Art Libraries Society of North America | Mountain West Chapter Newsletter




Vol.2, No.2
Fall/Winter 2003

Winberta Yao Travel Award

ARLIS/West Regional Conference, Portland, OR


Institution News

Member News

Editor's Note

President's Column

Welcome Montana!!! In a recent vote, participating Mountain West Chapter members were unanimous in approving the addition of the Big Sky state to ARLIS/MW. Our geographic range now extends from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. Can any other chapter claim border-to-border coverage?

I was unable to attend the Western Regional meeting in Oregon, but have heard that it was a great conference with much to learn, see and do. A local restaurant owner so appreciated the patronage of Mountain West Chapter members that he serenaded them at dinner one night. They, in turn, were so impressed with the restaurant they later went back for more. The nine MW members who traveled to Portland met to discuss chapter business on August 1. Chair-elect Eumie Imm-Stroukoff presided over the meeting.

A number of topics were covered at the meeting, the minutes of which can be seen on our website. There are, however, a couple of issues I would like to emphasize. Eumie reported that she has received about a dozen responses to the membership survey. This represents less than half of our current membership. I urge those members who have not already done so to complete the survey and forward their replies to Eumie a soon as possible. The better the information we have, the better the chapter is able to address the needs and interests of its members. Revision of the guidelines for the Winberta Yao Travel Award is also noteworthy. Several changes have been proposed and members will be asked to approve the new guidelines in the near future.

Welcome to our new members: Marilyn Russell, (a longtime member of ARLIS/Central Plains) Director of Library Programs at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe; Susan Ferrer-Vinet, Art Cataloger of the Denver Art Museum; Mary Ellen Lawrence, Librarian at the Art Institute of Colorado (back in the U.S. after many years in Florence, Italy); Ree Mobely, of the International Museum of Folk Art in Santa Fe; Hugh Thurlow, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver; Jill Provan, Tucson Museum of Art; Kelsang Rabga (formerly Kurt Gunlock), Assistant Curator of the Visual Resources Collection at ASU in Tempe; and Alessia Yost, Reference Librarian at Montana State University, have all joined our ranks since the chapter meeting in Cody in October 2002.

Frances B. Clymer

Message from the ARLIS/NA West Regional Representative

The highlight of the summer was the ARLIS/West Regional Conference. The two-and-one-half day event was lively and informative, and it was great to see so many Mountain West chapter members in attendance. The tour of Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood was truly inspiring.

The ARLIS/NA Executive Board will gather for its mid-year board meeting in Philadelphia on August 26 and 27. The agenda will include setting the final 2004 budget for the Society.

ARLIS/Southern California will hold a fall business meeting at the University of California, Irvine, on Friday, September 5. The theme will be a panel discussion on the Online Archive of California (OAC) and Museums and the Online Archive of California (MOAC). For further information, contact ARLIS/Southern California chapter chairperson Rina Vecchiola.

ARLIS/Northern California will hold a business meeting at the University of California, Berkeley, sometime in the fall.

Kay Teel
Western Regional Representative

Winberta Yao Travel Award – Congratulations and a Business Item

Congratulations to Kate Cunningham-Hendrix from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, recipient of the Winberta Yao Travel Award! The travel award helped Kate attend the ARLIS West conference in Portland, where she made a presentation about the International Poster Collection digital project.

Since the chapter has agreed to increase the amount of the award, one of the issues we need to address is how to continue to fund it at the current level. While some of the revenue from membership and chapter meetings can help support the travel award, it would be ideal if we could focus on ways to raise money designated specifically for award purposes. We have raised some money by soliciting donations from chapter members on the annual renewal form, but contributions have not kept pace with award amounts. Watch for a new range of donation amounts on the next renewal form, and please give as generously as you are able to encourage participation in our conferences by our chapter members, many of whom receive little or no travel funding.

Tom Riedel
Winberta Yao Travel Award Committee

ARLIS/West Regional Conference, Portland

The Crafts of Digitization

Christine L. Sundt, University of Oregon, moderated a session on recent digital developments in the West. Speakers included:

Leslie Abrams, Head, Arts Libraries, University of California, San Diego. UCSC’s Mellon Foundation Grants: Collaboration & Exploration.

