The official bulletin of the Art Libraries Society of North America, 1982-present.

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. Authors who wish to publish their work in Art Documentation should consult the Contributor Guidelines.

Art Documentation is published for ARLIS/NA by University of Chicago Press, which supports green open access for all of its journals. Authors may self-archive their own articles and make them freely available through institutional repositories after a one-year embargo. Authors may also post their articles in their published form on their personal or departmental web pages or personal social media pages, use the article in teaching or research presentations, provide single copies in print or electronic form to their colleagues, or republish the article in a subsequent work, subject to giving proper credit to the original publication of the article in Art Documentation, including reproducing the exact copyright notice as it appears in the journal.

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Tables of Contents

To search Art Documentation contents 1982-present, go to the journal home page.

2020: Volume 39

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2019: Volume 38

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2018: Volume 37

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2017: Volume 36

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2016: Volume 35

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2015: Volume 34

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2014: Volume 33

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2013: Volume 32

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2012: Volume 31

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2011: Volume 30

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2010: Volume 29

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2009: Volume 28

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

2008: Volume 27

Issue 1 / Spring
Issue 2 / Fall

     

Current Issue Abstracts

Art Documentation vol. 39, no. 2 (Fall 2020)

Breaching the Document/Artwork Divide: Performance, Hybrid Artworks, and the Lingering Problem of Categorization
Tracy Stonestreet

Abstract— Over the past century, artists around the globe increasingly have turned to hybrid art practices, incorporating elements of action with static forms. Looking at a variety of works by contemporary artists, this article reviews the institutional factors that affect the cataloging of hybrid artwork, from the structure of collecting departments to the theories behind database management. Two standards for the management of cultural databases—FRBR and CDWA—are explored for potential non-hierarchical approaches to registration and records.

Digital Embodiments of Artists Archives: Four Approaches to Digitized Collections and Their Web-Based Platforms
Meghan Lyon

Abstract—This article is an inquiry into the presentation and organization of digitized materials and analogous records from artists’ archives on the web. Traditionally, artists’ archives have been described hierarchically with finding aids—text-based documents detailing contents of collections, boxes, and analog folders. The ubiquity of the web and prevalence of digitization has disrupted hierarchical arrangement associated with archival description and shifted researchers’ expectations of access to records. This shift has affected modes of presentation and dissemination of such information resources. The author examines timely examples of digitized artists’ archives and similar resources, including the Asia Art Archive, the Russian Art Archive Network, the Artist Archive Initiative, and the Archives of American Art.

Henry Clay Frick’s Library
Giana Ricci

Abstract— Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919), known primarily as a wealthy businessman, industrialist, and art collector, was also a book collector who spent his precious resources of time and money accumulating a gentleman’s library that is now on display alongside his art at The Frick Collection in Manhattan. Through original archival research, staff interviews, and examination of secondary sources, this article gives a brief look into the provenance of Mr. Frick’s library, his level of involvement in the collecting practices, and how it was used by members of the Frick family and Frick Collection staff.

Building Visual Literacy Skills on Campus: A Toolkit for Multidisciplinary Teaching from University Art Collections
Mackenzie Brooks, Alston Cobourn, Andrea Lepage, and Elizabeth Teaff

Abstract— Many colleges possess rich art collections that have the potential to expand curricula and address visual literacy in dynamic ways. However, faculty outside studio and art history departments often shy away from integrating art into their teaching. To build visual literacy skills using the campus art collection, a multidisciplinary team created a series of lesson plans for an open web-based toolkit using ACRL’s Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. This article shares recommendations for others seeking to develop similar multidisciplinary collections-based teaching programs.

Study of Publishing Patterns on Visual Literacy and Education
Corinne Kennedy

Abstract— Before textual literacy became common, humans used images to communicate meaning and provide context. John Debes defined this type of communication as visual literacy. As technology advanced, allowing for quick access to images, teaching shifted from lecture-based learning to the use of images to develop communication, memory, and critical thinking skills. The author describes her study of publishing patterns in visual literacy and education in different disciplines at all grade levels. The article also presents examples of how numerous disciplines utilize images to teach visual literacy in the classroom. 

From “Don’t Use It” to “Let’s Edit!”: Using Wikipedia to Teach the Art, Architecture, and Design Information Competencies
Courtney Baron

Abstract— Students can develop the research skills outlined in the ARLIS/NA Art, Architecture, and Design Information Competencies through the process of editing content on Wikipedia. This article situates the competencies for art and design students within the literature on information literacy and the applications of Wikipedia in the college classroom. With a focus on art history, the art information competencies are mapped to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and implemented in one-shot instruction sessions. Inspired by the success of the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thons, the author demonstrates how art librarians can build upon the success of these events and outreach initiatives to incorporate Wikipedia into information literacy instruction for art history students.

Recommended Reads for Visual Literacy: An Online Bibliography of Articles, Books, and Archival Materials
Dana Statton Thompson

Abstract— Over the past five decades, the definition of visual literacy has been expanded and reshaped, yet there was no single resource that brought together these years of important research. To fill this gap, the author created Recommended Reads for Visual Literacy, a bibliography of recent articles, historical books, and archival collections that serves as a detailed web resource for visual literacy. This project seeks to empower the current research community and to encourage art librarians and visual resources curators to explore the existing literature on visual literacy to inform their knowledge base and instruction practices. In this article, the author describes the process of creating the bibliography, its limitations, and next steps for the project.

Librarian as Curator: Teaching Research through the Artist Bibliography Book Display in Art Department Gallery
Ann Holderfield

Abstract— The author shares how the weaving of multiple professional roles culminated in the creation of the Artist Bibliography Book Display, a display that features the research of artists exhibiting in the art department gallery that the art librarian co-directs. The article describes the development of the Artist Bibliography Book Display, discusses the artwork and bibliographies of select artists who exhibit in the space, analyzes the book display as a pedagogical tool in the teaching of research to art students through the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, and discusses teaching with and the curating of books. 

On Their Grounds: A Comparison of Two Library Studio Visit Programs
Allison Comrie

Abstract— Between 2018 and 2020, the author had the opportunity to work in two arts-focused libraries as part of a Library Practicum program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and through the Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship at the Robert B. Haas Arts Library, Yale University. These two work experiences provided the opportunity to implement pilots of two studio visit programs with the populations that each library supports. During the studio visits, the author met with artists, musicians, curators, visual art practicum participants, and Yale School of Art graduate students to learn about their research interests and provide direct reference support in their studios. This article presents both pilot case studies, reviews current literature on embedded librarianship practices related to the visual arts, discusses the similarities and differences that emerged, and outlines recommendations for those interested in offering similar studio visit programs.

The Art Librarian Wears Many Hats: A Survey of the Skills Art Librarians Need in the Twenty-First Century
Megan Lotts

Abstract— In the twenty-first century, art librarians wear many hats: they are collectors, curators, hardware specialists, programmers, researchers, social media managers, social workers, teachers, technology experts, and writers. As collection and staff budgets dwindle, the skill set of art librarians is rapidly expanding. New tools are needed to keep up with the field as it moves away from traditional priorities—subject knowledge, foreign language proficiency, and professional tasks such as cataloging, indexing, abstracting, and collecting—and toward new ways of connecting with patrons and communities. This article examines the current skills needed by art librarians, with an emphasis on academic librarianship, and offers insights for individuals pursuing careers in art librarianship.