Art Documentation

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.

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Tables of Contents

To search Art Documentation contents 1982-present, use the LISTA database, provided by EBSCO.

2015: Volume 34

Issue 1 / Spring

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. 34, no. 1 (Spring 2015)

Linked Open Data for Artistic and Cultural Resources
Allana Mayer

Abstract—Linked Open Data (LOD) initiatives are in early stages, even in major cultural hubs, and it is hard to quantify intangible expectations such as improved use of materials, enriched resources for researchers and educators, or increased public awareness for participating institutions. Collections of art and culture objects are a major component of these endeavors. This article defines some key terms, notes some important considerations, details exemplary work in the field, and suggests how an ideal LOD framework may look in the near future.

Contemporary Chinese Artists' Books: New Artistic Voices in a Time of Transition
Amanda C. R. Clark

Abstract—This article considers several examples of Chinese artists' books from Beijing's recent Diamond Leaves exhibition, as well as other works by Chinese artist Xu Bing, whose oeuvre includes a discernable focus on the book and text in tandem. The emerging expression of contemporary book arts in China offers disparate views of artists' books as social transcripts, as a compelling form of communication media, and as cultural capital in an era of transition. The author focuses on the physical, handmade Chinese artist's book as a documentation of human experience rich in social significance.

Uncovering the Challenges and Obstacles
Carmen Cowick

Abstract—When examining significant political and social movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, it is evident that street art with a political theme was almost always integral to the movement. Despite the impact that street art has had in history, its presence in the historical record is disappointing due to the challenges in documenting and preserving this type of work. The author explores some noteworthy examples of political street art, reports on her research to determine which collections house art works and documentation from these movements, and analyzes the results of her survey to identify the issues faced by libraries and archives in acquiring and documenting street art.

The Genesis and Production of Rights & Reproductions: The Handbook for Cultural Institutions
Anne M. Young

Abstract—Rights & Reproductions: The Handbook for Cultural Institutions will be the first comprehensive resource to focus solely on the rights and reproductions guidelines, established standards, and emerging best practices at cultural institutions. This forthcoming publication will be co-published in the summer of 2015 by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the American Alliance of Museums. With intellectual property laws and rights and reproductions methodologies ever-changing with new technologies, this digital publication, produced using the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI) Toolkit platform, will be a living document that can be updated to remain current with trends and best practices. This article provides an overview of the evolution of the Handbook from an idea hoping for grant support through the authoring, editing, and entry of its content into the OSCI Toolkit to create this new digital publication.

Bibliometric Study of Scholarly Writing and Publishing Patterns Concerning Copyright and Digital Images
Corinne Rebecca Kennedy

Abstract—With the advancement of technology and the digital era, new forms of displaying and accessing information are prevalent. The literature on the subject of digital visual resources—specifically art images—and copyright reflects a concern about how best to educate the academic community about these issues. Likewise, copyright law is difficult to navigate because of the absence of clearly defined guidelines and legislation. Libraries are left to develop their own interpretations of fair use and other aspects of copyright law. The author provides a brief overview of the literature on the subject of copyright and digital art images and presents a bibliometric study to identify publishing patterns on the subject.

Attitudes Toward E-Books Among Visual Arts Faculty and Students
Stacy Brinkman and Jennifer Krivickas

Abstract—Several studies have recently shown a general resistance among art historians toward the adoption of e-books. Are these user attitudes the same among other visual arts faculty and students? In this study the authors use a mixed-methods technique known as Q methodology to isolate and explore distinct opinion types about e-books among visual arts users as a whole. By exposing different viewpoints on e-books and including users in fields such as design, architecture, interior design, planning, and fine arts in addition to art history, this article provides a more nuanced understanding of faculty and student attitudes than previous studies have done.

Artists' Books DC: Developing Access, Promoting Research, and Facilitating Browsing
Michelle Strizever

Abstract—Book art collections are often hidden, and browsing catalogs for artists' books can be frustrating to researchers due to cataloging inconsistencies. Artists' BooksDC is a regional solution to these problems. This grant-funded digital reference tool serves as a comprehensive guide to researching artists' book collections in the Washington, DC area. The author describes the process of building, funding, and publicizing this resource, and provides suggestions for producing effective digital reference tools, creating social media campaigns, and transforming the research process.

Teaching with Artists' Books: An Interdisciplinary Approach for the Liberal Arts
Louise A. Kulp

Abstract—The author considers the relevancy of artists' books collections in liberal arts colleges, specifically their ability to support teaching in multiple disciplines. The development of the collection at Franklin & Marshall College is discussed, along with strategies for identifying teaching opportunities and educating faculty. Three specific teaching instances are presented in detail. Each example includes a bibliography of the books used in class with brief annotations and rationale for use. The article concludes with an examination of lingering challenges and ideas for expanding the pedagogical use of artists' books for liberal arts.

Creating an Interdisciplinary Materials Lab in the Design Library
Kasia Leousis

Abstract—In collaboration with students and faculty, the Library of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University developed an interdisciplinary Materials Laboratory that offers students in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction a hands-on and interdisciplinary sensory experience of building and construction materials. Materials research is a key component to students' learning in design disciplines, and the tactile and visual experience of handling physical building materials samples allows students to investigate and discover materials in new ways. This article explores the collaborative creation of the Materials Lab that positioned the library as a central and innovative educational resource for all design disciplines.

Engaging with Social Media: The Emily Carr University of Art and Design Library Experience
Hillary Webb and Ken Laing

Abstract—In the spring of 2013, the Emily Carr University of Art and Design Library embarked on a year-long project to evaluate its social media efforts. The resulting case study discusses the academic art library's observations and assessment of its social media platforms, including the results of a survey sent to social media followers and how that information shapes the future goals of the library's social media campaign. Although much has been written about the use of social media in libraries, this article also contributes to the discussion surrounding the overall assessment of efforts and what determines success.

The Merge: The Artful Marriage of EBSCO Publishing and H.W. Wilson
Hillary B. Veeder

Abstract—Electronic indexes and databases for the art and design disciplines have undergone many changes in the last five or more years. The Getty announced in 2008 that it was ending its support and maintenance of the Bibliography of the History of Art, and in the meantime, ProQuest reincarnated the seminal index under the new title International Bibliography of Art. Also of note was the merger of EBSCO Publishing and H.W. Wilson in 2011, with EBSCO assuming control of Wilson's electronic indexes and full-text databases. EBSCO's answer to the acquisition of Wilson databases was to create Source databases that combine the subject-specific indexes and databases from both vendors into one larger super database, while also maintaining the databases as individual, stand-alone resources. These changes raise questions as to what benefits and added value libraries and their patrons are receiving. Is access to art and design periodical literature growing as a result of these changes, or is it simply being repackaged and reimagined in the form of a new product? This article examines the periodical title-level content and coverage provided by EBSCO's Art Source super database. The author also reviews the title-level content and coverage of the component databases that make up Art Source. Art Full-Text (H.W. Wilson) and Art & Architecture Complete serve as the central points of comparison, with some discussion about the content and coverage in Art Index Retrospective: 1929-1984 (H.W. Wilson).

Preserving New Media: Educating Public Audiences through Museum Websites
Christine Rosa

Abstract—The author identifies fifteen leading museums and galleries dedicated to researching preservation methods for born-digital art. The information on the websites of these institutions represents industry standards for preserving this art and serves to educate the general public about the conceptual, methodological, and techno- logical concerns. This qualitative study describes a survey of these institutions' websites to determine what information related to new media preservation is provided and contrasts it with the presentation of information on the preservation and conservation of traditional works of art.