Pratt Institute, School of Information and Library Science
LIS 629 -Museums and Library Research at the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Watson Library and Hazen Center for Electronic Information
  Ken Soehner, Chief Librarian, Instructor
Summer II
About the Institute Schedule: time-place Sat.-Mon: Library Research & lectures.
Goals & objectives         Grading Photo needs - bring a camera  Resources                People & places
Met  Floor plan Readings   Sample project  Project description/      format
                                            CROSSING CULTURES AND COLLECTIONS
Lion, Kennicott Bible, Bodleian Library, Oxford.                 Original edition on the Encyclopedia of Diderot et d'Alembert.
                 Paris, Bibliothèque centrale des musées nationaux. 

The Institute on Art Museum Librarianship at the Metropolitan Museum is an intensive 10 day 3 credit course introduced and designed by Dr. Giannini for Pratt Institute students in the School of  Information and Library Science and is made possible through the cooperative efforts of both institutions, the Met and Pratt, working together.  In an time when increasingly educators turn their attention to the provision of distance education via the Internet, the Institute takes on special significance for the way in which students learn and experience art and information.   Rather than a digital diet, they can feast on the collections of one of the greatest art museums worldwide, use primary source material for study, make discoveries and new connections, attend lectures by leading scholars, discuss art with curators, exchange ideas with fellow students, and share learning experiences with them.  The theme, crossing cultures and collections, which is the guiding concept of  individual student projects in the form of an an exhibition catalog  (sample project)-  encourages students to experience art through diverse social and cultural perspectives so that they will be better prepared as librarians to serve diverse communities.  Working in a multimedia environment broadens and clarifies a student's notion of information.   Students will use the Watson Library containing over 400,000 books and 2,500 serials in conjunction with the Hazen Center for Electronic Resources and Central Catalog maintains the object records of some two million works of art.   Thus, students will use in consort the museum collections, library collections and electronic resources enabling them to gain new insights as researchers into the interactions and connections of these richly diverse art and information resources. 
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>Through hands-on experience over a 10 day intensive course of study, students will focus on themes of art and information, art as information, library resources and methods for art research, and using technology and electronic resources to support art research. 

>Through presentations, lectures, discussion and individual research in the Watson Library and other libraries in the Metropolitan Museum, students will gain understanding in art museum librarianship from the dual perspectives of the librarian and the user/researcher. 

>Students will learn how to document art objects through library research in print and online sources.

>Students will pursue individual research projects with an emphasis on how library resources are used to document and enrich the knowledge of the museum's collections.   They will experience the many ways by which works of art communicate meaning, ideas, and information and see how works of art are interpreted in art literature, exhibitions and other media such as film. 

>Study of collections and works of art will be considered in a variety of contexts and perspectives (including cultural and social, biographical, chronological, geographical, as well as by topical themes, media, genre and style), in order to give students a deeper understanding on how these influence our understanding of art and the content and organization of art resources.

>Students will understand how technology is changing the way museum collections are accessed, used and managed.

>The knowledge gained in the course will be expressed in student projects in the form of an exhibition catalog based on a theme selected by the student under the general notion of  'crossing cultures and collections.

>To understand the role a curator plays in selecting and arranging works of art in the context of an exhibition especially as it pertains to how art communicates ideas and information, and the relationship of art objects to documentation.


Attendance and participation - 15% 
Because this is an intensive course, students are required to attend all sessions. 
Students are expected to arrive 10 minutes before all group sessions scheduled with librarians, curators and staff. 
Seminar sessions on art librarianship and issues offer important opportunities for students to participate in discussion and to ask questions. 

Project - 65%   Carefully read project description to make sure that you include all required elements. 
Students will have ample opportunity to discuss the project and ask questions during class meetings and will be able also to consult the instructor individually as needed throughout the course, on any aspect of their work. 

Project Presentation at final session - 10%  

Review assignment - 10%
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Exhibition Catalog Project Description

1. Identify a theme
that can be expressed across collections (for example, general themes such as death and dying, religion, books and reading, landscape, self portrait, flowers, women, children, cities, towns and villages, love and lust, legends, the supernatural, war and revolution, etc. 

