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Art Libraries Section

Glasgow, Scotland, 23rd August 2002

Minutes II.


Jean Adelman, Susan Allen, Svetlana Artamonova, Kerstin Assarsson-Rizzi (Chair), Mary Auckland, Jo Beglo, Jeanette Clough, Jeannette Dixon, Javier Docampo, Sonia French, Rüdiger Hoyer, Ada Kolganova, Geert-Jan Koot, Sylvie Le Ray, Françoise Lemelle, Joyce Pellerano Ludmer, John Meriton (Secretary), Eila Rämö, Marcia Reed, Willem Rodenhuis, Margaret Shaw, Deborah Shorley, Olga Sinitsyna, Daniel Starr, Nancy Stokes, Marie Thompson, Margaret Young

Project Reports

International Directory of Art Libraries

Thomas Hill was unable to be present but sent a report.

There have been updates from Australia, Austria, the UK and the USA but there have been no new entries.

There are now 2,882 entries and it was felt that a new survey is required.

Thomas Hill has done a wonderful job but is unable to continue which means we shall need a new coordinator. Anyone interested was asked to contact the Chair. It was also suggested that Thomas Hill be asked to give an estimate of the amount of time and work which would be involved.

John Walker's Glossary

There appears to be no-one available to take this project on which means that the Section cannot take it on. As this project was originally forwarded to us through ARLIS/UK & Ireland, John Meriton will contact John Walker and Sonia French to report. ARLIS is also unlikely to want to take it on.

Multi-lingual glossary

Javier Docampo has edited and corrected the Spanish version in hard copy. The online version on IFLANET has yet to be updated.

The Russian update is also ready.

In 2001 IFLA was considering the idea of a big international glossary of terms but is not interested in subject specific glossaries as IFLA publications. The situation may have changed.

The Chair to contact IFLA on how we input the two updates on IFLANET.


IFLA accepted and financed the Imageline feasibility study [updated to include general Division 2 coverage] in 2001 for 2002. This proposal covered employing someone to investigate and report on the Imageline proposal.

The position was advertised and received 17 applications from 7 countries. The applications were assessed by Eila Rämö and Marie Thompson who selected Branka Kosovac from Vancouver.

The study was carried out during from May to July 2002 and submitted at the end of July.

General view that it was an excellent report. Initially, the costs and organisational structure proposed were daunting but after 3 meetings of the Imageline Committee during IFLA it was felt that it is not prohibitive as we may not need to have such a large scale structure.

The Committee believes the proposal is feasible and that work should continue into 2002-3.

Initial decisions regarding the structure will be:
  • what do we want to do?
  • how do we want to do it?
  • who will do it?

The Committee needs to concentrate on "what" and "how" this year and get into "who" in Berlin. If the need arises we should continue to employ Branka Kosovac if she is willing.

All members of the Section were asked to read the report and look at the models listed [urls in report] such as Renardus [www.renardus.org]

Immediate action to be taken:
  • Eila Rämö and Jeannette Dixon to develop the statement of purpose more precisely.
  • Eila Rämö and Jeannette Dixon [possibly with Branka Kosovac's help] to draft a template, including draft data definitions, to be distributed [Marie Thompson to provide a French version by September 15]
  • development of test data set including 2-5 sites of different types from each member country [October 15th]
  • template to be distributed [October 15]
  • responses to Marie Thompson and Eila Rämö [December 15]
  • Branka Kosovac to analyse [March 15] [If not available to try one of other applicants]

List of respondees for samples:

Australia/NZ - Margaret Shaw
Canada - Jo Beglo
UK - John Meriton
France - Marie Thompson
Nordic countries - Eila Rämö
Russia - Ada Kolganova
Spain - Javier Docampo
Netherlands - Geert-Jan Koot
Portugal - Ana Paula Gordo
Germany - Rüdiger Hoyer
USA - Jeannette Dixon

Method of communication: IFLAART

The Standing Committee and members of the Section passed a warm vote of thanks to Eila Rämö and Marie Thompson for their work on the project.

Report to Division 2 on Imageline to cover:
  • ALS very happy with the report
  • proposal to publish the report to go to the Publications Committee through John Meriton. Publications Committee to decide whether hard copy, Iflanet or reports series would be appropriate.
  • proposed action to be taken [see above]
  • cost estimate for:
    • analysis of data
    • publishing

Strategic Plan 2001-2003



The Newsletter is an excellent publication but we need to assist the Editor in keeping it vital and relevant
  • greater contribution by SC members
  • other languages with short abstracts in English [no technical problems if submitted on disk]
  • set up columns:
    • new library buildings
    • new appointments
    • tidbits [defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "a brief and isolated interesting item of news or information"]
    • extract from local newsletters bi-annually avoiding very hot news which may date quickly [members to send their newsletters to John Meriton, preferably with a distillation of what is in it]
  • excerpts from relevant poems or literature [provided no © problems]


Our web is on IFLANET which generally puts in whatever we ask for but which is seeking a greater degree of consistency between IFLA Sectional entries:
  • minutes
  • members list
  • annual report [should include some pictures]


IFLAART has tended to be used for formal standing committee business only. It was agreed that it should be used more for communication with for all members and be made a more lively list. It was agreed to merge the IFLAART and the Imageline list.

