The Art Libraries Society of North America was founded in 1972 at the initiative of Judith Hoffberg by a group of art librarians attending the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago. This group realized that to fulfill the need among art librarians for better communication and cooperation, and to provide a forum for ideas, projects, and programs, an entirely new and separate organization was required. Inspired by the model of the Art Libraries Society, established in 1969 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, ARLIS/NA was created.

List of Past Presidents

Who We Are

ARLIS/NA is a growing, dynamic organization promoting the interests of more than 1,000 members. The membership includes architecture and art librarians, visual resources professionals, artists, curators, educators, publishers, students, and others throughout North America interested in visual arts information. To serve this diverse constituency, the Society provides a wide range of programs and services within an organizational structure that encourages participation at all levels.

ARLIS/NA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group organized for educational and charitable purposes.

Charter Members

ARLIS/NA was founded in Chicago in 1972 at a gathering of the following individuals:

  • Peter Anthony, Winnipeg, MB
  • Mary Ashe, San Francisco, CA
  • Phyllis Cohen, Albuquerque, NM
  • Andrea Dragon, Minneapolis, MN
  • Wolfgang Freitag, Cambridge, MA
  • Judith Hoffberg, Glendale, CA
  • John Larsen, New York, NY
  • Herbert Scherer, Minneapolis, MN
  • Jacqueline Sisson, Columbus, OH
  • William B. Walker, Washington, DC

Honorary Lifetime Members

ARLIS/NA bestows honorary life memberships to its Charter Members and Distinguished Service Award recipients. The society also presents honorary life memberships to other individuals who over the years have made outstanding contributions to our society and professions.

  • Nancy Allen
  • Peter Anthony
  • Mary Ashe
  • Caroline Backlund
  • Patricia Barnett
  • Joan Benedetti
  • Lorraine Blackman
  • Pat Christe
  • Sherman Clarke
  • Phyllis Cohen
  • Susan Craig
  • William Dane
  • Andrea Dragon
  • Janis Ekdahl
  • Jim and Anna Emmett
  • Wolfgang Freitag
  • Rosemary Furtak
  • Angela Giral
  • Edward Goodman
  • Judith Hoffberg
  • Milan Hughston
  • Betty Jo Irvine
  • Lois Swan Jones
  • Deborah Kempe
  • John Larsen
  • Antje Lemke
  • Liz O'Keefe
  • Philip Pacey
  • Pamela Parry
  • Toni Petersen
  • Herbert Scherer
  • Nancy Schuller
  • Elmar Seibel
  • Daniel Starr
  • Jacqueline Sisson
  • Luraine Tansey
  • Gillian Varley
  • William Walker
  • Kathryn M. Wayne
  • Margaret Webster
  • Ann Whiteside
  • Mary Williamson
  • Patricia Wilson