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61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Section of Art Libraries

Annual Report 1994

Jan van der Wateren
National Art Library
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London SW7 2RL, UK
Fax: (44-171) 9388461
e:mail: 100316.3515:compuserve.com
is Chair of the Section of Art Libraries.

Hiroyuki Hatano

Library of the National Museum of Western Art
7-7 Ueno-Koen Taito-ku
Tokyo 110
Fax: (81-3) 38285135
is Secretary.

Standing Committee and Section Membership

The Section has the full complement of 20 Standing Committee members and there are 67 members registered for the Section. Under new rules this small number will have an effect on the size of the administrative fund from IFLA. The Section is investigating methods of increasing its membership.

The Committee met twice during the Havana Conference and 14 of the Standing Committee members were able to attend. The Section received a gift of FRF 10,000 from the Comité d'Organisation de la Conférénce de Paris which had a profit from the 1989 Conference.


Art Librarians Glossary

All the genders for the different languages have been added and final checking is taking place. It was envisaged that camera-ready copy would be available for publication in the series, IFLA Publica tions by the end of October 1994.

Art Librarians Glossary

All the genders for the different languages have been added and final checking is taking place. It was envisaged that camera-ready copy would be available for publication in the series, IFLA Publications by the end of October 1994.

International Directory of Art Libraries

It became clear that more formal agreements to be put in place between the Section and ARLIS/NA, which had volunteered to do the coordinating work. It was agreed that ARLIS/NA should set up a Steering Group with the Editor-in-Chief (Thomas Hill, USA) as member of this group but not as Chair; that this Group should formally liaise with the Chair of the Section of Art Libraries and make minutes of the Steering Group meetings available; that the Chair of the Section should be the channel of communications with IFLA Headquarters; that the editors of the UK/Ireland and French Directories, which had already been supplied to the Editor-in-Chief, should not be required to request again the e-mail addresses of libraries in their countries; that the USD 1,000 which the Editor-in-Chief anticipated to be needed by coordinators for postage was available. A letter setting out this agreement had been drafted in consultation with an official representative from ARLIS/NA and will be forward to the President of ARLIS/NA and the Editor-in-Chief.

International Guide to Literature and Art Archives in Libraries, Museums and other Institutions

The Section's third project is in cooperation with the ICA/CLA. The Chair had kept in touch with the Chair of the ICA Committee and provided further advice from experiences in the UK (the UK Directory of Gillian Varley) and from Thomas Hill's experiences with the International Directory (above). The ICA/CLA project is ongoing and the first region, namely the Iberian countries, is far advanced in collecting the data. The Nordic region has also commenced their survey, as had Canada.

Education and Training for Art Librarians

At the Standing Committee meeting in Havana a paper on education and training for art librarians by Beth Houghton (UK) was discussed. The proposal involves action in two areas: the first objectives would be to provide a framework of universal application on which individual libraries (or art societies) could build their programmes. The second objective would be to provide a clearinghouse for information about which art libraries and which organizations have experience in running courses in particular areas, and which have produced teaching materials (handouts, bibliographies, audiovisual aids, etc.) which they would be willing to share. It was agreed that a market survey should be done to ascertain the need for such a training programme. A small subvention was approved for the survey, which will be carried out by a working party consisting of Mary Ashe (USA), Beth Houghton, Patricia Layzell Ward (UK), and Nicole Picot (France).


Delhi Workshop. The proceedings of the 1992 Delhi Workshop on Collection Development and Acquisitions of Art Materials with Special Reference to South and South East Asia was published by the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, Delhi, 1994.

Barcelona Proceedings

Publication of the 1993 Barcelona proceedings on Art, Architecture and Design Libraries: Present Trends had progressed considerably and Conxita Sangenis hoped to be able to present the Publications Committee with camera-ready copy by the end of October 1994.


