Standardized Terms for Contemporary Avant-Garde Art
by Leilani Dawson
Standardized vocabularies are of critical importance to scholars choosing and locating research materials, for these descriptors allow sources to be identified. Assigning appropriate access points, such as contributor/creator, date, title, format, genre, and subject terms, is the intellectual task that allows users to meaningfully search, sort, and group the materials of interest to them. This paper describes Franklin Furnace Archives' efforts to create a controlled vocabulary of subject, genre, and format terms for its main collection database, remarks upon the sources from which terms were chosen, and explores how Franklin Furnace's practice of assigning terms relates to some theories on subject access for non-textual works.
Franklin Furnace Archives, Inc.
Franklin Furnace is a small New York City arts organization that has been at the forefront of contemporary site-specific and performance art for the past thirty years. There are multiple ways of tracing its story and its place in larger historical and art-historical contexts1. A look at the art and artists shown would note its initial focus on collecting artists' books and providing a venue for readings thereof, and trace how exhibits of the books grew into site-specific installations at the same time that artists' readings evolved into performance art. A technological narrative would highlight artists' eternal fascination with both new and re-appropriated technologies -- from mimeographs and Xeroxes to camcorders and vending machines to streaming media and electronic sensing devices -- that promise(d) to popularize, democratize, and/or revolutionize art and its making. An art-historical approach would relate Franklin Furnace's artists to previous and contemporaneous influences like the Fluxus, Conceptual, Dada, and Samizdat art movements. Indeed, many of Franklin Furnace's group exhibits have taken this approach. A political history would contextualize Franklin Furnace's change from performance space/gallery to funding organization/research resource both by situating its story within a larger narrative of the transition from the cold war to the culture wars and by noting its role in nurturing the early careers of some of the artists most marginalized by and critical of Reagan-Bush era policies. This narrative would necessarily continue by calling attention to the concomitant backlash faced by both Franklin Furnace and its artists, notably the NEA Four controversies (which led to the defunding of the NEA and the end of NEA grants for individual artists) and Franklin Furnace's harassment from the Giuliani administration (which led to the closing of Franklin Furnace's performance space due to alleged fire code violations)2. An economic narrative might also note the continual New York City search for affordable space as money follows art and gentrifies neighborhoods beyond the budgets of artists and arts organizations. Each of these strands makes Franklin Furnace what it is now.
Over the years, Franklin Furnace has maintained archival records documenting its activities. Today the curation of these archives, along with continued grants for new performance and digital art, constitute Franklin Furnace's main activities in pursuit of its goal to 'make the world safe for avant-garde art'3. While the organization carefully maintained its paper files in the 1970s and 1980s, the active description and cataloging of these files as archives began in earnest in the late 1990s, when Franklin Furnace adopted a set of relational databases to enhance intellectual and physical control over the collections. Since then, the organization has been working steadily to improve both the physical environment of the paper records and their electronic descriptions in the databases. In 2004 Franklin Furnace's Senior Archivist, Michael Katchen, worked with the Conceptual and Intermedia Arts Online (CIAO)4 consortium to create a controlled vocabulary for ephemeral and time based art; that summer Franklin Furnace implemented a pilot run of the vocabulary project. For this pilot, a recently-graduated MLIS student intern assigned literal subject, broader content, and format/genre terms to a select group of approximately 110 Franklin Furnace events that represented each major type of show in its history: artists' book exhibitions, artists' readings, performance art, installations, historical and international group retrospectives, outreach to school children, netcasts, and net.art5. With the successful completion of the pilot, the full vocabulary project will now create a thesaurus from which to assign terms to all of Franklin Furnace's collection of nearly 1400 events. It is hoped that assigning controlled subject and format terms to its event records will facilitate its larger goal of enhancing scholarly access to such materials, both at Franklin Furnace and in other similar artists' spaces. Indeed, eventually, Franklin Furnace will expand these cataloguing efforts and tools to other arts organizations through its memberships in consortia like CIAO, and will make the results from all participants available to the public online.