2.  Select 12 art works that express your theme.  Focus your theme through the selection process. 
3. Take two photographs of each work, one full image, and one detail.  Select detail to highlight theme. 
4. Take notes on the selected objects based on careful observation.  Describe their subjects, attributes, qualities, materials, size, etc.  Note museum captions for all art works selected.  You will use these as the starting point for your research. 
5. Art information and library resources, interaction & integration. 
    Art Information: 
    Approach your research from a number of perspectives.  Consider selected works separately (a type of textual analysis), in relation to the other works selected, to the theme, and as it represents the broader group with which it is associated.   Be mindful of the juxtaposition of works selected and note how new combinations of works effects meaning.  Identify research sources that are relevant to varied aspects of artistic production. 
            c. the artist's life and work. 
            d. the artist's period and style. 
            c. the media and techniques used for each work selected. 
            d. General discussion of the theme; the theme as expressed by objects selected. 
     Library Resources:
     Create your own 'sources used'  for the project exhibit catalog according to the following source types:
:    *Bibliography, *Biography (general-encyclopedias, dictionaries; in depth studies-monographs) *Books, *Periodicals
     (use  Indexes & Abstracts), *Exhibition Catalogs, *Primary Source Material (depending on time, need and 
     availability), rare books, manuscripts (autograph letters, personal papers), vertical file.

Exhibition Review
Select on of the major current Met. exhibitions and write a review as though you were an art critic.
Search the literature (use Art Index, BHA, New York Times Index, etc.) to find a review of the
exhibit you have selected.  Cite published review in your review.
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1. Cover:  title (expresses theme, place, type of work-exhibition catalog), author, image.
2. Title page:  title, author, place, date, course, instructor. 
3. Introduction: general discussion of the theme, the artists, the works. (2 pages) 
4. The 12 works of art selects, for each: 2 photos with captions, about a paragraph of discussion.
5. Sources used, for each, a citation and annotation (minimum, 12 sources based on 2 each of categories above) 
6. Personal perspectives:  your thoughts on your experiences and the Institute, its content, format, etc. 
Two examples of exhibition project themes: 
musical instruments in art (iconography), and dance in art.

Japanese flutist

   Edgar Degas: The Rehearsal, c. 1879. Metropolitan Museum, NY. 

Examples of themes: flowers, food, musical instruments, pain and suffering, war, weapons, fashion, a color, the ocean, lovers, fantasy, death, animals, etc.

Students may choose to do a digital project.  Here is an example from Fall 2002.
Sample Project.
 Meditation and Reflection by Lisa DeBoer 

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Met museum Programs: Gallery Talks, Lectures and Film.
Students are required to be present for all events and meetings listed on the schedule.  Titles in italics indicate Met Museum programs on relevant themes which will help students familiarize themselves with many facets of the collections and include gallery talks, lectures and films.  Programs are listed and described in the January-February Calendar which indicates program location.  Each student should obtain a Calendar and floor plan from the information desk. 
Cafeteria sessions and informal class meetings provide an opportunity to ask questions and share information. 

Consultation with instructor
The schedule provides ample opportunity for discussion and individual consultation.  The Instructor will be present at all scheduled meetings and events.  Times for individual meetings can be arranged. 

Student project presentation for final class session.
Each student will give a 8-10 minute project presentation at the final class meeting. 

Library research on days the Met's Watson Library is closed - the following options are available:
     NYPL Humanities Research Libraries at 42nd St., open 10:00 am-6:00 pm, Monday and Saturday
     Frick Art Library at the Frick Museum, open Saturday, 9:30-12:45 (bring you Pratt  students ID. 
     The Frick Art Reference Library: FRESCO
     Pratt Institute Library THE PRATT INSTITUTE LIBRARY

Taking photographs of objects for exhibition catalog - YOU WILL NEED TO BRING A CAMERA AND FILM, 400 ASA.
Bring a camera to all sessions.  Plan on selecting and taking photos Saturday, 1/14 and Sunday 1/15.
Use as good a camera as is possible and use fast film, 800 ASA, as flash is not allowed in the galleries.
Take detailed notes of each object photographed based on your observations and gallery plaques with title,
artist, etc.  Remember to take two images of each object, one whole and one detail.  The detail should focus on
elements of your theme.  Both pictures will be used for the catalog.  Make sure to develop your photos in time.

