Distinguished Service Award: Nancy Allen

ARLIS/NA Conference, Baltimore

Convocation Program Presentation, 2003

Washington. January 1975. My first ARLIS conference. I was pretty miserable at the conference, knowing no one and believing I had absolutely nothing to contribute to any professional conversation at a conference where everyone else seemed to know one another. I did not even work in an art library. Sitting alone in a long row of chairs waiting for a session to begin, someone actually sat next to me and turned with a broad smile to say, "hello". That moment I met Caroline Backlund; it marks what I consider the beginning of my career as an art librarian. Who was I? Where had I studied? What did I think of the last speaker? Anyone who knows Caroline can imagine that she engaged me in dialog about what I was learning and made me imagine, almost believe, I had something to contribute. Our world is changing dramatically, but perhaps the singular most important aspect of this organization has remained timeless: the tradition of learning, sharing, questioning, compromising and adapting to change. In 2003 one area of change, and one of our greatest challenges, is accessing information about art objects. Many museums have collections information management systems and provide web access to a portion of their collection. Fewer have rich or deep information about the collections on their internal systems, let alone on the web. And what of standards, the mainstay of shared information in the library world? Much work has been done on developing standards leaving museums staff with bewildering choices about which ones to chose. Bad enough that, most staff has precious little time to move theory to practice anyway. 

Now, lets imagine where we will be in 2025. Will data standards exist in museums? Will there be a way to share museum information across institutions? Some colleague have little optimism in this regard. Why would museums go to the extraordinary effort to standardize information when the internal use of the information has never necessitated such measures? Libraries did not create formats and controlled vocabularies to be altruistic; they did so to better manage operations. Might there be economic incentive for museums? It COULD be similar to libraries, improved efficiency of information management. Three areas of labor-intensive activity in museums occur to me as possibilities: Rights and licensing, museum loans, scholarly publications. 

First, rights and licensing: A great deal of time is spent handling forms, paper and/or electronic, for licensing works of art. Educational licensing yields little revenue for considerable the effort. If museums actually created a "union catalog" with low resolution images on the web, potential licensees could "shop" for images across museums, use shopping cart type technology, to select images, and self-identify their commercial or non commercial intentions. Museums might actually agree on a standard fee for educational use allowing the virtual licensee to compute the cost of their order, pay, and receive the high resolution files electronically. The public website would obviously become a destination for those doing picture research for publications, postcard, or pillowcases. Those users would "click through" to the rights and licensing staff at individual museums to negotiate the terms of those commercial, and more lucrative, contracts. It is quite possible to imagine that museums could save money on staff, more widely distribute images of their works for educational use, and focus on commercial licensing to better financial advantage. 

What would it take? Well first, some agreement on the standards for describing works of art on the aggregated public web site and a commitment to collaboration. If there were a union catalog of art information museum staff could use it for early "discovery" of works of art for research and exhibition planning. A set of standardized forms for requesting and approving the loan of objects from other institutions, for defining the terms of the loan, and obtaining permissions for the use of images of objects during the planning and life of the exhibition could be developed. Granted, objects are not as uniform as books. Their size, materials, fragility, weight, and value are factored into decisions about their loan. Still, the enormous benefit of standardizing any part of this activity, so central in museums, could greatly facilitate exhibition planning. 

Think IML---intermuseum loan. What would it take? Once again some standardization and a good deal of collaboration. Finally, might there be a new paradigm for museums to disseminate scholarly information? While it seldom seems possible for museum curators to upgrade information in collections management systems, merely for the sake of improving the records, every day, every week and month of the years curators and educations are writing new wall labels, creating catalog entries for print publications, creating "views" of the objects targeted to particular audiences. Today the result of that intellectual effort has one time use. Workflow in museums does not generally include getting that current scholarship and updated information into the collections management systems for re-use. Meanwhile the cost of publishing collection catalogs in print becomes more and more prohibitive. Why not develop tool kits to help museums harness the ongoing interpretive and scholarly work produced by staff, pour it back into collection management systems, and export it to a global union catalog? 

Working together, might criteria for electronic publications, collection catalogs, symposia proceedings, museum bulletins or jornals, be created, and standardized, to reduce the nearly prohibitive cost of scholarly publishing today, let alone in the future? Yes, but it will take standards and collaboration. These ideas may seem implausible but then, who among us could have imagined the world wide web in 1975? How might we in our careers be agents of such change? That brings me back to Caroline Backlund. She stayed with me during several dog days of heat and humidity in New York last August. Although now retired, she was so eager to learn about what we were doing at ARTstor. In retrospect, I realize that she was not learning something from me, she was asking the penetrating questions that I needed to consider and learn to answer as Director of Museum Relations for ARTstor, as always my mentor. This is what must endure between us in ARLIS: the trust to learn from one another and the commitment to share our expertise with those older and younger so that collectively we own the solutions. How fortunate we are tonight to be able to continue the dialog, inspired by artist Joyce Scott, the of the Baltimore Museum of Art and just perhaps a little wine.

