ARLIS/NA Collection Development SIG Blog

For ARLIS/NA members interested in collection development issues.

Leave a comment

Developing a Zine Collection at the Dallas Public Library / Mariza Morin

The Fine Arts Division at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (Dallas Public Library main branch) aims to promote cultural equity above all else, and therefore serves as a bridge between our patrons and the arts world. We provide the Dallas community with many free services, including music lessons and a dance studio, in addition to unique collections, such as our developing Zine collection. Zines are independently published works that could include text, photos, and illustrations, often reproduced using a photocopier. Topics can be broad in scope, from politics and feminism to poetry and personal journal entries. Once reserved for the underground, zines can now be found in many different libraries across the country. DPL’s Zine collection generally consists of Texas-based publications, but we also have several works from other states as well as a few international zines from Canada, Mexico, and Switzerland.

Zines 1

Before I joined the Fine Arts staff last year as Art Librarian, two former library employees developed a program at the library to support the Dallas Zine Festival in 2015, which included panel discussions and a zine exhibit. As a result, many of the participating artists at this event donated their zines to the library and thus began the start of our burgeoning zine collection. Additionally, Fine Arts Manager, Tiffany Bailey, donated several zines to the library after visiting the Denton Zine Festival in 2016. What I find impressive about our current collection is the diverse social and political perspectives (feminism, social injustice, LGBTQ, etc.) covered as well as the creative and experimental nature of each individual zine, whether the focus is on pop culture, visual arts, or music. For example, Women who rock!, created by local organization Girls Rock Dallas, focuses on women in music from early blues musicians, like Bessie Smith, to Riot Grrrl influences, like Kathleen Hannah, to current North Texas all-female bands. Zines like this prove not only to be a terrific form of self-expression and visual communication but they also give a voice to communities not always heard in mainstream publications. Though the bulk of our collection comes from North Texas, we also strive to acquire works from other states and countries to gain a better global perspective on important topics as well as connect our patrons to different DIY communities and experiences outside of Texas.

Zines 2

Zines 3

Zines 4

Zines 5

The Fine Arts Division is very much in the beginning stages of developing this exciting new collection. Currently, we are cataloging all materials we own and trying to figure out how to sustainably obtain new zines, in addition to building relationships with local zine artists and events. Other factors to take into consideration include developing a collection development policy, shelving options, and future programming ideas, including partnering with the Dallas Zine Festival again. Though there has been discussion about keeping our Zine collection non-circulating, the Zine committee ultimately believes that would defeat the purpose of a zine, which is meant to be freely distributed among the public, just like most items in our library. As the Zine collection evolves, the Fine Arts Division at the Dallas Public Library is thrilled for all possible future opportunities to promote and educate all people- kids, teens, and adults, at all artistic levels, with this unique collection.

Mariza Morin is the Art Librarian of the Fine Arts Division at the Dallas Public Library






Leave a comment

The Not So Lazy Days of Summer / Kathy Edwards, Barbara Opar, and Rose Orcutt

How did you spend your summer? Well, in late June, three architecture librarians- Kathy Edwards of Clemson University, Rose Orcutt of the University of Buffalo and Barbara Opar from Syracuse University, got together in Syracuse for two days to finalize a new core list of architecture periodicals- the fifth version since its inception.

The core list of architecture periodicals was first compiled in 1995 and intended to address the needs of first degree programs in Architecture. The need for such a list was initially suggested in the early 1990s by Pat Wiesenberger (Kansas State University) at an annual meeting of the Association of Architecture School Librarians (AASL). She proposed preparing a list of titles “without which we cannot operate,” and AASL has held fast to that principle as, over succeeding years, members of the group wrangled over additions and deletions. Revised lists were issued in 1995, 1998, 2002 and 2009. Volunteers from the larger AASL membership each time took on the task of preparing the list and gathering input from the broader membership. Knowledge of the ever changing field and survey data have been key. Coverage and cost were weighed. Peer review and the availability of indexing were important components. The Avery list of architectural periodicals currently being indexed was scrutinized. With this edition, format (print, electronic), the type of graphic documentation (e.g. plans, sections, etc.), image quality, length of articles, notable contributors and impact data (when available) were all factors in determining whether a title should be added or remain on the list.

