ARLIS/NA Collection Development SIG Blog

For ARLIS/NA members interested in collection development issues.

Leave a comment

Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OCSI) in WorldCat / announcement by Julie H. Butash

The Getty Foundation is pleased to share that nearly all of the digital publications supported through the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI) have been catalogued in WorldCat and are ready for inclusion in your own library’s catalogue:

OSCI aims to transform museum publishing by reinventing the scholarly collection catalogue for the digital age. Online catalogues can reach virtually unlimited scholarly audiences around the globe. They allow for frequent updates and changes, and permit direct links to a limitless array of primary and secondary resources, from archival documentation and conservation information to audio and video interviews with artists and curators. By using new tools and technologies, museums are able to offer deeper, richer content, tailored to the needs of varied audiences.

Online catalogues are now available from the following OSCI museums:

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Tate
  • Walker Art Center

Stay tuned for the forthcoming catalogue from the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

We are pleased to be able to share these innovative catalogues with you!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Thank you.


Julie H. Butash
Program Assistant
The Getty Foundation
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1685
T: 310-440-7288


1 Comment

Finding the O.P. Art Book to Purchase/by Susan Craig

One of the biggest changes in the 40 years that I’ve been an art librarian is in the ease of locating out-of-print books to purchase for the library’s collection. In the old days (pre-Internet), librarians needed phenomenal memories and endless amounts of time. We would identify titles that we wanted to buy and then try to match them with offerings from favored dealers through scanning the printed catalogs or slips sent to us by dealers. Many were the hours that I perused dealers’ catalogs looking for specific titles—usually without success.

The reason I needed the o.p. work would vary. Sometimes it was an item that had been checked out and not returned—or possibly returned damaged—and I needed to replace it in the collection. Sometimes it was to support a newly hired faculty member whose specialty was new to our institution. Occasionally, it was simply a title that I missed buying when it was first published in a short print run.

My current process for finding an o.p. book is to look through one of the booksearch engines like,, or These meta-searches will often include not only individual dealers but also sources such as Amazon, Abebooks, Alibris, and European resources like ZVAB, Antiqbooks, Livre-Rare-Book. When searching, you can usually indicate your binding choice, price range, and even condition restrictions. The resulting list of offerings will usually be arranged by price and you need to have some criteria in mind when making a selection. My institution wants the condition to be Very Good or above and needs to have the vendor accept a credit card payment. I prefer not to have other library’s markings in the books that I buy and I definitely don’t want underlining and highlighting. Having a book jacket in pristine condition will usually raise the price but is irrelevant to a library that routinely discards the jacket during processing. I also look at the shipping cost since a cheaper book may have a high shipping rate. When prices and conditions are similar, I will select a vendor who specializes in art books—especially those whom I’ve met at ARLIS/NA conferences.

Very occasionally, I will not be able to find a copy at a price or condition that I want to buy. At that point, I would consider contacting a specialist art book dealer and asking them to “search” for a copy using my criteria and alert me if they find one. This process can be lengthy so I only do this when the title will have lasting value for the collection.

Finding o.p. art books is so-o-o much easier now that it used to be and my library’s collection is the better for it.

Susan Craig, University of Kansas. August 2014.


Report: JSTOR E-Book Event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On July 31, Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted a day-long event in which administrators from JSTOR spoke of their new e-book initiatives, librarians described their e-book programs, and publishers described their e-book plans.
Pat Moriarty (JSTOR: Director, Institutional Participation & Strategic Partnerships) described their current e-book collection as being 27 thousand titles from 62 publishers.   Most use is in history followed by literature.
John Lenahan (JSTOR: Associate Vice President, Institutional Participation & Strategic Partnerships) pointed out that one could have integrated searching between JSTOR’s periodical content, and their e-book collections. They are partnering with OCLC to provide MARC records, and they have negotiated with publishers to allow chapter length ILL.
Jeff Carroll and Melissa Goertzen (Columbia University Libraries) described Columbia’s growing e-book collection, now representing over 25% of the libraries’ overall books budget.
Denise Hibay and Rebecca Federman (New York Public Library) noted that they are focusing their e-book purchases on front lists, not retrospective, and on humanities and social sciences rather than sciences. They have now formed an e-workflow committee within the libraries to iron out workflow issues. They added that they are very concerned that they maintain their role, in the research collections, as a print repository within a national context.
John Lenahan (JSTOR) returned to describe their offering of 13 subject collections in the humanities and social sciences. The DDA (Demand Driven Acquisitions) model is offered, whereby a library can limit by price and/or publisher and/or subject area(s), and purchase is triggered by six chapter views OR by four chapter downloads. All use below these triggers is free.
Jennifer Carroll (University of New Hampshire) spoke of their participation in the Boston Library Consortium’s DDA program through YBP and e-brary.
Ross Day (Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art) described the unusual situation of museum libraries. How is FTE configured? They have 500 curatorial staff, so is that 500 FTE?   They tend to purchase electronic or print based upon which format is published first.   So far, he has found no serious objection by his user community to e-books.
Frank Smith (JSTOR: Director, Books at JSTOR) introduced representatives from two academic publishers:
Brad Hebel (Columbia University Press) pointed out that CUP has been publishing electronic titles for a long time, e.g. Granger’s Online. They produce around 160 new titles per year, and e-book represents 20% of their revenue.
Fred Nachbaur (Fordham University Press) explained that FUP imprints are distributed by Oxford University Press, and he emphasized that the costs of producing ebooks are NOT considerably less than print. Their titles are available in Project Muse and will be available in JSTOR.

Q/A to the publishers:
Open Access for e-books? The publishers said that it is difficult to come up with an Open Access model that works for e-books, because publishers still need to cover costs. Business models for e-journals and e-books are different: one pre-pays to subscribe to journals so publishers collect money up front, then they can e-publish the content, but with eBooks, publisher spends money up front to produce content then must recover as much as possible with sales.
E-books for classes? Presses do monitor use of packages and titles where there is unlimited access. They generally try not to, but if a book is suddenly needed for a class and 60 students are accessing it instead of buying the title, that negatively affects revenue, so presses have been known to pull the title from e-book collections.

Leave a comment

QUERY: Josef Albers. Interaction of Color (2013) Yale University Press

Have any of you purchased the Yale University Press I-Pad publication:
Interaction of Color / Josef Albers (2013)
which won the 2013 George Wittenborn Award?

Have you loaded it on a single I-Pad, and how do you make it accessible?  Have you cataloged it? At Columbia University Libraries, we are grappling with how to handle this title, particularly with the long term access and preservation of its unique content in mind.

I would be most pleased if those who have considered acquiring or who have already purchased this title, or others like it (tablet only accessible titles, or titles that are basically apps) would share their thoughts and experiences.

Thanks so much,
Paula Gabbard