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Re: [BKARTS] MLIS student researching artist book cataloging



Jennifer,
I'm a retired librarian and one-time rare books cataloger, but it's been a while. I'm not quite sure what you're asking. Most artists books/objects would be minimally covered by the ordinary rules for rare books and multimedia and in that respect unproblematic, except for the notorious lacunae in the subject vocabulary -- for example, artists books have a nice tidy category of their own but there is no provision for altered books -- which points to the really interesting issue here. We would like to describe artists books in greater detail than is done, but there is no agreement on what the interesting or essential features are. And since it's a rule that as soon as you make a rule someone comes up with something that doesn't fit it... I think Drucker's work on classification pretty well lists the issues, but for me I wouldn't even try to shoehorn all that into a conventional catalog format. Moreover, Drucker is interested in databases, which is not the
 same thing as a formal description. Do as the rare books people do and rely on bibliographies and scholarship to provide the details, with the formal library record relegated to an index/finding function. And here's what seems to me the real trouble: recall all the famous descriptive bibliographies from Gregg to Bruccoli. Nobody has done anything comparable for artists books. Where's the scholarship? [Psst -- opportunity here... ] So what are you asking: cataloging theory and practice (trivial) or bibliographic scholarship (stillborn)? Would doing an actual catalog raisonne satisfy your requirements?

Charles
Ocotillo Arts


________________________________
From: Jennifer Chisnell <jenniferchisnell@xxxxxxxxx>
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Monday, May 25, 2009 3:43:27 PM
Subject: [BKARTS] MLIS student researching artist book cataloging

I am a library science student currently enrolled in a Research Methods
course, and I am particularly interested in the issue of cataloging artists'
books. However, I am encountering a dearth of relevant literature; thus far,
I have identified only the several Drucker articles in *Bonefolder*, Nina
Schneider's 2006 RBMS presentation, a manual published by ARLIS-UK, and a
similar question posted by a student in a similar situation to the BKARTS
listserv several years ago (which met with very limited response, as well
may my own query, but I thought I would make the attempt nonetheless). I
also emailed the individual who presented the AB cataloging workshop at this
year's ARLIS conference (I was unable to attend) but was unable to establish
contact.

Collective Wisdom, can you point me in the right direction and help counter
the slim-to-null hits that database-searching is thus-far engendering, or is
this thorny topic simply one that has as of yet been only glancingly
addressed in the scholarly literature? While the subject is dear to my
personal and professional interests, I must decide quickly whether or not to
abandon it and select something that will yield a heartier literature
review.

My sincere thanks, a happy memorial day to all, and please excuse
cross-posting.

Regards,
Jennifer

                                    
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             ***********************************************
                                    
       NOW ONLINE, Volume 5, No. 2, Spring 2009 of The Bonefolder
       <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder/vol5no2contents.htm>
                                    
  Please note that attachments to listserv messages are not permitted,
            and are automatically removed by the listserver.
                                    
For all your subscription questions, go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
         See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information.
                                    
             ***********************************************
      


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