During the year two issues of the Newsletter were published by Hiroyuki Hatano from Japan with the financial assistance of the Library of the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. The first carried a call for papers for the Havana Conference (Vol. 33, No. 2, 1993). The second (Vol. 34, No. 1, 1994) presented the conference programme arranged for the Havana Conference. It also carried the results of a survey of art library societies worldwide and provided addresses, names and addresses of persons responsible and information about membership costs, publications, etc.

Section Papers

All of the papers from the Section's open meeting in Barcelona were published in Art Libraries Journal Vol. 19, No. 2, 1994 as a special issued devoted to education for art librarianship.

Future Conferences

Istanbul 1995

The open session will focus on "Islamic Collections in Turkey and Elsewhere" and a special workshop will deal with the general conference theme of "Libraries of the Future", specifically the development of imaging and its implications for art libraries.

Beijing 1996

The theme for the 1996 Beijing Conference will be "The Challenge of Change: Libraries and Economic Development".

Havana Meetings

Open Session. An open session was held which addressed "Library Collections of Latin America and Caribbean Art Materials Inside and Outside the Region". The meeting was attended by 81 persons.

Aparatos de información del Ministerio de Cultura. Primer acercamiento al estado actual de las colecciones de arte: América Latina y el Caribe en Ciudad de La Habana

Se realizara un breve estudio del estado de las colecciones de arte de América Latina y el Caribe. Se analizaran las diferentes vias de adquisición, procesamiento y almacenamiento de la información. Realizar un estudio comparativo entre las distintas instituciones.

Both Sides of the Fence, Librarian and Curator: Forming a Latin American Library Collection

This paper presents an overview of the process of establishing a Latin American Art Research Collection in a medium- sized art museum library in the United States. The Department of Latin American Art at the Phoenix Art Museum was officially established on 1 January 1993. Although the Museum has through its history collected Mexican art, the definition of the department has been expanded to include all of Latin America. The Library has, as well, collected materials relevant to the object collection of the Museum, primarily Mexican titles. The task before the library staff is the development of a collection which will support the activities of the Department of Latin American Art. In the present environment of the art world, Latin American art remains one of the most stable and aggressive markets. Within the current climate of multiculturalism, the position by the Phoenix Art Museum can only be seen as assertively progressive. The paper attempts to explain the steps that are necessary to achieve a working collection of books and 35 mm slides after the establishment of a new curatorial department.

Latinoarte: información sobre arte latinoamericano

As international sources to the contents of periodical literature are limited in their coverage of Latin American art, an indexing project has been initiated at the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. The project covers 426 periodical titles; as well as informing an international audience, it will help to improve communications between Latin American countries themselves. The current database covers contemporary Latin American art, with plans to increase coverage to the Pre-Hispanic, Colonial and modern periods.
A one-day workshop on the theme of "Libraries as a Bridge between Artist and Society" was held at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. It was attended by 65 people and papers for the workshop covered a very wide geographical area: South Africa, Wales, Russia, Cuba, Mexico and the United States.

The Havana-Miami Bridge, 1900-1945: Cuban and US Transportation Ephemera Collections in the Library of The Wolfsonian, Miami Beach, Florida

This paper describes The Wolfsonian, outlining its mission and illustrating its facilities both in Miami Beach, Florida and Genoa, Italy. Following the introduction, a more detailed overview is provided of the library and its subject collections and chronological limitations, with special emphasis on its unusual ephemera holdings. Utilizing items in the library ephemera collections of The Wolfsonian, the paper explores the literal and figurative transportation bridge between Havana and Miami, and various other south Florida and Cuban cities during the 1900-1945 epoch. Transportation between Miami and Havana are examined to demonstrate how both governments mixed concepts of the avant garde, modernity and romanticized national themes and customs to forge a bilingual, bicultural community which was familiar and comfortable with the traditional motifs, yet at the same time found the new technologies marring and discomforting. A brief bibliographical overview highlights the titles in the library's collections dealing with pre-1945 Cuban avant-garde art movements.