Until now, the lists have consisted of two categories: core and supplementary. This working group changed that. AASL lists are considered “starting points”, though the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) has recognized their value in evaluating library collections. Work on a revised list began several years ago and surveys were distributed to both ARLIS and AASL. Faculty input was sought via ACSA News. The survey data, while informative, became a stumbling block. One respondent felt that Casabella was not core. Several other respondents offered up titles like Axis, Cabinet, Candide, and Pidgin to the core category. Finally the working group returned to the original notion of necessary titles.

Group members also realized that some librarians were having issues with the categories. What is supplementary? So the new categories are now Core, Recommended and Topical. Topical is used to imply highly specialized or regional. A category of Titles to Watch reminds potential users of new titles on the market or those that are likely to evolve.

The list below is being presented as a guideline and working tool for those with architecture collections. In a new or small school with limited funds, core may be all that can be collected. Larger libraries with robust budgets may even go beyond topical. Certainly, there are additional titles being published of benefit to faculty and students. The working group also recommends that librarians consider regionally focused titles. Hopefully fellow architecture librarians and those arts libraries with architecture holdings will find value in this list. Additional information like ISSN numbers, indexing, format, and impact will be included in a version to be distributed in the very near future.


A+U Architecture & Urbanism AA Files
Abitare I’Arca International
Architect (AIA) Architecture d’Aujourd’hui
Architectural Design Architectural Record
Architectural Review Architectural Science Review
Arquine Arquitectura Viva
AV Monografias Blueprint (London)
Canadian Architect Casabella
C3 Korea /C3 Magazine El Croquis
Environment and Planning. B, Planning and Design EVolo
Detail (English) Detail (German/French/English)
Detail Green Domus
GA Architect (series) GA Document (series)
GA Houses (series) Harvard Design Magazine
International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC) Japan Architect
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research Journal of Architectural Education
Journal of Architecture Journal of Green Building
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Landscape Architecture Magazine
Log Lotus International
Mark: Another Architecture New Geographies
Perspecta The PLAN: Architecture and Technologies in Detail
The PLAN: Research in Architecture and Urbanism
Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme TAD: Technology | Architecture + Design


2G: International Architecture Review (series) A+T
ACSA News AMC: Moniteur Architecture
Architects’ Journal Architect’s Newspaper
Architectural Histories (EAHN) Architectural History: the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of G.B.
Architectural Theory Review
Architecture Today
Archithese ArchNet-IJAR
ARQ: Architectural Research Quarterly AV Proyectos
Clog Competitions Annual
Cornell Journal of Architecture Crit: Journal of the American Institute of Architecture Students
Dwell Energy and Buildings
Footprint (Technische Universiteit Delft)
Future Anterior: a Journal of Historic Preservation History, Theory, and Criticism Future Arquitecturas
Grey Room International Journal of Islamic Architecture
JAPA: Journal of the American Planning Association Journal of Urban Design
Landscape Journal Metropolis
Muqarnas Nexus Network Journal
OASE Planning
Planning Perspectives RIBA Journal
San Rocco Space (Korea) Gong’gan
Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes Thresholds
Topos Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review
Werk Bauen + Wohnen  


APT Bulletin Arcade (Seattle)
Architect (Netherlands) Architect & Builder
Architectura: Zeitschrift fur Geschichte der Baukunst Architecture plus Design (India
Area (Milan) Arkitektur N
Arkitektur: The Swedish Review of Architecture Arkkitehti
ARQ: Architecture/ Quebec ARQ(Chile)
Arris Azure: Design Architecture & Art
Bauwelt The Classicist
Cite: The Architecture and Design Review of Houston Clem Labine’s Traditional Building
DesignIntelligence Deutsche Bauzeitung
DoCoMoMo Journal
Fine Homebuilding Form: Pioneering Design
Frame Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly
Garden History Home Cultures
Interior Design Journal of Architectural Engineering
Journal of Landscape Architecture JSSAC: Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada
LA+: Interdisciplinary Journal
Marg (Judhpur) Metu Journal of the Faculty of Architecture
Nordisk Arkitekturforsknin (Nordic Journal of Architectural Research) Oculus (NY)
Old-House Journal Oris
Oz Journal Pidgin
Places Preservation
Proekt Russia
‘Scape Scapegoat: Architecture, Landscape, Political Economy
Shi dia jian zhu (Time+ Architecture) Shi jia jian zhu (World Architecture)
SOM Journal Summa + la summa del diseno
Tecton Techne (Florence): journal of technology for architecture and environment
Trace (Chile) Texas Architect
Vernacular Architecture Le Visiteur: revue critique
XIA Intelligente Architekture West 86th: a journal of decorative arts, design history, and material culture