Leslie discussed the UCAI (Union Catalog of Art Images) project at the University of California-San Diego, and partners Cleveland Museum of Art and Harvard University. UCSD is among the significant early contributors to ARTstor, an upcoming comprehensive online resource for the teaching of art history, humanities, and social sciences. The first phase of the project ended in September 2003, and produced bibliographic metadata and thumbnail images for over 500,000 records describing art works. The emphasis was on the metadata of the images, and challenges included data mapping, record clustering, and merging of records. The metadata standard used was VRA Core 3.0, and each image ended up with its own MARC record in the library catalog. The UCSD Art & Architecture Library’s Visual Resources Collection includes over 300,000 slides, with 5-8,000 slides added annually. The image collection online now supports all of humanities and social sciences, and is accessible to all faculty, students & staff throughout campus. Lessons learned from this project: allow a lot of time on administering the grant, planning, training, and supervising; communicate effectively, and pull in essential key partners from information technology and human resources.

UCAI (Union Catalog of Art Images):
UCSD slide digitization project: http://orpheus/

Kate Cunningham-Hendrix, Arts & Humanities Librarian, Colorado State University. The International Poster Collection Digital Project.

Kate presented an overview of the poster collection, which included works by Milton Glaser, Vladimir Chaika (Russia), Mieczylaw Gorowski (Poland), Antonio “Niko” Perez (Mexico), and Luba Lukova (Bulgaria), among others. The objective of this project was to create a searchable image database indexing the majority of the printed posters back to 1995 or earlier. The database had to be affordable, easy to use and to update, and accessible to the public at large. Kate discussed rights issues related to the digitization of the images, collection use, and the software ContentMD. Collaboration benefits include avoiding duplication, saving time, and sharing resources. Some of the roadblocks were implementation, lack of standards, time, ownership issues, rights management, and changing environment. Lessons learned: create a team of unique talents, don’t do it alone; educate yourself by looking at comparable institutions and attend workshops on the subject, and make sure to examine the project’s cost/benefit and the actual value of the physical collection.

Colorado State Poster Collection:
Carnegie Mellon Swiss Poster Collection:
Northwestern University’s Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies Poster Collection:
Colorado Digitization project Digital toolbox:
Harvard University Guide to Image Digitization:

Lorna Corbetta-Noyes, Research Libraries Group – Books, Arts, Book Arts, Artists’ Books, All That and More in RLG Cultural Materials.

Lorna talked about the digital preservation of artist books included in the RLG Cultural Resources database. This is a valuable resource that can also be used in the study and research of artist’s books and books arts. Examples of interesting searches included: k= artists books, k=art education scrapbooks, k=gedney and subway (Duke collection), and k= cha earth among others.

Submitted by Chris Ramsey

Artworks / Bookworks

Turn of the Crank: Creative Journey of Knight Library Press
Sandra Tilcock, University of Oregon

Book Arts: Northwest Perspectives
Jim Carmin, Multnomah County Public Library
Tour of John C. Wilson Room, Central Library

Sandy Tilcock, Director of the recently created Knight Library Press (and proprietor of the lone goose press) discussed the history and mission of this fine arts press. The Press is located in a converted warehouse of artists' studios, but is organizationally part of the Library, within the Division of Special Collections and University Archives. The Press publishes about one book each year, along with several literary broadsides. A well-established and highly regarded artist in book arts, Tilcock brings together known authors and artists and collaborates to create a unique book form. She uses the words and images (calligraphy, engravings, woodcuts, etchings, monotypes, and collotypes), hand-sets the text, prints on manufactured or handmade papers, and designs and executes bindings and slip cases to complete the work. The press produces limited editions that are collected by individuals and by important institutions across the country: Tilcock shared recollections of some of these collaborations and showed examples of recent work including: The Letters of Heaven, (Short Story by Barry Lopez, Five Hand-Colored Etchings by Robin Eschner), Oregon Pilgrimage in Green: A Forest Journal for My Brother, (Prose Poem by Kim Stafford, Engravings by Margot Voorhies Thompson) and a selection of broadsides.

Following the Knight Library Press presentation, session participants visited the John C. Wilson Room at the Central Library where special collections include major holdings that emphasize the Pacific Northwest, history and natural history and early printed books. Special Collections Librarian, Jim Carmin, displayed highlights from the artist books collection. The library actively collects the work of artists from the region, including unique and limited editions by Carmin Mare Blocker (M Kimberly Press), Inge Bruggeman (INK-A! Press), Amber Gayle (Evil Twins Publications), Catherine Michaelis (May Day Press), Barbara Tetenbaum (Triangular Press), as well as personal work by Sandy Tilcock (lone goose press).

Art Institute of Portland Tour & Western Chapters Welcome Party

The ARLIS/Western Regional Conference kicked off its activities on Thursday, July 31 with a tour of the Art Institute of Portland. The afternoon began with a welcome and outline of the Institute’s history from Nancy Thurston, the librarian at the AIP, and from her fellow AIP colleagues.

