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Re: Artists' books in the library (fwd)



On Mon, 14 Apr 1997, Michael E. Morin wrote:

> Without 3rd level cataloging with an informative note field worth searching
> for, scholars are dependant upon the involvement and interests of the
> special collections professionals.  My experience as an artist, scholar and
> librarian has been exstremly hit and miss.  If the uncataloged or under
> cataloged item is outside the interest or experience of the collections'
> managers, it will often be overlooked or not recommended to a scholar
> visiting your collection.  If institutions don't wish to pay for proper
> cataloging  why own such works in the first place?  I f there is no access,
> the purpose of scholarly research is limited.

I think regular cataloging which includes author, title and publication
information provides some access, particularly if a scholar is searching
for the works of an individual, or a press. The reason libraries starting
using the "copy cataloging" method was that original cataloging of all
items resulted in 3-5 year back logs of uncataloged materials sitting on
shelves--talk about no access!!!

> As a printer of such works I provide all the detailed notes any cataloger
> could need.  The problem is that many libraries have cut out such cataloging
> as too costly.  I understand the cost involved, but in the case of artists'
> books the notes explain everything and are of great importance to
> researchers using on line electronic catalogs for searching for unique works.

Would a "collection level" type of cataloging be helpful? For example, if
a library were unable fiscally to fully catalog (with extensive notes)
individual items in an artists' books collection, but could create a
record stating the library does have a collection of artists books, would
that be useful? That wouldn't provide the item access you get with the
author/title/etc cataloging...

The point that someone made about supplying the information to the
library is really significant in terms of whether a fully developed
record can be created. It is the intellectual part of cataloging that is
complex, time-consuming, and expensive; the data entry is not.

A nice sheet with biographical information
about the artist, other works (with dates of creation and where they are
located) and any content/material (elephant dung?) information would be
helpful.

Gee, I could have probably cataloged something by now! Back to work

Clara


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