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. 1 (Spring 2020)

It’s About Time: Open Educational Resources and the Arts
Ian McDermott

Abstract—The price of textbooks and other learning materials hinder students’ ability to pursue higher education. Open educational resources (OER) provide one answer to this problem. Though well established in STEM disciplines, OER are less common in art history and other arts courses. The College Art Association (CAA) and the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) hosted panels on OER at their 2019 annual conferences. This article summarizes those panels and analyzes the speakers’ experiences within the context of OER initiatives in higher education.

Evolution of a Canonical Art History Textbook: Charting Bibliographic Elements in Gardner’s Art through the Ages
Jean-Pierre V.M. Hérubel, Benjamin R. Sloan, and Matthew N. Hannah

Abstract—The discipline of art history relies heavily upon the visual to convey significance. Textbooks provide a readily available and portable conveyance for introductory courses in the American higher education system. Nowhere is this more evident than in the survey texts that introduce and cover salient phenomena in art history. Among the major competing texts, Helen Gardner’s Art through the Ages emerges as the longest published, with many iterations. This article frames the significance of a canonical text vis-à-vis its enduring prominence among art history faculty by exploring various bibliographic elements through comparison of randomly selected editions over time. Chapters, paginations, length of appended bibliographies, as well as changes in visuals, including images, coloration, cartographies, and diagrammatic illustrations, present a shifting and adaptive publishing evolution responsive to changing markets for such texts as well as pedagogical and art historical disciplinary changes over time.

Art Catalogs Unbound: Overcoming Challenges through Engagement
Stephanie Beene, Laura Soito, and Laura Kohl

Abstract—Exhibition catalogs have a long history within arts organizations, libraries, and archives. Scholars often rely on them for research, but they can also be used for teaching critical information and visual literacy concepts. Through instruction, cataloging enhancements, open data sharing, and crowdsourcing initiatives, libraries can link the scholarly and artistic conversations within these texts to broader discourse, social contexts, collections, and resources. Through various initiatives and platforms illustrated in this article, communities can contribute to a new type of digital exhibition catalog, one that breaks free from the bound book format and embraces the participatory nature of the internet.

Critical Making: A Micro-Study in Archival Practice
Melanie Renée Roll

Abstract—Through a project-based critical making in design analysis of two jewelry publications (Lapidary Journal and Metalsmith), the way artistic communities seek to promote creative achievement and a sharing of knowledge is revealed. The observations detailed through this project show how content and design of industry publications reinforce differences in communities and perceived artistic success between academic and mass market production.
To discern how print publications of the late twentieth century have either reinforced or attempted to circumvent these interpretations, this study investigates how content and visual imagery are used in these periodicals. The author reviews publications from the year 2000, categorizes each page by content into categories, and identifies key design strategies. The results of the study indicate a high level of artist/maker feature articles in Metalsmith and a high level of advertising and technical information in Lapidary Journal. Decisions are made as to what strategies should prevail when seeking to archive important information at the cross section of these two communities.

Addressing the Gender Gap: Confronting Inequities in Librarians’ Professional Advancement by Establishing a Conference Childcare Program
Anna Simon and Stephanie B. Fletcher

Abstract—This article documents one approach to improving the professional support system for librarian-parents and especially librarian-mothers: developing a conference childcare program, which the authors undertook as a pilot program in partnership with the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) from 2016 to 2018. After a two-year trial and mixed attendance results, the childcare program was adopted as part of ARLIS/NA’s annual conference plan. The article provides recommendations on how to successfully implement a childcare program and offers evidence on how conference care enhances an organization’s ability to include and support caregivers during a critical period of need.

Crafting a Closure and the Art of Deconstruction: Lessons Learned from the Oregon College of Art and Craft Library’s Final Days
Elsa Loftis and Dan Kelley

Abstract—After the disheartening news of a full closure of the Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2019, the librarian and partners had the unpleasant task of dismantling and distributing the library’s unique collection. This article outlines that process in the context of other library closures and offers ideas for best practices and project management procedures for other libraries to consider if facing such a situation. The article is also a tribute to the unique collection and space that needed to be disassembled and how the collection lives on to make contributions at other institutions.

A Square Peg in a Round Hole? The MARCH Thesis and the Institutional Repository
Rebecca Price

Abstract—While institutional repositories have changed the landscape of academic publishing and scholarly communication in most disciplines, the creative work of architecture and art and design students and faculty has been left behind. Recent studies sponsored by the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) Art Information program explore the issue of the MFA thesis as an object for submission to an institutional repository. This article opens the conversation to include the MARCH thesis project. The essay recounts the process of gathering information about current practices and proposes next steps to address the need for best practices, if not standards, for the inclusion of MARCH thesis work in institutional repositories.

Lost But Not Forgotten? An Inventory and Use Analysis of an Undergraduate Art Book Collection
Stephen Walker and Jennifer Poggiali

Abstract—The authors embarked on an inventory and analysis of a small art book collection at a liberal arts college in order to understand its contents and usage. This project at Lehman College, CUNY, was designed to match the catalog record with the physical books, thus cleaning up many inaccuracies in the online catalog. The authors then assessed the collection’s age and circulation to students at the college, the university system, and to external libraries through interlibrary loan. The article includes the unique history of the art monograph collection, the methods for conducting the inventory, and the analysis of the circulation data.

The Art School and the Library: A Case Study Exploring Disciplinary Differences
Carla-Mae Crookendale

Abstract—Art students interact with the library as a physical and virtual space, as well as a source of materials and services for research and inspiration. This article describes the results of a library use survey distributed to students at a public university art school with sixteen programs. Responses challenged assumptions about awareness, frequency of use, and importance of resources. Survey results also demonstrated discipline-specific variations in the use of the library as a third space, the desirability of makerspaces, and the value of collections. Analysis suggests implications for the role of the art liaison and opportunities for library service and outreach.