For Franklin Furnace's collection of documentation of performance, installation, and digital art events, the assignment of subject and form descriptors comprises one of the most difficult portions of the cataloguing task. By their very nature, Franklin Furnace's art events often deal with matters that do not fit neatly into assigned subject headings. They are born from politicized contexts wherein words and their specific shades of meaning matter immensely. They are ephemeral, conceptual, intermedia, multi-media, or created on media so new that they are not yet classified. Like other metaphoric and metonymic art, they deal with multiple topics at different levels. At times they deliberately defy all description. In order to describe such events, Franklin Furnace relies heavily on contemporaneous documentation in forms such as press releases and artist statements, slides and video taken during the show, programs and other souvenirs, and reviews. The artists' own words are especially privileged. Overall, the work involves performing hands-on examinations of these primary and secondary materials from the organization's extensive collection of event documentation, reviewing or writing terse descriptions of events, determining appropriate subject and descriptive terms from existing controlled vocabularies and/or creating or modifying terms as necessary, maintaining the in-house thesaurus with definitions, sources, and notes about the terms that Franklin Furnace uses to describe the events (as well as their relations to other terms), entering definitions and citations into the Event and Term databases6, preparing communications with other members of the CIAO consortium's vocabulary committee, and suggesting changes to the database that would improve usability. The heart of this enterprise, the database of literal subject, event format, and broader topical content descriptors, is woven together from a variety of sources. For proper names this includes the Getty's Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)7 and Union List of Artists' Names (ULAN)8, and the Library of Congress Name Authority Files (LCNAF)9. Other terms come from the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)10, The Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), and controlled vocabularies from fellow cutting edge arts and new media associations: rhizome.org11, the V2 Organization12, and the Daniel Langlois Foundation13. At times, if a term is not found in any of these sources or if existing usage is found to be obsolete or incorrect, Franklin Furnace specifies its own usage. In cases where Franklin Furnace specifies a new term or its own usage for an existing term, it justifies its use of the term and notes citations showing this usage. All such terms are discussed with CIAO consortium members, and eventually submitted to the Getty for inclusion in the AAT. The need for this additional specification may be demonstrated with three examples, one each for outdated, incorrect, and non-existent terms: One of Franklin Furnace's performance art events dealt with personal ads. While the LCSH includes 'personals' as a term, its citations highlight the following: "agony column (a newspaper column of person advertisements relating esp. to lost objects, missing relatives or friends, and marriage separations)"14. This artist's intended use of 'personals,' however, follows the more contemporary meaning of "classified ads placed in order to find partners for relationships, sex, hobbies, etc.". A second example comes from Franklin Furnace's various exhibitions of mail art. The AAT defines 'mail art' as "works that include the act of sending materials through a postal or other delivery system; may be applied to the materials themselves"15. This is incorrect: As Franklin Furnace has noted, mail art objects must be cancelled by the postal system; "other delivery systems" could mean hand delivery, Fed Ex, art shipper, bicycle messenger, email, and so on, and make the term meaningless. Finally, some of Franklin Furnace's events deal with the former (communist) Yugoslavia. A TGN search for ' Yugoslavia' only brings up the term as another name for the current federation of Serbia and Montenegro16. Indeed, it lists each of the former Yugoslav republics individually. Nevertheless, this current political reality does not negate the subject of Franklin Furnace's events. In this case, it was necessary to create the term ' Yugoslavia (former nation / state)', modeled after the TGN's term for the former Soviet Union: ' Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (former nation / state / empire) '17.
Comparison of Sources
Which authorities would be used as sources for Franklin Furnace's thesaurus was determined by the familiarity the intern, Michael Katchen, and the other members of CIAO's vocabulary committee had with them, the relevance consortium members felt they held to their collections, and the degree to which each was easily and freely available to all members of the consortium. As such, there are both notable overlaps and points of disjunction with commonly cited authorities for more traditional visual arts. For example, Linda McRae18 lists several authorities used for image subject access by participants in the VISION project. The AAT, LCSH, TGN, ULAN, and LCNAF were all authorities noted by McRae that Franklin Furnace used as sources, but McRae also lists the Library of Congress' Thesaurus of Graphic Materials (TGM), the ICONCLASS system, and Chenhall's Revised Nomenclature, none of which are in use at Franklin Furnace (McRae 4). This can be related to the fact that Franklin Furnace views its archives not mainly as collections of physical files, but as documentation for its collections of past events. These events are shows (either performances or exhibitions) that are characterized by duration and series of actions as much as they are by textual and/or visual imagery19. Indeed, where text or other visuals do occur, they are likely to be in found in dynamic sequences that unfold over time, such as the pages in a book, live sounds, and performed actions. Since the events, not their documentation, are seen as the main collection, the database does not so much catalogue the records left behind as it catalogues the events themselves. With this in mind, it is not entirely surprising that among the authorities Franklin Furnace did not use as sources were those more narrowly focused on the classification of two-dimensional visual images, namely ICONCLASS and TGM. Chenhall's Nomenclature, like the AAT, is designed to categorize objects. Nevertheless, the AAT has a broader scope than the Nomenclature, covering not only man-made objects and built works but also types of people, natural and artificial processes, periods and styles, modes of information transmission (as distinct from the document genres that are conveyed through them), and associated theoretical and practical concepts.