What Is the Place for Documentary Videos on Living Artists in the Art Library

Increasingly, video is the medium of choice for learning about art, because it is immediate and revealing. However, not all art libraries include artists' documentary videos in their collections. For libraries, video presents problems of changing formats, lack of reviews, indexes and distributors. Videos frequently accompany exhibitions on contemporary artists. What happens to this documentation when the exhibition closes? What resources besides the Getty's Art of Film Database keep track of these independently produced videos? How can art libraries work together in a coordinated effort to acquire, catalogue and preserve documentary video work on artists?

Library Graphic Collections in Service to Artists in Russia

The paper discusses in brief the activity of an art library (based on experiences of the Russian State Library Graphic Department) as a bridge between the artist and society, providing wide access to images of artistic value and information on them. The paper deals with both the artistic and cognitive aspects of the creation process; with the artist's usage of graphic collections for creative activity, the publishing industry and restoration of monuments. Addressed are the typical forms of using the graphic collections by artists in creating new works - such as book illustrations and covers; calendars, postcards, posters, prints; performances, shows, feature films and documentaries, etc. - on the basis of library materials.

Into the Twenty-First Century Now: The Architecture Librarian as Mediator

This paper is concerned with the role of the architectural librarian in providing information and teaching skills both to students of architecture and practitioners, to promote the most effective use of the architectural knowledge-base. It identifies the urgency expressed by the professional establishment to change attitudes to and use of information in design to meet present pressures and future demands placed by society upon architects. The implication for architectural education is examined and the measures taken in Cardiff by the Welsh School of Architecture detailed. These demonstrate how the librarian can provide a necessary link by which both education and practice can harness future development in information technology.

Artists and Art Libraries

The relationship of artists to art libraries is explored for the purpose of gaining better understanding of artists' needs. Discussed are use patterns in art libraries, artists' frustrations with these institutions, major tools utilized by artists or on their behalf, accommodation made by staff to serve the unique needs of artists and suggestions for cooperative action by art librarians that would improve service to this special group. Data were gathered through a survey mailed to selected librarians in art schools and public libraries in the United States, and through inquiry on the Art Libraries Society of North America's electronic discussion list, ARLIS-L in the winter and spring of 1994.

Museum Art Libraries as a Bridge between the Artist and Society with Specific Reference to the South African National Gallery Library

The paper describes how the museum art library can act as a direct link between the artist and society. In Europe and North America, the primary function of museum libraries is to serve the parent organization thereby serving the community in an indirect capacity only. In South Africa where there are comparatively fewer museum libraries and publications concerned with the visual arts and where there are so many disadvantaged people, it is vital that special collections such as the South African National Gallery Library collection are made accessible in the widest possible sense and that museum library information programmes should be directed externally as well as internally to all museum staff.

Creative Cooperation between Librarian and Artist

The paper describes the relationship between the Russian State Arts Library and artists and points out that the unique holdings and catalogues of the library form a rich source for artists. Librarians and artists cooperate in a unique way to develop specific projects together, for example, researching costumes for films. The Library also sponsors exhibitions of paintings and other arts both for individual artists and groups. This cooperative provides a great opportunity for educating young people in appreciating the arts.

Twentieth Century Latin American Women Artists, Discovery and Record: A Work in Progress

This paper identifies the need for a bibliographic apparatus that brings together readily available sources in the United States on 20th century Latin American women artists. The author describes a work in progress which attempts to accomplish this goal and, in the process, highlights the resources of the Art Exhibition Catalog Collections housed in the Arts Library at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The paper draws upon some of these resources to present descriptive and visual information on two exiled Cuban artists.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Implementation of a New System in the Center for Information documentation and Library "Rodrigues Morey": Study and Results

An analysis was conducted using the standard of the Cycle of Scientific Information Activity (Ciclo de la Actividad Cientifica, ACI). This was applied to the functions of the different subsystems composing the Center for Information, Documentation and Library "Rodriguez Morey", proving the existence of internal problems, and making apparent the need to install an interacting system that allows achieving shared results. A comparative table is offered showing the state in March 1993 and the current state in March 1994.