Titles to Watch

Architecture and Culture Architecture Philosophy: International Philosophy
High Performing Buildings Manifest
Project Shawati Magazine

Kathy Edwards is Research and Collection Development Librarian at Gunnin Architecture Library, Clemson University, Barbara Opar is Librarian for Architecture at Syracuse University Libraries, and Rose Orcutt is Architecture and Planning Librarian at University of Buffalo.

Leave a comment

Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection / V. Heidi Hass

Drawn to greatness

Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection

The promise that Eugene and Clare Thaw made in 1975 to donate their entire collection of master drawings to the Morgan Library & Museum will be fulfilled with the opening of Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection (28 September 2017–7 January 2018). One of the finest private collections of drawings in the world, the Thaw Collection now numbers over four hundred sheets, which together encompass virtually the whole of Western art. Some 175 drawings from the Renaissance to the modern era—from critical movements in the history of the medium—will be mounted in this two-gallery exhibition to celebrate the most transformative gift in the history of the Morgan’s Department of Drawings and Prints.

Attesting to the strength of the collection, the show will demonstrate drawing’s fundamental role in the creative process across six centuries. Visitors will experience these drawings as a series of encounters—with groups of works by artists whose explorations on paper constitute significant contributions to the history of drawing. Mantegna, Cranach, and Bruegel; Rubens, van Dyck, and Rembrandt; the Tiepolos, Canaletto, and Piranesi; Watteau, Fragonard, and Prud’hon; Goya, Ingres, and Delacroix; Friedrich, Turner, and Palmer; Daumier, Millet, and Redon; Pissarro, Degas, and Renoir; Cézanne, Gauguin, and van Gogh; and Matisse, Picasso, and Pollock are among some eighty artists featured.

The accompanying publication features a series of essays by leading scholars devoted to pivotal moments in the history of drawing. Authors include Jane Shoaf Turner, Head of Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam; Andrew Robison, former Head of Drawings, Prints, and Photographs at the National Gallery of Art; Matthew Hargraves, Chief Curator of Art Collections, Yale Center for British Art; Richard R. Brettell, Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies, University of Texas at Dallas; Jay A. Clarke, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, Clark Art Institute; and Colin B. Bailey, Director, John Marciari, Curator and Department Head of Drawings and Prints, and Jennifer Tonkovich, Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator, of the Morgan Library & Museum. A further essay recounts Thaw’s career as a collector of master drawings and a catalogue raisonné documents the Thaw collection in full. Presenting original research, the catalogue will constitute a volume of lasting importance to art history studies.

Hardcover, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2″, 296 pp., 625 illustrations, $40

10% discount for ARLIS/NA members; please call 212-590-0390 to order.

V. Heidi Hass is Director of Research Services at the Morgan  Library & Museum.

Leave a comment

Acquiring Antiquarian Australian Exhibition Catalogues at the Frick Art Reference Library / Mary Seem

In addition to assessing titles on approval and searching for new publications, we at the Frick Art Reference Library also search for titles to backfill our holdings. One area that is particularly rich is the small antiquarian exhibition catalogues from Australia from the 1920s and 30s. Very few of these catalogues and checklists make it out of Australia, yet they provide a glimpse into a very active facet of Australian art history.

Most of the Australian antiquarian items we purchase are small exhibition catalogues – they are generally no more than 20 or so pages and sometimes include small images of the artwork. The largest area of focus appears to be artists exhibiting in Sydney and Melbourne between 1920 and 1935 often exhibiting as part of an artist’s society. One such society – The Society of Artists – was especially prolific. Our holdings now include many of the Society of Artists catalogues of small exhibitions, and larger annual exhibitions, featuring artists such as Russell Drysdale, Thea Proctor, and Julian Ashton. Many of the artists featured in these catalogues, especially members of the prominent Lindsay family as well as artists like Hans Heysen, traveled widely and exhibited in other countries. Thea Proctor, a woodcut artist, was heavily influenced by Japanese woodcuts. These catalogues elucidate the influences on Australian art, provide provenance information, and inform pricing and exhibition practices in Australia at the time.

