Art Libraries Society of North America | Mountain West Chapter Newsletter




Vol.4, No.1
April/May 2005


past issues

Report from the New Chair

2005 Annual ARLIS/NA Conference Reviews,
Houston, Texas

Travel Award Report

Member News

New Members

Annual Chapter Conference - Santa Fe

Editor's Note

Report from the New Chair - Nancy Pistorius

Greetings ARLIS/Mountain West Members!

What an exciting ARLIS/NA national conference in Houston! It was, again, an extraordinary event with workshops, tours and sessions encased by stimulating plenary sessions.

Although only 11 of our members were attending, the MW Chapter was highly visible again this year. We are very well represented on the Executive Board by Jeanne Brown, Past-President, Peggy Keeran, Western Regional Representative, and Eumie Imm-Stroukoff, incoming Secretary. Additionally, the following chapter members were in attendance: Allison Colborne, Tom Grieves, Miguel Juarez, Jennifer Parker, Nancy Pistorius, Tom Riedel, Marilyn Russell, and Nina Stephenson. Several members are active on committees, Miguel moderated a panel, and Nina Stephenson presented a poster session. The group’s variety of interests is reflected in the reports of sessions, workshops, and events in this issue of the Mountain Ledger.

The chapter’s business meeting was held on a large, semicircular, gold sofa in the lobby outside the exhibition hall and Internet room. While informal, a great deal of business was covered. Please refer to Tom Riedel’s minutes of the meeting. Contact me or any of the chapter’s Executive Committee if you have questions.

The next big event will be our joint conference with the Central Plains chapter this Fall in Santa Fe. The dates are October 27-30th and we will be at the Inn of the Governors. Marilyn Russell, Eumie Imm-Stroukoff, and Allison Colborne are working on local arrangements and programming. If you have ideas or suggestions, please contact one of them. Updates and information will be added to our chapter web site throughout the coming months.

Enjoy this issue of the Ledger!

Best regards,
Nancy Pistorius, Chair
ARLIS/Mountain West Chapter

2005 ARLIS/NA Annual Conference - Houston, Texas | Conference Reviews

First Review is by Thomas Riedel, Distance Services Librarian, Regis University

I attended ARLIS/NA conference sessions that focused on digitizing, cataloging and managing images. Images are an integral part of art production and research, and access to them has long been a challenge for both art librarians and visual resources curators. This conference pulled together the concerns of these two groups in several sessions that addressed the blurring of the lines between art library and visual resource collections and responsibilities, and beyond that, the blurring of university departmental lines as many institutions push forward with institutional repository initiatives. How do we maintain and provide access to the new collections we are creating? What standards should we follow? How do we work together university-wide to implement and expand an institutional repository? As might be expected, it was recommended that librarians take the lead in figuring all of this out.


The session “Case Studies in Digitizing” focused on three separate projects of different scope, the largest at the University of California, San Diego, which involved digitizing 80% of their slide collection (the missing 20% included images to which the university did not own copyright). Funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, slides were outsourced, 7,000 at a time, for scanning. The digital images are used both by UCSD and are supplied to ArtStor , a collection of art images and associated data for noncommercial and scholarly, non-profit educational use. Other projects discussed included SPIRO at the University of California, Berkeley, one of the earliest large-scale pushes to digitize slide collections, and “Walker County Treasures”, built by a librarian at the University of Texas, Huntsville, using Greenstone Digital Library, an open source software. This session made clear that digitizing projects all depend on administrative support, staff time, and money.


“ Cataloging Cultural Objects: Implications for the Field” detailed the challenges of cataloging objects such as art work, design, architecture and pretty much anything else that isn’t a book (although some books might fall in this category). The thrust of this session was on the Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) guidelines, which were created by a task force of the Visual Resources Association Anglo American Cataloging Rules (AACR) was acknowledged by panelists to be too brief and ultimately inadequate for describing objects that aren’t books, so CCO focuses on and is limited to descriptive metadata standards. CCO is more flexible, object-oriented and less prescriptive than AACR but allows catalogers to describe exactly what an object is. The CCO Project team is soliciting comments on the guideline chapters that are available. Be sure to visit their web site for more information.

