Catalogers Discussion Group
10 September 2001, Bard Graduate Center

Thirteen art catalogers gathered at Bard Graduate Center on September 10th. Attendance was a bit down because of short notice and Bard would be happy to host another CDG relatively soon. (The next day’s terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have cast a pall on the days since the meeting.)

Plans for the MoMA Library during the construction of the new building were discussed and led to a discussion on classification which may be the topic for a future meeting. The MoMA Library is scheduled to open in Queens in April 2002 and will probably be closed for some portion of the months just before that. While less reading space will be available, the library collection will all be together. The library will be in the Swingline building along with the collections, galleries, and store. Another building called “The Factory” will house curatorial and administrative offices. The buildings are about two blocks apart and are near a stop on the 7 train.

New books in the collection have not been classified but are arranged by size and accession number. When the library moves back to Manhattan, only about half of the books collection will be brought back with the other half staying in Queens. Arrangement of the collection is being discussed and the idea of reclassifying has come up. Issues about (re)classifying vs. not include: browsability, recon, reprocessing (relabelling), using more standard tools like LCC. The MoMA artists files have been housed in Lektriever cabinets which will not be moved, with the files being moved to shelves which will go floor to ceiling. Volunteers have done the preparation and filing of artists files and the new arrangement will be more difficult.

Several issues from the July meeting were discussed further:

* For INSTALLATIONS (ART) and SITE-SPECIFIC ART and PERFORMANCE ART, there was general consensus that moveability was the primary factor in geographic subject analysis -- artist nationality vs. location of work. Someone suggested that students might know the location more readily than the artist and that the subject heading was important even though we might not add a topical heading to a work on the paintings of a single artist. The Watson Library uses its classification as a guide to national adjectives. As they are being trained for NACO, they will be looking at their authority practices, such as how much local information they will continue to include. Danny Fermon is still planning on preparing a letter to CPSO, with input from Susan Lentz.

* “Interactive multimedia” is a difficult concept and maybe of limited usefulness. The discussion of its use in description segued into a discussion of INTERACTIVE as a subject term. Claudia Hill is seeing warrant for a topical heading for INTERACTIVE ARCHITECTURE; there is already a subject heading for INTERACTIVE ART. She was encouraged to send in a SACO proposal.

* Maria Oldal reported that the Ex Libris list had been discussing field 563 for binding information. 563 does not appear in MARC 21 but does in UKMARC. As UKMARC is folded into MARC 21, some fields will probably get added to MARC 21 and this might be a candidate. Notes in 5XX have been given separate numbers if needed for display purposes, access, or control via indicators/subfields. Perhaps the description in 563 should be unsubfielded and access points (655, etc.) should be used for controlled access. Information about containers may also be relevant in 340 $e.

* The Columbia catalogers wondered about the progress of the proposal to move buildings from SAF to NAF. Recently, they have had several chapels (as churches, they go in NAF) located in buildings (SAF). The ARLIS/NA Cataloging Advisory Committee is working on a new draft of the proposal.

* Maria wondered about implementation of the anonymous artist relationship subfield $j which has been approved by MARBI. It will probably be in the next implementation when LC, OCLC, and RLIN do that.

The next meeting is likely to be hosted by the Frick Art Reference Library and will happen in the Walnut Room in the Collection building. Possible date: 15 October 2001. Suggested topics for discussion: classification and reclassification; adding Blackwell’s contents records to your database (granularity, summary, contents, keyword Google-like access); closed vs. open stacks and the effect on technical services.

Notes compiled by Sherman Clarke,