Part of what makes our collection of Australian exhibition catalogues so intriguing is not just its uniqueness – although we are often the only holdings in the United States or even outside of Australia itself. The catalogues are exceptional because of the variety of artists they feature: male and female artists get equal footing and a variety of styles and genres are exhibited. The catalogues provide a glimpse into the art scene in Australia in the 1920s and 30s– a hive of activity that I didn’t know existed until I began to backfill on our holdings on Australian art.


Frick 1 web

  1. Front cover of Hans Heysen’s Recent Watercolours Including Paintings of the Flinders Range. Sydney: Grosvenor Galleries, 1928


Frick 2 web

2.  Page of Hans Heysen’s Recent Watercolours Including Paintings of the Flinders Range. Sydney: Grosvenor Galleries, 1928


Frick 3 web

3. Front cover of Exhibition of Lithographs by Miss Thea Proctor and a Group of London Lithographers. Melbourne: Fine Art Society, 1922


Frick 4 web

4. Inside view of Exhibition of Lithographs by Miss Thea Proctor and a Group of London Lithographers. Melbourne: Fine Art Society, 1922

Mary Seem is Cataloging and Acquisitions Associate at The Frick Collection







Leave a comment

Message from the new CDSIG Coordinator

For those who missed the 2017 conference in New Orleans, you can read the minutes that Christina Peter of the Frick Art Reference Library skillfully compiled; many thanks to Christina for doing this for several years now.

At the conference, the role of coordinator of the CDSIG transferred from Paula Gabbard (Columbia University, Avery Library), to Mary Wassermann (Philadelphia Museum of Art, writing here). Paula has overseen the CDSIG since 2014; our heartfelt thanks go to her for keeping the CDSIG blog a lively and interesting read, welcoming new members to this popular group, and last but not least, arranging our conference meetings and making sure they were not scheduled too, too early!

Looking ahead:
A suggestion was made to coordinate some type of meetings between the yearly ARLIS/NA conferences. This could involve engaging with another related SIG or division, and happen as a lunchtime web chat or real event.

The meeting would be on a single issue, here are ideas (some inspired by the NOLA meeting).

Please contact me via email if you’d like to help put something together.

  1. Collecting policies, cataloging and archiving of PDFs-invite the Cataloging Section.
  2. Benefits of consortia for e-resources.
  3. An introduction to collection development for new members of the profession – invite ArLisSNAP
  4. New trends in collection building and management
  5. Weeding of collections

And it is time to submit conference proposals, if you have an idea you’d like guidance with organizing or finding participants from the SIG, please let me know. One topic suggested in NOLA was new trends in publishing.


Finally, I will follow Paula’s lead in asking for volunteers to be scheduled to contribute posts for the blog. If you wish to be a contributor, or at any time have something you would like to post, please contact me as well.

Thank you,
Mary Wassermann

1 Comment

ARLIS/NA Conference Collection Development SIG Meeting Minutes


Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 8:00 – 9:00 AM
Commerce Room, Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel

Moderator: Paula Gabbard
Recorder: Christina Peter
Approximately 30 members attending

The meeting followed the agenda assembled by Paula Gabbard.