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Date Time -  Place and Meeting.
Monday  9/13 >>Pratt 14th St. <<  This is the only session not held at the Met.
2:00 -5:00 PM -  Introduction to the Institute.

Homework: use art databases on the Web to begin researching your topic (see Resources
             Analysis of visual images - University of Newcastle, Australia

Tuesday  9/14

Meeting  in Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum.
10:00 am - Introduction to the Watson Library - Head Reference, Linda Seckelson

1:45 pm -  Central Catalog Orientation

Note - Students will need to bring a camera for taking photographs of art objects.  No flash; use fast film, about ASA 800.  Tripods are allowed.
Wednesday  9/15
11:00 am   Introduction to Electronic Resources  -  Meet in the Watson Library at 11 am sharp!

2:00 pm     Serials - Watson Library

following serials session:  we will have a brief discussion of individual topics.

2:30 - 5:00 pm - Work on Project.

Begin selection and photography of 12 representative objects for exhibition catalog, 2 pictures per object - 1 whole object; 1. detail of object showing them

Thursday  9/16

10:00 - 5:00 pm - work on project - focus on object selection and photography;

                        View exhibits; work on reviews.


Friday  9/17

Bamboo and Rocks, 
Yuan dynasty
 (1279–1368), 1318
 Li Kan (Chinese, 1245–1320)
China, Pair of hanging scrolls; 
ink and color on silk; 
Each 74 3/4 x 21 3/4 in.
(189.9 x55.2 cm)
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, 
Gift of TheDillon Fund, 
1973 (1973.120.7ab)

Meet at 5th Ave. entrance for Introduction to the Goldwater Library.
1:30 pm - Introduction to the Godlwater Library - 
Focus on Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Mother and Child from Chief's
Housepost, 19th–early 20th century;
Sentani Sentani people; 
Irian Jaya, Lake Sentani,
Kabiterau village
Wood; H. 36 1/8 in. (91.8 cm)
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial
Collection, Bequest of Nelson A.
 Rockefeller, 1979 (1979.206.1440


Weekend work - 
project research 
9/18 & 9/19

For Saturday and Sunday work at the Met, the Uris Library and Teacher Resrouce Center is open. 

Additionally, you may use the Pratt Library, NYPL,  42nd st. at the Wallach Art and Architecture Library (open Sat. 10 am-6pm), or the Frick Museum Library (open Monday, 10 am-5pm and Sat. 9:30 am -1 pm).
Working from home you will have access to Wilsonweb, Firstseacrh and other art resources.  See under "Resources" in the syllabus.


Monday       9/20 Use the Frick Library, open Monday 10:00-4:45, or the Pratt Library, Art and Architecture Reference Room. 
Tuesday      9/21

 - Individual work on project, library research
11 AM - Uris Library


2:00 pm - Special session with Ken Moore,  Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of
Musical Instruments.

, ca. 1981
South Korea
Wood, marble, feather, beads, horn;
H. 82 5/8 in. (210 cm), W. 39 3/4 in. (101 cm), D. 26 1/2 in. (67.4 cm), L. of beater 16 1/16 in. (40 cm)
Gift of Korean Cultural Service, 1982 (1982.171.3a,b,c)

Wednesday      9/22  
10:00 am - 2:00 pm - Work of Project

3:00 PM -   Meet at the Cloisters
Thursday         9/23
10:00 am - 5:00 pm - Work of Project

Friday      9/24 10:00 am - 5:00 pm  work on project; complete project.
3:00 pm -  PMC Conference Roon - 613, Finale Celebration! - Presentations. & Refreshments.
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Educational Resources: Online Resources 
                      'Watsonline, the Museum libraries' online catalogue.. 

