Twenty-nine attendees, including two co-coordinators, gathered for the 2019 Artist Files SIG annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Sam Duncan introduced himself and co-coordinator Alex Reigle. He called out several examples of artist files discussions that were represented in several programs throughout the conference, including the session “Better to Receive?: Approaches to Building, Managing, and Promoting Artist Files Collections.” Duncan called out Karen Stafford at AIC for instituting the new MARC artist files cataloging guidelines in their local catalog. Stafford was able to show that the project significantly increased use of their artist files. The Artist Files SIG also co-sponsored the MARCEdit workshop. Duncan also promoted the Artist Files SIG at the SNAP session.
Duncan highlighted several improvements to artistfiles.arlisna.org, including twelve blog entries and introducing new browsing and search capabilities. Duncan highlighted the recent blog on Scott Grant Baker as an examination on how a private collector manages both print and digital artist files.
Duncan opened discussion about MARC artist files cataloging guidelines and a spreadsheet that attempts to corral current cataloging approaches across many institutions. Nathan Putnam at OCLC has gathered about 180,000 artist files record in WorldCat, but it was difficult given the disparity of practices—the number is only an estimate. Duncan invited the group to share any experiences or difficulties in interpreting or using the standard. MFA Houston library shared data migration project. Duncan shared migration projects at the Amon Carter – using MARCedit to migrate spreadsheet data to MARC.
Duncan updated group on Artist Files Revealed migration project. Developer seems to have abandoned the project. The data structure is in place, but there are a couple of pieces are missing, including user authentication and directory display. Duncan asked about whether institutions need to have multiple entries to cover specialized or named collections. Duncan presented the data fields to the group and explained his vision for how the resource would function. Duncan will share input form with data structure from old system and formatted input form [see links in references section below]. Duncan intends to contact Pods developer to insure that we’re using the plugin correctly.
Duncan started discussion about a work plan for the coming year and recommended an artist files digital project, particularly conceptualizing a platform for allowing multiple institutions contribute to an “uber” artist file. The group may be able to learn from Evernote as a collaborative platform that is able to ingest many kinds of digital content. Reigle prompted attendees to discuss existing digital projects related to artist files.
An attendee prompted a discussion about the significant great divide in terms of institutions’ approaches to cataloging. One large collection of artist files is at the Smithsonian Institution. They have about 150,000 file cataloged in Access (no MARC).
There was discussion about the definition of artist files with several attendees chiming in with concerns and examples. For instance, are subjects included in the definition of artist files?—see discussion in references section below.
Reigle said that the Smithsonian donation document which lists art files selection criteria that could be used a source for sussing out a definition.
Some individually cataloged items are kept in the artist files per Smithsonian.
There was also discussion of attaching holdings to existing cataloging records in WorldCat. [This practice appears to be not commonly done, and the SIG had previously recommended not adding holdings to an existing records].
Duncan invited nominees for new co-coordinators, and there were no nominations. He will make another call since many attendees were not at the meeting.
- The AFSIG relies on the rather broad definition of artist files in Artist Files Revealed: Documentation and Access, published 2009-2010: Individuals: Administrators, architects, artists, authors, bookbinders, collectors, connoisseurs, critics, conservators, craftsmen, curators, dealers, designers, educators, filmmakers, historians, journalists, patrons, printers, publishers, scholars, etc.; Institutions: Academic institutions, architectural firms, archives, auction houses, commercial galleries, foundations, foundries, galleries, governmental bodies, historic sites, institutes, kunsthalles, libraries, monuments, museums, publishers, religious organizations, research centers, private collections, societies, etc.