  1. Introduction and changing of the guards. Paula Gabbard, who has been coordinator of the Collection Development SIG since 2014, announces that she will step down from her position. She introduces Mary Wassermann as the new SIG coordinator to begin after this meeting.
  2. Paula Gabbard introduces antiquarian bookseller Ray Smith, who proceeds with a presentation about his work and his relationship with ARLIS/NA. Smith has been a member of ARLIS/NA for 35 years; he last exhibited at the Boston conference in 2010. He is also a photographer who studied with Walker Evans and published an album of his own photographs of America. In Smith’s view, antiquarian vendors and librarians work together in a symbiotic relationship based on shared interests and scholarly pursuits. Vendors contribute to ARLIS by becoming members and also by generously supporting receptions and offering travel grants. Librarians learn from booksellers about titles they wouldn’t know of otherwise. Vendors are active partners in building library collections – as an example, Smith mentions his work with Milan Hughston at MoMa and Stephanie Frontz at the University of Rochester, who relied on him for their comic book collections.
  3. Mary Wassermann brings up the issue of small private collection catalogs. She has seen lately at the Philadelphia Museum Library a large influx of dealers’ catalogs as well as catalogs of individual named art collections, some of them ephemeral. She was wondering if other librarians have also noticed a proliferation of these kinds of publications and if so, whether they were keeping them. Deborah Smedstad of MFA Boston Library and Christina Peter of the Frick Art Reference Library stressed the importance and documentary value of these publications; both institutions collect them actively. Other librarians said that they did not feel the necessity for every institution to collect such items; they would be content to rely on interlibrary loans.|
  4. At this point Kim Collins enters the meeting and introduces herself as the board liaison for the SIG. She offers help for feedback and project charters.
  5. Susan Flanagan from the GRI brings up the subject of the acquisition of electronic resources through consortia. Susan described her work on the Product Review Committee of SCELC (originally the Southern California Electronic Library Consortium, now a nationwide organization) in her November 15, 2016 post to the ARLIS/NA Collection Development SIG blog. As member of the Committee Susan reviews and recommends new art-related databases to SCELC, which in turn negotiates pricing and licensing terms and offers the products to member libraries. The consortial group offers substantial discounts on products, which is a significant draw for libraries to join; the membership fee is $750/year. Comments to Susan’s remarks indicated that most academic art libraries as well as some museum libraries acquire their electronic resources via consortia. Deborah Smedstad mentions a potential drawback to consortial buying: the backlist may disappear by consortial agreement, something that happened to MFA Boston’s expensive Ebrary collection.
  6. Susan Davi, Head of Collection Management at the University of Delaware wants to know how art librarians handle single and package e-book purchasing and how they see the impact of electronic books on print collections. Susan is under serious pressure from her administration to reduce print collections in order to create space, and is wondering if others are in the same predicament. Anne Evenhaugen of the Smithsonian Libraries subscribes to the Taylor & Francis Conservation, Heritage & Museum Studies collection e-book package; she finds the e-books on conservation more useful than the art e-books. Beverly Mitchell of Southern Methodist University offers an option to users between print and electronic format; the faculty almost always asks for print. She thinks one of the reasons might be that the e-readers are very clunky. Laura Schwartz at UC San Diego subscribes to both JSTOR and Taylor & Francis e-book packages. She has good experiences, especially with the JSTOR package that does not require DRM. Susan Davi remarks that JSTOR is used more like its own database. The question whether librarians buy a certain title in both print and e-book format is raised; the comments seem to suggest that practices vary. Barbara Prior of Oberlin College mentions a survey at Oberlin asking faculty and students whether they prefer print or ebooks: not only the faculty but most of the students also opted for print. The Oberlin survey was in-house and the results have not been published. An increasing number of articles show a general preference of print over e-books from users. Paula Gabbard says that Columbia also did a survey on the issue with similar results.
  7. Christina Peter asks how librarians develop collecting policies for PDFs. The Frick Art Reference Library has developed a workflow to archive and catalog PDFs. Christina would like to know whether other libraries duplicate print and PDF publications, whether they target born digital publications only, and how how librarians keep track of new titles and backlogs. Jared Ash of the Metropolitan Museum’s Watson Library and Deborah Smedstad of MFA Boston are involved with collecting PDFs; there doesn’t seem to exist a consensus on the issues at this point.
  8. Christina Peter introduces her colleague Mary Seem’s idea of trying to coordinate meetings between the ARLIS conferences. Mary thinks that much could be shared and learned and it would be nice to connect with others involved and interested in collection development; such meetings would also benefit librarians who are not able to travel to the annual conferences. Mary Wassermann likes the idea; Beverly Mitchell suggests the use of the ARLIS lunchtime chats for the purpose; she would be in favor of meetings centering around a single issue.
  9. Mary Wassermann asks for ideas for the future. Laura Schwartz suggests the topic of new publishing models and recommends a potential session on how to deal with publishers for next year’s conference.