                      All titles acquired by Thomas J. Watson Library since 1980, 70 percent 
                      of those acquired before 1980, and a significant quantity of materials 
                      from other libraries in the Museum are catalogued in Watsonline.

                      Readers are advised to search Watsonline first and then to check the 
                      individual libraries' card catalogues for materials not found online. Titles 
                      ordered but not yet catalogued are recorded in Watsonline as "on 
                      order" or "in process." Most of the "in process" titles are available for 

                      Watsonline offers help and search tips (type the letter i at the prompt 
                      on the main welcome page).'  (text from cited above). 

                   (Frick Research Catalog Online) 
                   FRESCO contains more than 40,000 records for books, 
                   periodicals, exhibition catalogs, microforms, electronic 
                   resources, and artist files (photoarchive). This number 
                   represents all of the Library materials which have been 
                   cataloged, are “in process,” or “on order” from 1986 to the 
                   present, as well as a growing number of retrospectively 
                   converted items. 


 ADAM, the Art, Design, Architecture & Media Information Gateway
a searchable database of 2546 art Web sites.

 Encyclopedia Mythica: Home

 Rutgers University Libraries: Online Research Center: Research Guides: Art History

WWW Virtual Library: Art History
The History of Art Virtual Library is a collection of links relating to Art History and computer applications in Art History. The site is sponsored by CHArt, the Computers and History of Art Group. We aim to list sites relevant both to people with a general interest in the subject and to students and scholars of Art History

The Art History Research Centre

Art History Resources References 

Art History Pathfinder 

Voice of the Shuttle: Art and Art History Page


ArtLex - visual arts dictionary

Art: The Oxford Dictionary of Art

Gateway to Art History: Research Resources in Art History

 Art Resources

 Web Gallery of Art - Welcome Page

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) database (Architectural database).
architecture.comOnline Catalogue[WebCat] RIBA Library Online Catalogue

Shakespeare Illustrated


WilsonWeb: Login to WilsonWeb 
Art Abstracts, produced by The H.W. Wilson Company, is a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from periodicals published throughout the world.  Periodical coverage includes English-language periodicals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins, as well as periodicals published in French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish. In addition to articles, Art Abstracts indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed periodicals. Abstracting coverage begins with January 1994. The abstracts range from 50 to 300 words and describe the content and scope of the source articles. 

AATA ONLINE - Getty Preservation database.
AATA Online is a comprehensive database of 100,000 abstracts of literature related to the preservation and conservation of material cultural heritage.

 Ministère de la culture - Base Joconde
Depuis le 10 mars 2004, ce catalogue, auparavant réparti en trois bases de données (Joconde pour les collections de beaux-arts et d'arts décoratifs, Archéologie pour les collections d'antiques et archéologiques et Ethnologie pour les collections d'ethnologie européenne et extra-européenne, d'histoire, de sciences et techniques) a été réuni, pour une parfaite accessibilité aux usagers, en une base unique, "Joconde".

Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco 
Artcyclopedia: The Guide to Museum-Quality Art on the Internet
Mother of All Art History Links  

Virtual Ufizzi


 Art Information Research Guide

 MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship


 November 2001, JCMS, No. 7 Journal of Conservation and Museum Studies. (fulltext online)

 A Common Model to Support Interoperable Metadata: Progress report on reconciling metadata requirements  from the Dublin Core and INDECS/DOI Communities

 Archives & Museum Informatics: Publishing  (Presentation).

 Authenticity of Digital Resources: Towards a Statement of Requirements in the Research Process

 Electronic Records Research Working Meeting, May 28-30, 1997: A Report from the Archives Community

 Archives & Museum Informatics: MW99 - Papers

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Watson Library
Ken Soehner, Chief 
Linda Seckelson, Reader Services 
Evelyn Stone, Periodicals 
Shawn Steidinger, Systems/Reference 
Mindy Dubansky, Conservation 

Visit the Met Web site for detailed information 
on libraries and collections

Frick Museum Library

Museum of Modern Art

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