Distinguished Service Award Recipients

2017, presented 2018: Kathryn Wayne / Convocation remarks & Introduction by Gregory P. J. Most

2016, presented 2017: Elizabeth O'Keefe / Convocation remarks & Introduction by Maria Oldal and Marie-Chantal L'Écuyer-Coelho

2015, presented 2016: Ann Baird Whiteside / Convocation remarks & Introduction by Jolene de Verges, Sherman Clarke, and Mark Pompelia

2014, presented 2015: Daniel Starr / Convocation remarks & Introduction by Ted Goodman and Sherman Clarke

2013, presented 2014: Joan Benedetti / Convocation remarks & Introduction by Jon Evans

2012, presented 2013: Ted Goodman / Convocation remarks

2011, presented 2012: Rosemary Furtak (1943-2011) / Convocation remarks (by Janice Lea Lurie)

2010, presented 2011: Margaret Webster / Convocation remarks

2008, presented 2009: Patricia Barnett / Convocation remarks & Introduction by Eric Wolf

2007, presented 2008: Susan Craig / Convocation remarks

2005, presented 2006: Sherman Clarke / Convocation remarks & Introduction by Elizabeth O'Keefe

2004, presented 2005: Nancy S. Schuller (1940-2011)

2003, presented 2004: Angela Giral

2002, presented 2003: Nancy Allen / Convocation remarks

2001, presented 2002: Betty Jo Kish Irvine / Convocation remarks

2000: no award made

1999, presented 2000: Pamela J. Parry / Convocation remarks

1998, presented 1999: Toni Petersen

1997, presented 1998: William Dane

1996, presented 1997: Lois Swan Jones (1927-2006)

1995: no award made

1994, presented 1995: Mary Williamson / Convocation remarks

1993: no award made

1992, presented 1993: Luraine Tansey (1918-2014)

1991, presented 1992: William B. Walker (1930-2017)

1990, presented 1991: Jacqueline Viaux (1913-1998)

1989, presented 1990: Wolfgang M. Freitag (1924-2012)

1988, presented 1989: Caroline Backlund (1920-2016)

1987: Antje B. Lemke (1918-2017)

1986: Bernard Karpel (1911-1986)

H. W. Wilson Foundation Research Award: Past Winners


Kai Alexis Smith, Laurel Bliss, and Ann Roll - “Building Bridges with CSU Art and Performing Arts Librarians”


No award given


Catherine Essinger - She Gods, Gangsters, and Gunslingers: Subversive Images of "The New Woman" in Early Films of Roger Corman

Alexander Watkins - Collecting, Organizing and Teaching with Ephemera of the European Art Biennials


Craig Bunch - Interviews with Texas Artists


Bronwyn L. Dorhofer - A Twilight Mood: The Pictorialist Photography of Nancy Ford Cones (1899-1932)

Jaye Fishel - an online catalogue raisonne for the Nexus Press


Elizabeth Hahn - Bibliography and Historiography of Sicilian Numismatic Literature

D. Vanessa Kam - Will the Last Book Be an Art Book? The Curious Evolution of Art and Architecture Libraries in a Digital Era


Heather Gendron - Studio Archives: Voices of Living Artists, Their Assistants, and Archivists / Phase II: Artists Working in Digital and Video Media

Craig Bunch - Collage and Assemblage in Texas: The Interviews


Robert Craig Bunch - Collage and Assemblage in Texas

Hillary Veeder - Title Histories of the Periodical Literature for Art & Design


Tom McNulty - Art Market Research: A Guide to Methods and Sources (revise and expand 2006 edition)


Michael Young - Santa Casa in Bohemia Sacra: Czech Baroque Copies in the Holy House of Loreto

Ian McDermott - Views of Los Angeles: a Historical and Statistical Analysis of Ed Ruscha's Artist's Books


Dr. Suzanna Simor - Imaging the Creed: Visualizations of the Christian Creed from Charlemagne to Luther


Alfred Willis - American Bungalow Books, 1903-1952


Ruth Wallach - Public Art and City Transportation: Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC

