Maintenance Recommendations for Artist Files


  1. Also another issue is how to handle digital media. I’m copying below the Amon Carter’s current policy:

    Tracking Digital Media[edit | edit source]

    During the last years, we have seen many cases of photographers sending examples of their work to our curators on CD-ROM disc. To date, we have selectively added these discs (and perhaps other media) to the bio files at the discretion of library and curatorial staff. This continues to be the practice.

    In 2009-11-00, library staff started noting when digital media, e.g. CD-ROM and other digital physical carriers, were added to bio files. When this material is added, we started adding text in the note field of the bio file database record maintained/created in the museum’s web-based Drupal content management system with the word “media”; subsequently in 2011-11-00, we refined this procedure per the following example:

    Last name: Merrill
    First name: Larry
    Notes: Digital media (CD-R) added 2011-11-10

    It is important to use the word “digital media” together with a specific description of the physical media, e.g. CD-ROM, Flash Drive, etc. It is also important to note the date that the media was added.

    These notes are designed to facilitate generating a report showing all files that contain digital media for preservation purposes.

    Currently, the search URL for the bio files is: –SamuelDuncan 12:06, 14 November 2011 (CST)

  2. My first boss out of library school in 1973 — Elizabeth Folin at the Frick Fine Arts Library, University of Pittsburgh — had a date stamp attached to her hand at all times, along with a 3-5 pad and pencil. There probably isn’t any way to be sure things are date-stamped without date stamping them. These days, I might pencil the date on things, partly because you don’t know what might be wanted to display at some point.

  3. How are other institutions handling date stamping artist files materials? We chronically run into material in our files without dates!

    1. What I’m looking for are ways to “stamp” material that does not mar them other than pencil. Has anyone come up with a solution?

      1. We are still using pencil for everything, either on the item itself or on an enclosure of some sort. Since most of the collection circulates, the pencil markings also serve to indicate ownership.
        Have been toying with the idea of using flags, but obviously these can be removed, may exacerbate space issues, etc. I suppose non-circulating VFs could skip individual flags and simply use slips of paper to create chronological sections within a given file (of course, that would also add bulk, so…).

        1. On the idea of flags, I oftentimes slip or attach one of our acquisition tracking forms to the item to help identify it.


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