Some librarians are thinking about and researching ways to retrieve images that are less reliant on metadata and more based on the way something actually looks. Describing objects, even using standards such as CCO, are still dependent on text. The session “Visual Access to Visual Materials” focused on text-independent ways for searchers to find relevant images. Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) analyzes digital images by pixel clusters, so the searcher who wanted to find, say, images of horses might be able to start with an initial search on the word “horses” but then narrow the search by clicking on an image and finding other images that “look” more like that one. One of the researchers is on the library school faculty at the University of Syracuse and you can find out more about her research at

Finally, how do we create institutional digital collections and manage them? One of the groundbreaking projects is at the University of Buffalo. Called UBdigit, the project was launched in the fall of 2004 after four years of planning. The planning process included the formation of “discovery” groups to talk about issues such as infrastructure (information technology), standards (data, access) and policies. For more on the entire project, connect to

Second Review is by Allison J. Colborne, Art Librarian & Archives Manager, Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Library, Chase Art History Library, College of Santa Fe


This all day workshop was sponsored by and held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The presenters were: Beverly Joy-Karno, Howard Karno Books; Clayton Kirking, Art and Architecture Collection, New York Public Library; Helvetia Martell, ICAA Documents Projects Director and Chief Bibliographer, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Vanessa Kam, Art & Architecture Library, Stanford University.

Beverly Karno, gave an informative powerpoint presentation focusing on materials from within Latin America. She tied her presentation to key publications and influences on the history of Latin America, starting with European contact through colonization of the 16th century. Beverly correlated her presentation to key publications as important bibliographic tools while she integrated facts on the particular idiosyncrasies of scholarship, publications and publishers of this geographic region. Her presentation also directed the audience to electronic resources and Internet sites.

Helvetia Martell then spoke at great length on the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s International Center of the Arts of the Americas’ (ICAA) project to catalog and digitize Latin American art collections from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and selected collections from the United States. For more information on this project or to be added to the project newsletter, send an e-mail to Helvetia at:

Clayton Kirking’s presentation focused on 19th and early 20th century Latin American art and photography. He linked his presentation to specific resources and publications found within the New York Public Library collections. Clayton’s presentation emphasized the importance that exhibition catalogs and ephemeral materials play in research library collections. He provided print outs of the CATNYP records related to his presentation.

Taina Caragol from the Museum of Modern Art, and the 2004 winner of the Howard & Beverly Karno Travel Award, lectured on the Metro-MoMA Survey of Archives of Latino Art project which commenced in 2003. This joint project of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art will document the Latino archives of art located in the New York area. For more information on this project, visit:

The day concluded with an art historical presentation by Vanessa Kam, Latin American Art specialist at the Stanford University Libraries. Vanessa lectured on Contemporary Latin American art and architecture.


A Poster Session was presented by Nina Stephenson, Art & Photography Librarian, University of New Mexico

Nina’s presentation dealt with the largest collection of its kind: the University of New Mexico’s Latin American Poster collection, focusing on the Sam L. Slick collection acquired in April 2001. This vast collection of over 10,000 Latin American and Spanish political posters is being digitized and cataloged using CONTENTdm. The end product, due to be available this fall, will be a searchable public access database with thumbnail images.

The collection will also be the basis of a UNM class taught by Dr. Teresa Eckmann entitled National Identity and Visual Culture: Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

In September 2006, the national Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM will open the exhibition: Latin American Posters: Public Aesthetics and Mass Politics. This exhibition, being organized by the Visual Arts Program of the Nation Hispanic Culture Center and UNM Libraries Center for Southwest Research, will feature 125 posters. It will be accompanied by an exhibition catalog, an international symposium, a website, and a series of public events. A traveling exhibition of 75 posters will tour several venues in the United States and Latin America.

For more information on the course and this resource, contact Dr. Teresa Eckmann, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections at 505.277.1010 or Information on the exhibition is posted at:

The following reviews were submitted my Marilyn Russell, Library Director, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico


This reception was held at the Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery which is known for its mix of established international artists and local talent. The evening included viewing the gallery works, sipping wine in the gardens, and visiting the residence of the gallery owner where we were treated to wine and finger food—all on a warm summer evening. The residence is a modest working class cottage built in 1880 and holds a collection of prints of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Andy Warhol, and Sherrie Levine. The cottage has been renovated and it was a delight to see how contemporary art can be exhibited in an historic cottage and be so grand.


