Three Decades of the Art NACO funnel project

Featured Projects,
2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the Art NACO funnel project of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), art catalogers' collective contributions to the Name Authority File (NAF). The funnel project was founded and has been coordinated ever since by Sherman Clarke, recipient of the 2005 ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award and a lifetime member of the Society.

For three decades, the Art NACO funnel has been enabling art catalogers to reach well beyond their individual institutions' limits. On our own we would not have made the contribution quotas required for participation. Collectively, as members of the Art NACO funnel project, we have been able to work directly with a significant international cataloging resource. Beyond focusing on major figures and trends, art catalogers have had the opportunity to chip away at the edges of art history research, and contribute authority records for artists, organizations, or artwork titles, which may have escaped attention and expert treatment, or may have relevance to underrepresented groups or movements.

The three decades of continuous functioning of the Art NACO funnel project is not only a testament to the need it fulfills, but also to the unwavering service of Sherman on behalf of ARLIS/NA and each and every one of us. Thank you, Sherman, for your tireless work of training, quality control, constant communication, and expert advocacy. Here's to the successful continuation of the Art NACO funnel project into its fourth decade!

At the annual conference in Mexico City, the session, If You See Something, Submit Something: A Beginners Guide to Contributing to Controlled Vocabularies, gave an excellent overview of how to engage in vocabulary work that reaches well beyond our local practices (the handout may be found here). Many of us started with Art NACO, which made us learn about and embrace the importance of engaging with other standard vocabularies, such as Wikidata or the Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). The ARLIS/NA Cataloging Advisory Committee (CAC) site has information on how to start exploring this type of work, how to join the Art NACO funnel, and how to reach out for assistance.