Dissertation Information for Joyce Taylor
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Art exhibition catalogs: An exploratory study of their accessibility to patrons in selected academic, museum, and art school libraries
Abstract: For many years art librarians have been concerned about the problems resulting from the addition of exhibition catalogs to general art collections. There has been a steady increase in the number of these documents and they have been appearing in varying formats. Those who work or research in the art field agree that exhibition catalogs are of great value, and in many cases, the essays and documentary material contained in these catalogs may be the only sources of information on particular artists. These catalogs serve as permanent documents which present current information on exhibiting artists, and they function as significant sources of historical scholarship. Exhibition catalogs have evolved from a simple checklist of artists and titles to what, in many cases, are extensive publications which may include technical details, essays, bibliographies and a wealth of illustrations. This study investigated factors regarding the catalogs in selected academic, museum and art school libraries. The results of the interviews conducted, and the questionnaires sent to members of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) suggest that there is no one method of acquiring exhibition catalogs, nor is there standardization in the cataloging and classification procedures involving these publications. Although several libraries have solved the problems of accessibility of these catalogs to art library patrons, a greater number of libraries continue to experience frustration in assembling these documents for availability to their patrons. Further investigation is needed to determine whether a standard system of handling these catalogs is feasible.
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