Unfortunately, while the AAT and the LCSH are the most useful of the authorities used at Franklin Furnace, they come with problems. Among these is the method by which they ascribe validity to their terms, namely through literary warrant. As Joan Benedetti20 notes in regards to the AAT, literary warrant is based on the usage of scholars in fields related to the terms in question, not on either popular or artistic usage. Being tools created by and for a specific group (in this case academics), a certain degree of provincialism is understandable. Yet it is problematic; the hierarchy of value given to different forms of knowledge thus implied privileges the academy over all other communities, including the community of practitioners of the art. Benedetti argues that the elitist implementation of literary warrant leads to inaccuracies and irrelevancy in the AAT21, especially in areas where the terms and/or topic in question are fluid and controversial. Moreover, she notes that these sorts of value judgments have served to marginalize women artists and artists of color. She concludes that the AAT needs to change its terminology because words are powerful ... they reflect people's relative positions of power, their points of view, their ideas, and their feelings. ... Carelessly used words can hurt people's feelings and prevent them from participating constructively in society or lead to self-destructive behavior. The inaccurate use of words is not only counter-productive, it can damage cultural communities, which hurts us all indirectly.
Here Benedetti is specifically referring to the marginalization of folk/outsider/self-taught artists and art, but the same holds true for Franklin Furnace's art and artists. Many have come from progressive, radical, and/or utopian traditions where the personal is political and people need to live the changes they wish to see enacted in the world. In accordance with this spirit, Franklin Furnace has made the explicitly political decision that it will not reproduce the biases of standard authorities. Moreover, when the terms artists and their communities use diverge from scholarly usage, it will privilege the former, giving voice to its key constituency, the artists who, in many cases, have been marginalized by academic art-historical institutions.
Subject Terminology Theory and Practice
Despite a long history of artful application in the realm of (certain kinds of) text, subject terminology theory has repeatedly been shown to be woefully inadequate for the task of creating subject access to non-textual works. Erwin Panofsky's work of the 1960s and Sara Shatford-Layne's work of the 980s and 1990s are especially notable for forging ahead with specific theories of image subject analysis. Still, Franklin Furnace's collections are no more visual than they are textual. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, in some ways the item being catalogued is not truly an object at all. Therefore some examination of the nature of the collections is in order.
Like many archival collections, Franklin Furnace's physical files hold diverse types of material documenting various processes and relationships. Its archives hold visual, textual, and machine-readable materials documenting events: press releases and programs; artists' statements and reports on the work; slides and drawings; audio, video, and film in both analog and digital formats; correspondence; exhibit catalogues and checklists; contracts; souvenirs and other objects used or distributed during events; budgets and proposals; receipts and invoices; updates on artists, and more. But the purpose of the Event Database is not to document this material; Franklin Furnace's databases are not a collection management system for its archival holdings. Rather, the databases serve the same function as the archival collections; they both document the events they recall. True to the organization's history as an artists' space, Franklin Furnace's collection management system, like those of mainstream museums', documents its art. Nevertheless, unlike many museums' collections of physical artworks that one can go into galleries or storerooms and examine, Franklin Furnace's artworks exist mainly in the memories of those who were there at the time. So the archival traces of these events are crucial; as Darlene Tong22 notes "conceptually-oriented, time-based works such as performance and sculptural actions are ephemeral by nature and their documentation through photos, text, and artists' statements become critical for understanding" (p. 26). Nevertheless, the archives are not the collections described and catalogued in the main database23.