One of the best tours I took was the Menil Collection. The Menil Collection building was designed by a joint venture of Renzo Piano, Richard Fitzgerald, and partners. The Menil Foundation is a renowned cultural oasis that preserves the integrity of a tranquil residential neighborhood. It is a unique museum environment located in the Montrose-area museum district. The neighborhood includes the Menil Collection, the Cy Twombly Gallery, the Rothko Chapel, and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum. It is an awe inspiring and spiritual tour.


Participants on the panel were Carole Cable, Director of Communications at the University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin; Andrea Lapsley, Assistant Director Marketing and Development, Houston Public Library; and Mara Benjamin, Assistant Director of Marketing at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Moderator of the session was Bella Karr Gerlich from the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries. Some of the highlights from the session included: 1) be consistent in your branding; 2) know your identity and use your logo; 3) market to diverse audiences; 4) use various media to advertise your library services; 4) know that marketing will require time, effort, and money; 5) branding is not about getting your prospect to choose you over your competition, but to get your prospect to see you as the only solution to their problem, and 6) make sure that all your communications are clear and in a consistent style.


Presenters were Heather Cleary, Visual Resources Librarian, Otis College; Gretchen Tuchel, Visual Resources Curator, University of St. Thomas; and Maureen Burns and Rina Vecchiola, UC Irvine. These panelists suggested strategies and outreach methods for how to teach instructors to use digital images through MDID, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and web pages. Some of the key motivators are to 1) have more active ways of learning, 2) give students and faculty a feeling of security in introducing something new, 3) keep it fun, and 4) have patience. "Bees, dogs, and faculty can smell fear."


The speaker, Dr. John Lienhard, is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and History at the University of Houston. His topic was " Eye of the forehead, eye of the mind: How does and artist see? How do we see what and artist shows us?" Lienhard contends that our minds tell us more than our eyes. He believes that spatial visualization is the subtlest of abilities. In his presentation, he gave some insight into the Meyer Briggs temperament discriminators, gave a time table of printed matter and how the invention of the press changed the perception of things, and traced the evolution and texture of spatial visualization through the past five centuries with some unanticipated phenomena that he has discovered. He stated that "we can liberate our own minds."


One of the fun events I attended was the “Boot Scootin' in Houston” fundraiser. I learned to do the Texas Two-Step, the Electric Slide, the Salsa, and the Tango. I wore my cowgirl skirt, boots, vest, and cowgirl hat. It was fun!!

Winberta Yao Travel Award Report

I am sorry to report we did not receive any eligible applications for the travel award this year. The person who applied was not a member of our chapter. Members, please take advantage of this special off-cycle award for the ARLIS/MW meetings in Santa Fe only. The deadline is September 1, 2005. Send applications to:

Mary Graham
Head Librarian
Arizona State Museum
University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026

Member News

Polly McCord opens new tour operation named " The Artful Traveler".

She is specializing in customized travel planning for artists and art lovers.

The company is based near Taos, and “provides customized itineraries for individuals or groups interested in the fine arts and letters of northern New Mexico. The unique services provided by "The Artful Traveler" will appeal to independent travelers such as art lovers, individual collectors, artists, architects, designers, writers, photographers and academics, as well as to groups such as museum boards, arts councils, and conference or workshop attendees. Customized itineraries could focus on a singular art form, such as sculpture or textile, or might encompass an array of arts-related activities such as visits to historic or cultural sites, festivals, workshops, studio tours, gallery openings, special exhibitions, local live music, outdoor activities, libraries, and more. The Artful Traveler welcomes both international and domestic inquiries and is ready to assist travelers arranging visits to the many wonderful and varied destinations in northern New Mexico.”

Polly McCord, former editor of the Ledger, “has traveled, lived and worked in the American Southwest for over 30 years. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Arts in art history from University of New Mexico, and a Master’s degree in library science from Texas Woman’s University.” The former Architecture Librarian at University of Arizona, “now moves in a new direction, pursuing her abiding interest in the arts and sharing her experience and enthusiasm for the region by opening The Artful Traveler."


