ARLIS/NA Collection Development SIG Blog

For ARLIS/NA members interested in collection development issues.


Using a purchase request form to track trends / Anne Champagne, Art Institute of Chicago

For many years, the library has provided a form on the museum’s intranet for staff to make purchase requests. It was conceived as a convenience to our users, but most found it more expedient to make their requests informally, either through casual conversation or email. However, a few years ago when our acquisitions budget was cut, we decided to require that all purchase requests be submitted using the form. Our objective was to learn which exhibitions, publications, and object research were generating demand for additional library resources. Then, armed with this information, we would be able to target firm ordering, contract or expand our approval plans as necessary, and solicit funding to support long-term projects.

Although initially we heard some grumbling about how painfully bureaucratic the form was, it has since become routine and we are grateful for the cooperation and collegiality of the curatorial and research staff. The form itself is very simple: requestors must identify themselves (name, department, position), provide basic bibliographic info describing what they want us to buy, and give a brief rationale for the purchase. It’s this last bit of information that has proved to be most useful as we assess how our budget is being spent. For example, now it’s possible to determine how much additional purchasing we have made to support a specific exhibition, we have learned the degree to which the museum’s foray into online publishing has impacted our budget, and we have noted an increase in purchases requests that are in sync with new areas of object acquisition.

We’re interested in learning how other libraries are tracking trends and compiling acquisitions data. Anyone?


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Rembrandt’s First Masterpiece / Heidi Hass, The Morgan Library and Museum

rembrandts first masterpieceThe Morgan Library & Museum is pleased to announce the publication of Rembrandt’s First Masterpiece, by Per Rumberg with Holm Bevers.

Rembrandt’s Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver has long been recognized as the artist’s first mature work – his first masterpiece. Completed when he was only 23 years old, the painting demonstrates the characteristics that would make Rembrandt famous, particularly his exceptional ability to convey emotional drama. It is also one of his only works for which multiple preparatory drawings survive, allowing us to trace the evolution of the composition. In reuniting the painting and the drawings for the first time since their creation, this publication presents an unprecedented opportunity to glimpse over Rembrandt’s shoulder to witness the development of his first major work.

Rembrandt was a notably self-conscious artist and the years during which he forged the distinctive style of Judas also saw the beginning of his remarkable series of self-portraits. A selection of etchings and drawings of scenes from the life of Christ are included here and illustrate the development of the narrative style that the artist unveiled with his first masterpiece.

Published by The Morgan Library & Museum, New York

8 x 10 inches, 88 pages
54 color illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-87598-176-5 99
June 2016

To order, please call the Morgan Shop at 212-590-0390. 10% discount for ARLIS members.

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Dreams in Dust, The Pastels of Lucas Samaras / Heidi Hass, The Morgan Library & Museum

Dreams of dustThe Morgan Library & Museum is pleased to announce the publication of Dreams in Dust, The Pastels of Lucas Samaras, by Isabelle Dervaux with a contribution by Margaret Holben Ellis and Lindsey Tyne.

Although American artist Lucas Samaras’s reputation rests primarily on his sculptures and photographs, he is also a remarkable draftsman who has produced a considerable body of work on paper throughout his career. Attracted to pastel for its bright colors and shimmering surface – and because it was an unfashionable medium during the heyday of Abstract Expressionist painting – Samaras began working in pastel in the 1950s and returned to it at various periods during the following 25 years. The publication features many of Samaras’s favorite subjects: still lifes, interiors, self-portraits, and abstract compositions. With their dreamlike imagery, erotic suggestion, and mystical overtones, Samaras’s pastels express on an intimate scale his moods and mental states throughout the first three decades of his career.

Published by The Morgan Library & Museum, New York

8 x 11 inches, 96 pages
69 color illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-87598-174-1
May 2016

To order, please call the Morgan Shop at 212-590-0390. 10% discount for ARLIS members.

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Offer of 2 architecture books (free!)

A Czech visiting architecture scholar just dropped off several copies of two of his books. He didn’t want to carry them back to home so I am offering them free of charge to interested librarians.

There are 12 copies of:

Title: Jiří Voženílek : architekt ve Zlíně = architect in Zlín / Jiří Svoboda.
Edition: První vydání.
Published: Brno : Vysoké učení technické v Brně, Fakulta architektury, 2011.
Description: 149 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Notes: Based on the author’s dissertation (doctoral), 2010.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 143-149).
Language: Czech; English
ISBN: 9788021442870
Subjects: Vozenilek, Jiri, 1909-1986
                  Architecture – Czech Republic -Zlin
                  Zlin (Czech Republic) – Buildings, structures, etc.


and 6 copies of:

Title: Agregované sklo v architektuře a designu / Jiří Svoboda.
Edition: 1. vyd.
Published: Zlín : VeRBuM, 2013.
Description: 81 p. ; 20 cm

Language: Czech
Language Note: Anglické a české resumé.
ISBN: 9788087500422 (brož.)
8087500423 (brož.)
Subjects: Architecture
                  Sintered glass
Please send me an email with the titles you would like and your mailing address and I will send them along. First come, first served.
Chris Sala
Architecture Librarian
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Columbia University