Margaret Culbertson - House-Family Portrait Photographs of the Nineteenth Century


Sarah McCleskey - Staffing Standards and Core Competencies in Academic Art & Architecture Libraries: Case Studies


Roberto C. Ferrari - The Letters of Simeon Solomon

Sara Harrington - Women's Work: The Valorization of Domestic Labor in American World War II Posters


Jonathan Franklin - The Art Auction Catalogue: A Bibliographical Study

Lamia Doumato - Illuminated Manuscripts of the Crusader Era: A Bibliography


Susan Koskinen - Joseph Esherick, Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis: An Annotated Bibliography


Clare Hills-Nova - Art History Methods: History and Issues


Nina Stephenson - Photography's History in Indonesia


George McKee - Image of France Index


Sheila Klos - Index to American Women Architects, 1945-1995: A Guide to Reproductions


Linda McRae - African Ethnonyms: Index to Art-Producing Peoples of Africa


Jack Robertson - Twentieth-Century Artists on Art: an Index to Writings, Statements, and Interviews by Artists, Architects, and Designers

Kathy Zimon - Douglas Cardinal: A Bibliography of the Literature to 1994

Wolfgang M. Freitag Internship Award: Past Winners


Anna Hurwitz

Anna is a second year MLIS student at the University of Washington pursuing a career in art librarianship. Although she has almost thirty years of experience working with nonprofit arts organizations as an art event producer, this degree marks a significant career change for Anna, which was inspired by her work with the archives at the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle. The award will support an internship in Seattle that will advance Anna’s skills in archival collections processing for both analog and digital materials.


Spyros Koulouris


Angelique Roy

Angelique is currently an intern at the Gerstein Science Information Centre, the largest medical library in Canada, and a student representative of the ARLIS/NA Ontario chapter. In her internship, she will explore the parameters of digitizing illustrated print material and how metadata influences the meaning and public reception of such collections. She will complete her internship at a location to be determined following her graduation from the University of Toronto in May 2016.


Adam Beebe

Adam completed a fall internship at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL. His primary project was to review, describe, and create a cataloging scheme for a collection of recorded artist interviews and exhibition documentation in preparation for the museum's upcoming 50th anniversary. Adam also engaged in a variety of other ongoing projects, including managing the transfer of catalog records to a new ILS and assisting with several daily library functions such as fulfilling reference requests and collection development.


Margit Wilson

Margit interned at two institutions: the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. and the American Craft Council in Minneapolis, MN. At the National Museum of Women in the Arts, she worked with the rare book collection. She created an inventory of uncatalogued rare books and identified opportunities for improving catalog records. At the American Craft Council, Margit processed exhibition files from the Museum of Contemporary Craft Archive, created digital finding aids and wrote a blog entry about some of her findings.

Margit is currently Assistant Librarian at the Walker Art Center.


Kai Alexis Smith

Kai interned at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, D.C. She completed an internal digitization plan for the vertical files. She met and communicated with leaders in the field to benchmark her work and understand best practices. She proposed several options that NGA can take in implementing a digitization plan along with a digitization management plan with a prioritization schema. Through this experience, Kai was exposed to government and museum librarianship and had the opportunity to speak with leaders in the field and visit many museum libraries aside from NGA.

Kai is currently the Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame.   


Lindsey Reynolds

Lindsey completed her internship with the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) Libraries: the Brooklyn Museum, the Frick Art Reference Library, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). By working at each of the three libraries Lindsey was able to learn about museum librarianship and the unique ways that these libraries serve their institutions. At the Brooklyn Museum Lindsey worked on digitization projects for NYARC as well as doing research for a timeline of the museum for a new overview gallery. At the Frick she worked mainly on a blog post for NYARC; and at the MoMA Lindsey worked cataloging some of their artist book backlog. 

Lindsey is currently a Library Assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art.


Bailey Diers

Bailey completed her internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Thomas J. Watson Library. Her primary focus was a digitization project, which included selecting, scanning, editing, and uploading a collection of rare books to the Library's digital collections. In addition, she collaborated in the development, implementation, and analysis of two user surveys that were conducted in order to improve research assistance and instructional programs for docents and museum staff. Bailey also held weekly reference shifts at the Nolen Library, assisting educators, docents, and students with art history research. 

Bailey is currently Special Collections Librarian at the Hennepin County Library James K. Hosmer Special Collections.


Allison Schulte

Allison received her MLIS in 2010 from San Jose State University, specializing in archives and special collections. She holds a BA in Studio Art from California State University, Northridge, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). In ARLIS/NA, Ms. Schulte revived the ARLIS LGBTQ SIG and co-coordinated the group, She was also appointed ARLIS/NA-SAA Liaison.