The Art Institute of Portland’s mission is to prepare students for professional careers in design, management, and industry. It offers a range of technical and academic degrees in advertising, apparel design, digital media production, game art & design, graphic design, interior design, media arts & animation, and multimedia & web design. The AIP admissions staff led us on lively tours of the complex and guided us through the halls to the various classrooms and studios. Impressive work by the Institute’s students lined the hallways.

Afterwards, our group headed to the Western Chapters Welcome Party, which was held at the Pacific Northwest College of Art library. PNCA librarian Rachel Mendez was our host. We were able to mingle with our colleagues and enjoy the refreshments spread out before us. It was a pleasant way to meet our colleagues from the Northern California, Southern California, and Northwest chapters and to catch up with old friends.

A special thanks goes to both the Art Institute of Portland and the Pacific Northwest College of Art for generously offering their hospitality.

Submitted by Eumie Imm Stroukoff

Institution News


Newly Installed Web-Based System Improves Patron Access, Relevance Searching (University of Arizona, Tucson)
Arizona State Museum’s Library and Archives have installed a new information management system that will make their highly prized collections accessible worldwide. Created by Endeavor Information Systems of Des Plaines, IL, the Voyager automated system is designed specifically for the needs of academic and research libraries like ASM’s. Voyager provides relevance ranked keyword searching, parallel searching across other libraries’ databases, access to electronic journals, and URL links.

At ASM, the system has been dubbed LARC (Library, Archives, Archaeological Records Collections), and replaces a card catalog system from the 1950s. “Yes, that’s right, we were still operating with an old fashioned, cards-in-a-drawer, card catalog. Now, after years of data input and conversion, our extensive collection and other data resources from other areas of the museum will be accessible for searching on a worldwide basis via the Internet. Before, you had to be physically in the building to conduct a search,” says Head Librarian Mary Graham. “Having this collection more readily accessible is particularly relevant for students in the field of Southwest anthropology. Ours is the premier collection for that discipline. Every year, researchers, scholars, and students visit from all over the world just to conduct research here because it can be conducted nowhere else in the world.”

The non-circulating research library specializes in the ethnological and archaeological histories and cultures of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. Its comprehensive collection consists of more than 30,000 volumes, more than 1,500 periodical titles, and hundreds of specialized files of ephemera. The library also holds book collections bequeathed by the illustrious archaeologist and former ASM director Emil W. Haury, and renowned Spanish Colonial art historian Pál Kelemen, to name only two. Also included in the LARC catalog are other ASM resources such as archaeological surveys, site reports, and archaeological citations from throughout the state.

“ Even though the actual books and materials will remain non-circulating, their contents will be more accessible,” says Graham. “If someone from New York, for example, is searching on the system and sees that we have the one and only copy of a needed book (which is quite often the case), we will be happy to research the request and get the information to him.”
The resources will be accessible at by August 25. This project was supported with funds granted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Agency under the Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Endeavor Information Systems was founded in 1994. Over 1,100 academic and research libraries of every size have chosen Endeavor’s high performance Voyager integrated library system. Endeavor offers a complete line of library solutions for traditional and digital collections. Visit Endeavor at for more information about Voyager.
Arizona State Museum is the oldest and largest anthropology museum in the Southwest (est. 1893) and is the official repository for the state’s cultural materials and objects, and archaeological data. ASM is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
For more information on Endeavor, contact Penny Emke.
For more information on the ASM Library, contact Mary Graham.

Member News

Melisa Nicoud, Librarian at the National Wildlife Art Museum in Jackson, Wyoming, has been elected to serve as Special Libraries Trustee on the board of the Bibliographic Center for Research (BCR, Based in Aurora, Colorado, BCR is a non-profit library services cooperative providing OCLC services as well as a broad range of other services to libraries in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Last November Kurt Gunlock was ordained a Tibetan Buddhist Monk at a ceremony in Los Angeles, California. Ordination included receiving the name Kelsang Rabga. We all wish Kelsang well on his new journey.

Editor's Note

Once again, I am amazed not only at how many of our members are willing to contribute to The Mountain Ledger, but also at how well written the submissions are. You make my job as Editor easy and make me look good! Thank you all for the care and energy you put into your articles.

Special thanks go to Eumie, for twisting arms in Portland to get reports for this edition. I was unable to attend the meeting due to other commitments, and she did an excellent job of getting contributors lined up in my stead. As always, you can write your copy and I can edit it, but we would be nowhere without the Web skills of Chris Ramsey. Thanks, Chris!

Polly Trump
Editor, The Mountain Ledger