploited by both the librarian and the humanities scholar.
Color by Numbers: An Exploration of the Use of Color as Classification Notation
Rachel Ivy Clarke
Notation is a fundamental component of a classification scheme, especially library and bibliographic classification. However, notation is often considered an afterthought or auxiliary to classification itself. With the advances in technology, classification systems, including their notation, must evolve. What, if any, possibilities lie beyond alphanumeric characters and symbols? The author explores the possible use of color as classificatory notation by looking at the traditional qualities of notation and the classificatory needs it must accommodate, various theories and standards of color, and their possible applications to classification notation. Theoretical and practical implications are considered and discussed, as well as larger implications for notation and classification overall.
Art Book Publishing: Past, Present, Future
Ian McDermott and Erin C. Dunigan
In the face of Amazon.com, bookstore closures, self-publishing, and shrinking library budgets, how are art books being published and how are they reaching consumers and researchers? Commercial publishers and distributors, as well as independent bookstores and grassroots organizations, must confront the sea change in how readers interact with the printed word. E-books and other digital formats are gaining in popularity for fiction readers, yet few art books meet the digital demand, even as more images of art are available online. "The Future of Art Book Publishing" panel and resulting article investigate how diverse publishers approach their long-term viability in the commercial and academic marketplaces.
Artists' Recordworks in the Early Twenty-First Century
Susan E. Thomas
Despite the rise of digital downloads and streaming music, contemporary artists and musicians are creating analog objects that combine audio recordings--vinyl record, cassette, CD--with printed matter. These artists' recordworks are a type of artist's book; they are also alternative publications released in editions or as multiples. The author defines artists' recordworks and provides some background in order to establish a historical precedent for recordworks in art library collections. A brief history of album cover art is included as well because it links graphic and package design to fine art.
A Big Picture Approach: Using Embedded Librarianship to Proactively Address the Need for Visual Literacy Instruction in Higher Education
As images become ubiquitous and more accessible in digital culture, their role in the creation and dissemination of knowledge across academic disciplines is growing. Academic institutions need to adapt to this change by introducing new skill sets into the undergraduate curriculum. The term visual literacy encompasses the competencies necessary to critically use, produce, and analyze images. This article surveys the current methods academic librarians are using to introduce visual literacy instruction within their institutions. Each surveyed model focuses on a specific stakeholder group: students, faculty, and librarians. The article advocates for a method of instruction that combines the discussed approaches and stakeholders into a single framework by utilizing embedded librarianship practices.
Subject Access and ARTstor: Preliminary Research and Recommendations for the Development of an Expert Tagging Program
Despite evidence that many users of visual resources collections want to search for art images by subject, the ARTstor Digital Library does not currently support cross-collection subject access. This article explores potential solutions to the problem of subject access within ARTstor by establishing the need for subject access to art images, analyzing current methods for providing subject access, and examining ARTstor's institutional barriers. The author proposes the development of an expert tagging program within ARTstor that would utilize the collective knowledge of art librarians and visual resources professionals.
Zotero for Personal Image Management
Digital software solutions for personal image collections have lagged behind digital asset management tools for institutional collections. Scholars often need a solution that can store and organize images, associate metadata, and output data in useful ways. Zotero, the open-source citation management software, is emerging as useful tool for personal image management and library organization. The author describes the applications and advantages of Zotero for personal image collections and its potential as a method by which personal and institutional collections may be more closely integrated.
Mimi and Homeroom: Homegrown Educational Software Solutions at Pacific Northwest College of Art
The author outlines some of the benefits of building customized educational software from open-source tools and highlights specifically two such applications devised and implemented at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. A collaborative team from the PNCA Library and the IT Department continue to refine these projects in an iterative design approach. The article discusses the process of software evaluation that led to the decision to build software in-house and focuses on the evolution of user needs as the applications are adopted on a wider scale.
Tables of Contents
- 2013: Volume 32
- 2012: Volume 31
- 2011: Volume 30
- 2010: Volume 29
- 2009: Volume 28
- 2008: Volume 27
To search Art Documentation contents prior to the issues listed above, please use the LISTA database, provided by Ebsco.
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