As of 2011, Allison (Wickman) was living in Helsinki and working as the International Liaison for the Tom of Finland Foundation.


Adrienne Lai

Adrienne spent her internship in three different departments at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD: the Visual Resources Collection, Research Services at Sheridan Libraries, and the Center for Educational Resources. Among the projects she completed were image collection development in the subject area of digital photography and additional subject cataloguing for a group of images of Asian American artworks and Modern Indian posters for the Visual Resources Collection; collection development projects for Research Services developing the monograph collections in the areas of photography, contemporary Asian and Asian American art; and the creation of a multi-disciplinary research guide to finding and using images which resulted in a multi-tabbed LibGuide with information on: finding images in databases, on the web, and in books, recommended web resources grouped by subject across six broad disciplinary categories, citing and copyright information, technical information about digital image formats and sizes, and finding images for publication. 

Adrienne is currently the Emerging Technology Services Librarian at North Carolina State University Libraries.


Shilpa Rele

Shilpa completed her internship with the Steve.museum project, a collaborative research effort of museums in the United States that explores the usefulness of social tagging for providing access to online collections. At her host institution, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, she worked with the Art and Education Systems Manager and her UCLA faculty advisor who is a research participant in the project, familiarizing herself with the project's research methodology and assigning tags to objects. The bulk of her time was spent organizing and analyzing the tag data collected over the life of the LACMA project. Her contribution will assist project researchers as they continue to study the patterns and possibilities of social tagging for online museum collections. 

Shilpa is currently Digital Program Librarian at Loyola Marymount University. 


Martha González Palacios

Martha carried out her internship at the Frances Loeb Library at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. Working with the head librarian, conservator and others she undertook a survey of their folio collection, consisting primarily of late 19th and 20th century architecture and landscape architecture book and plate sets. She evaluated six hundred titles and nearly one thousand items, assessing and recording their condition and reviewing and updating existing cataloging records.

Martha is currently Art and Architecture Librarian at the University of Oregon’s Architecture and Allied Arts Library


Greta Bahnemann

Greta conducted her internship at the New York Public Library's Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs. The bulk of her time was devoted to web development as she reorganized and created new content for the Division's website, including a research guide to the collection. In addition she developed a curatorial talk on the history of photography and produced accompanying education materials. 

Greta is currently Metadata Coordinator at the Minnesota Digital Library, University of Minnesota. 


Lauren Edison

Lauren completed her internship at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York under the direction of the Head of Cataloging and Database Maintenance. She cataloged drawings and prints for the Library's catalog, correcting existing MARC records and creating new MARC records for items acquired by the Drawings and Prints Department in 2004. She also updated and created new Library of Congress Name Authority Files for artists whose works are in the Morgan collection. 


Cathy Billings

Cathy conducted her internship at the National Gallery of Art Image Collections in Washington, D.C., under the direction of the Chief of Library Image Collections. She researched architectural images and performed bibliographic and descriptive cataloging of slides for the collection.

Cathy is currently Senior Library, Arts & Culture Supervisor, Brand Library & Art Center.


Laura Mosher

Laura interned at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York under the tutelage of the Collections Management Librarian. She also worked with the Collection Development and Preservation librarians. 

Laura is currently Reference Librarian in the Cadet Library, United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. 


John Schlinke

John interned at the Architecture Library of Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island. He trained with the University's Information Literacy Librarian on effective teaching techniques and exercises and helped with bibliographic instruction classes for students in architecture and architectural history. 

John is currently Architecture/Art Librarian at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.


Heather Gendron

Heather conducted her internship at the University of Texas at Austin Architecture and Planning Library and Fine Arts Library. She was given the responsibility of designing instructional handouts and websites for students in architecture, and she assisted with bibliographic instruction sessions.

Heather is currently Head of the Sloane Art Library and Library Assessment Coordinator at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Worldwide Books Award for Publications: Past Winners


Judy Dyki and Paul Glassman, eds. - The Handbook of Art and Design Librarianship. London: Facet Publishing, 2017.


Robert Craig Bunch -  The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2016.


Catherine Larkin - "Art Collecting on a Global Scale: Non-European Objects from the William Randolph Hearst Archive." Visual Resources (2014)


D. Vanessa Kam (2014) - "The Tenacious Book, Parts I and II." Art Documentation, 33(1), 2-26.

Honorable Mention: Sally Sims Stokes - "The Studio World Surprised and Distrubed Ruth." Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media, edited by Alexander N. Howe and Wynn Yarbrough. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.