Mary Ellen Lawrence, another member, announces tours to Italy.

The brochure says: Take advantage of this opportunity to visit historic libraries and archives in Florence, Italy.

Visit the: Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, The University of Florence - historic libraries and their new library of Social Sciences, The Biblioteca Nazionale and its famous book restoration laboratory, The Leonardo da Vinci Library and Museum in lovely Vinci, Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti, and The British Institute.

Space available for:
Summer: July 8-16, 2005 (deadline June 1, 2005)
Fall: November 11-19 (deadline October 1, 2005)

Italy&More has organized three library tours to Florence in 2005. The July date was planned after hearing from enthusiastic patrons. Price is without air but includes hotel, transportation and admission to sites, most meals and special invitations.”

They also offer two other itineraries: Village Life in LeMarche and Florence, and Dante and Florence

Visit their website for price and details about Libraries and Archives Tour or other Italy&More tour opportunities. or contact for more information. There is also an ad in the American Library Association magazine “American Libraries.”


Alessia Zanin-Yost left the chapter this Winter. Formerly at the Montana State University, she is working at West Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC and is becoming active in the Southeast Chapter.

Nina Stephenson, University of New Mexico, will be on Sabbatical May 1 through October 31st, 2005. She will be working on several research projects.

Miguel Juarez, University of Arizona, has announced that he will be leaving his current job as art and photography librarian at U of A this coming summer. He has accepted a job at Texas A&M.

Christiane Ramsey, Fine Arts Librarian at Brigham Young University, has been appointed Humanities Department Chair in the Harold B. Lee Library.

New Members

Dana M. Braccia, Community Relations Coordinator, Scottsdale Public Library System

I have been the Community Relations Coordinator for the City of Scottsdale Public Library System for the past three years. I am responsible for community partnerships as well as public relations for the library. Previous positions that I’ve held include Public Relations Manager for Guam Hilton International where I developed PR plans for Asia and Micronesia. I also oversaw the public relations for Carefree Resorts, Citibank, and the Scottsdale Stadium with the San Francisco Giants. My degree is in Marketing from Arizona State University and I will complete my Masters in Information Systems & Library Science from the University of Arizona this May. I’ve had the wonderful fortune of sitting next to Mary Graham, Head Librarian at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, at this year's Convocation, and learned about ARLIS. She's currently planning the third annual Authors & Appetizers Among Friends event held at the Scottsdale Public Library which mixes great food with great literature in an after-hours party in the stacks.

Upcoming Chapter Conference - Santa Fe


ARLIS/Mountain West and Central Plains Joint Conference, October 27-30, 2005
Santa Fe, New Mexico

The ARLIS Mountain West Chapter and the Central Plains Chapter of ARLIS/NA are seeking proposals for presentations and/or panels at its 2005 Joint Conference to be held at the Governor's Inn, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Presentations or panels can address a wide range of topics ranging from professional issues in management, reference, or technology to art and/or architecture or related subject specific themes. The emphasis for this joint conference will be on various cultures and libraries.
Proposals may include more than one area.

Please include:
1. Title of proposed paper or panel.
2. Name of speaker/proposer along with your affiliation, address, telephone and fax number,and email address. If a panel, specify proposer/moderator and include the names, affiliations, addresses, telephones, fax numbers, and email addresses for all panel speakers.
3. Time needed for presentation of paper/panel.
4. Abstract of paper or panel, limit to 150 words.
5. Equipment required.

Proposals along with abstracts may be submitted by e-mail, fax or surface mail.

Deadline for submissions is July 1, 2005.

Send proposals to:

Marilyn Russell, Director of Library Programs, IAIA Library
fax: 505-424-3131
Address: Institute of American Indian Art
83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, NM 87508

Editor's Note

This newsletter is extra long. I thought I wouldn’t have enough news, so I asked everyone to contribute. It was a dilemma: publish all of it or make it two separate letters. My decision is to make two newsletters. One will come out in July. In that one we will talk about the up-coming conference in Santa Fe and events that are happening around the mountain west. Please send me your ideas. I apologize for not being able to include events in this letter.

Editor: Ellie Vaughter, Platt College (

Online publisher: Chris Ramsey, Brigham Young University

5 May 2005