Jeannette Dixon and Geert-Jan Koot to meet with Ines Lopes Cordeiro from the Gulbenkian [which hosts IFLAART] to discuss technical issues.

Geert-Jan Koot offered to act as moderator of the list to eliminate:

  • spam
  • inappropriate messages [this may vary from 1 country to another]
  • personal information
  • however it was agreed to try the expanded function for the list without moderation and review the situation next year.

It was also agreed to change from "reply to list" to "reply to poster" to over-come some of the problems of inappropriate or personal information.

It was agreed that the list should not be made completely open as this could produce too much unrelated traffic. It should remain a working list for the IFLA Art Libraries Section and for those interested in being involved. It will still be necessary to go through Ana Paula Gordo to get onto, and therefore post to, the list. Initially, all who have attended meetings should be included.

John Meriton and Geert-Jan Koot to discuss control of membership with Ines Lopes Cordeiro.

It was agreed that a list of conditions covering the IFLAART list should be distributed.

Future Conferences

Berlin, 1-9 August 2003

[see also minutes for Standing Committee 1]

Theme: A sub-committee made up of Rüdiger Hoyer, Jeanette Clough, Jeannette Dixon and Sylvie Le Ray has examined the theme of Academies - art schools etc. and suggested making it more inclusive:

Open Session: The evolution of the art library from early collections to virtual services

Workshop: The art trade and the art library

  • auction catalogues
  • working with collectors, dealers and appraisers
  • new tools for research on provenance etc.
  • how catalogues [sales and exhibition] are used - this would broaden the topic to cover more types of libraries.

Workshop to comprise:

  • keynote speaker to lead off e.g. an articulate art dealer on the use of libraries to art dealers
  • shorter papers with subsequent discussion with each paper to have several questions appended as a focus for break-out group discussions.
  • break-out discussion groups

These topics should cover all types of art libraries and the art trade may also be of interest to Rare Books & Manuscripts

The Sub-Committee were asked to formulate a call for papers and to start thinking about Buenos Aires

Potential for shared sessions with other sections:

Rare Books & Manuscripts Section were considering a pre-conference in 2003, possibly in Copenhagen, on "Lost art". Another suggested location was the Jewish Museum, Berlin with Daniel Liebeskind as keynote speaker. They are now thinking of a post-conference in Copenhagen at the Dansk Jødisk Museum [Danish Jewish Museum] following a Jewish event on Friday evening In Berlin.

Other topics suggested for joint sessions with Rare Books & Manuscripts were:

Preservation, protection or rare materials which could include exhibition catalogues [Kerstin A-R to liaise with RB & M Section].

Rare book lending [possible topic for Buenos Aires in 2004]

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 20-27th August 2004

Javier Docampo agreed to try to contact an art librarian in Buenos Aires. He is aware of 1 possible host. Eila Rämö also provided details of 2 library associations in Buenos Aires which could help him to identify Argentinean contacts.

The Chair of the National Library Association, Lic. Ana Maria Peruchena Zimmermann also suggested the Constantini Collection as a possible host for the Art Libraries Section. this is a private collection of Latin American art which is a wealthy institution with an auditorium.

Out of the Division 8 discussion, see below, came the suggestion of a session on art libraries and developing countries

Oslo, Norway, August 14-19, 2005

ARLIS/Norden is interested in combining its annual meeting with IFLA but not in hosting a full satellite meeting.

The number of satellite meetings has grown and IFLA is not keen to have too many. They are considering charging an administrative fee.

It was suggested that we see how the format suggested for Berlin works with programmed meetings on the first week-end and a workshop and open session during the conference.

Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2006

Durban, South Africa, 2007

National Reports

There was no time for national reports and SC members were requested to submit them in writing for inclusion in the Newsletter.

Annual Report

A written annual report will be distributed.

Other business

IFLA Booth Report

Jeanette Clough and Jo Beglo covered the IFLA booth for the Art Section. They received more general queries than Art Section queries but suggested that in future we should try to have a wider range of languages available.

Division 8

The Section needs a representative/s to attend Division 8 sessions. Jeanette Clough reported on the Danish Library Association's project with Ghana [Reference Section paper, also mentioned in ILL session]
  • very high quality project
  • 7 Danish Institutions matched with 7 Ghanaian institutions
  • Ghanaians travel to Denmark to train in reference services and return to train other Ghanaians
Other projects were reported including:
  • one using radio and microwave if the Internet is not available and fitting the working day to connect times;
  • Scotland/Ghana project for 3 month exchanges in each direction

The Art Libraries Section should be seeking ways to connect with developing countries.

It was suggested that this be considered as a topic for Buenos Aires.

Sibmas International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts / La Société Internationale des Bibliothèques et des Musées des Arts du Spectacle

Dr Willem Rodenhuis reported on Sibmas activities. It has a consultative status with IFLA, as does ICOM. Sibmas is hoping to strengthen the links with IFLA and sees the Art Libraries Section as the most appropriate link. [see IFLA Journal 2002:4]

There is a keen interest in theatre research and theatre iconography and Sibmas is considering a data-base covering scenery, theatres, architecture, motifs etc.

A number of members reported similar links at the local level.


A message was received from Veronica Lavin, in Cuba foreshadowing 2 conferences in Cuba next year [2003]

The meeting was closed at 12.20.


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