Maryly Snow, ed. -  California Society of Printmakers: One Hundred Years, 1913-2013. San Francisco: California Society of Printmakers, 2013.

Honorable Mention: Heather Slania (2013) - "Online Art Ephemera: Web Archiving at the National Museum of Women in the Arts." Art Documentation, 32(1), 112-126.


Lindsay M. King and Russell T. Clement (2012) - "Style and Substance: Fashion in Twenty-First Century Research Libraries." Art Documentation, 31(1), 93-107.

Suzanna B. Simor - "The Credo in Siena: Art, Civic Religion and Politics in Sienese Images of the Christian Creeds." New Studies on Old Masters: Essays in Renaissance Art in Honour of Colin Eisler, edited by John Garton and Diane Wolfthal, 309-327. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2011.


Eric Wolfe - American Art Museum Architecture: Documents and Design


Richard Minsky - The Art of American Book Covers

Honorable Mention: Kristen Regina - special issue of Slavic & East European Information Resources


Jeff Gunderson - "A Combination of Accidents: The San Francisco Art Scene in the 1940.," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: 75 Years of Looking Forward San Francisco, Calif. : San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2009.


Hee-Gwone Yoo, New York Public Library, and Kristen Regina - Visual Resources from Russia and Eastern Europe in the New York Public Library: A Checklist


Joan Benedetti - Art Museum Libraries and Librarianship

Honorable Mention:
Elinor Nacheman - "Unveiled: A directory and guide to 19th century born artists active in Rhode Island, and where to find their work in publicly accessible Rhode Island collections" [self-published]


Martin Aurand - The Spectator and the Topagraphical City


Max Marmor and Alex Ross - Guide to the Literature of Art History, Volume 2


Max Marmor - "From Purgatory to the Primavera: Some Observations on Botticelli and Dante." Artibus et Historiae, no. 48 (XXIV).


Joan Benedetti - Managing the Small Art Museum Library

Sarah McCleskey - Staffing Standards and Core Competencies in Academic Art and Architecture Departmental Libraries: A Preliminary Study


Christel McCanless - Faberge Eggs: a Retrospective Encyclopedia

James Findlay - Big Little Books: The Whitman Publishing Company's Golden Age, 1932-1938

Peter Erickson - Images of White Identity in Othello, and Can We Talk about Race in Hamlet?


Lamia Doumato - "Opening the Door to Paradise: Bishop Theodorus and St. Thomas Imagery in Thirteenth Century Syria" in Al-Masaq." Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, vol. 12, 2000, pp. 141-71

Elizabeth Broman - "Egyptian Revival Funerary Art in Green-Wood Cemetery." Markers: The Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies, vol. XVIII, 2001, pp. 30-67


Paula A. Baxter - Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry: A Guide to History, People, and Terms

Peter Erickson - Early Modern Visual Culture: Representation, Race, and Empire in Renaissance England

Kathy Zimon - Alberta Society of Artists: The First Seventy Years


Lois Swan Jones - Art Information: How to Find It, How to Use It

Jane Devine - 100 Years of Architecture at Notre Dame: A History of the School of Architecture 1898-1998

Margaret Culbertson - Texas Houses Built by the Book: The Use of Published Designs, 1850-1925


James A. Findlay - The WPA: an Exhibition of Works Progess Administration Literature and Art from the Collections of the Bienes Center for the Literary Arts

Laura Graveline - "Library Service to the African American Community." Art Documentation 17 (1998)

Susan A. Lewis - Interior Design Sourcebook: A Guide to Resources on the History and Practice of Interior Design

Helen E. Roberts - Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art

Edward H. Teague - Art and Design Resources on the World Wide Web


Jane Block - Belgium: The Golden Decades

Irena Murray and Kathryn Jackson - Sources in Iconography in the Blackader-Lauterman Library of Architecture and Art:  An Annotated Bibliography

Barbara Koerble - Articles in CITE and Texas Architect, 1996-97


Carla Freeman & Barbara Stevenson - Visual Resources Directory: Art Slide and Photograph Collections in the United States and Canada

May Castleberry - Perpetual Mirage: Photographic Narratives of the Desert West

Irena Murray - Moshe Safdie: Buildings & Projects, 1967-1992


[award this year was called ARLIS/NA Individual Membership Publication Award]
Murtha Baca, James Bower, and Eleanor Fink - Union List of Artist Names

Toni Petersen - Art and Architecture Thesaurus and related publications

Jeanne Brown - Architecture and Building: Net Resources