The fact that the item being catalogued is not so much the traditional 'object in hand' as it is an 'event in mind' complicates the process of assigning access terms24. According to Layna White25, library and museum cataloguers base subject descriptions on "the objects in hand or within sight, their knowledge of makers and object use, and suggestions made by scholars and commentators." Without the object, particular care must be taken with the other two strategies. The questions White raises regarding whom the descriptions are being written for, how detailed they should be, and what searchers look for in subject terms are especially complicated when one can not simply go look at the object for a definitive answer; these uncertainties reinforce Franklin Furnace's dedication to the words of the artists. Because it is "on a mission to make the world safe for avant-garde art"26 and not to make avant-garde art safe for the world, ensuring that authorized vocabularies fit Franklin Furnace's events is seen as preferable to twisting an artist's words regarding an event for the sake of assigning only authorized terms.
Event-level description also has noticeable effect on cataloguing practice in the area of form, media, and genre terms. Again, the format/media/genre being documented in the database (and thus the terms used in the controlled vocabulary) reflect those used in the artworks, not those in the physical holdings. Each event is given both a general term (exhibition, installation, performance, net.art) describing its overall genre and specific terms describing particular media involved or components of the work (e.g. film, body art, sculpture, artists' books, music, online chat group, etc.). These terms sometimes overlap with or relate directly to literal subject terms chosen for the events. This not-quite redundancy causes more difficulty in some cases than in others. For example, for Julie Laffin's work Variable States of D(u)ress, part of which entails her wearing and struggling to walk along the street in a dress with a 200-foot long train, few logical inconsistencies arise from the pairing of the AAT term 'costume' (for items of clothing) and the LCSH term 'wearable art' (for works about art that is worn). This example compares favorably to that provided by the various terms for works made with and/or regarding moving images. Here, terms for academic disciplines, physical formats, and intellectual genres are distinguished in ways that are inaccurate as well as contrary to the usage of Franklin Furnace artists. The AAT uses the terms 'film (performing arts)' and 'motion pictures (visual works)':
Film (performing arts): Refers to the art and form of expression of filmmaking and motion pictures, which are produced in the media of film or videotape, on which a series of pictures are presented to the eye in such rapid succession as to give the illusion of natural movement. It may also refer to similar art created in digital media. The art form is typically characterized by conveying drama, evoking emotion, and utilizing a complex array of contributions from other performing and visual arts, combined with numerous technical skills. It proliferated enormously throughout the 20th century and is held to be unequaled among other art forms in popularity and influence. For the actual works created on film, use "motion pictures (information artifacts)".27
Motion Pictures (visual works): Use for works presented in the form of a series of pictures carried on photographic film or video tape, presented to the eye in such rapid succession as to give the illusion of natural movement. For the study and practice of filmmaking and motion pictures as an art and form of expression, use "film (performing arts)."28
Each of these usages is inaccurate. As the phrase "actual works created on film" implies, film is a physical medium on which moving images may be carried, parallel in this regard to both analog and digital video. The AAT uses the term in the sense of 'film studies', but with the rise of moving images shot directly on (digital) video, even this is becoming increasingly imprecise. The use of motion pictures as an intellectual genre covering works made on both film and video would be less problematic were not for the fact that the AAT treats the two media unevenly, creating problems when one wishes to specify one or the other. The AAT includes four different types of terms for video: 'video' for the performing arts discipline (parallel to 'film'), 'video art' for the time-based art genre, 'video recordings' for the genre of information artifact by physical form, and 'videotapes', 'videodiscs', etc. for the various physical media on/with which the first two are stored/created.29 While the AAT includes umbrella terms such as 'audiovisual materials', there are no film parallels to 'videotapes' (i.e. film reel as artifact).30 This, combined with the tendency of Franklin Furnace artists to either gloss over these distinctions or to engage in deliberate polysemy, has lead Franklin Furnace to use 'film' and 'video' not only as media format terms, but also as genre and discipline terms. These usages may change: In terms of film, Franklin Furnace's peer organization rhizome.org uses 'film' for the medium and 'cinema' for the academic discipline, while the V2 Organization and the Langlois Foundation use 'cinema', but not 'film', 'moving images', or 'motion pictures'. The Langlois Foundation includes 'film installation' as a term for artworks using film images. It also uses 'video installation' in a similar manner, while the rhizome and V2 vocabularies use simply 'video', in line with Franklin Furnace's usage. Based on the examples of its peers, Franklin Furnace may eventually split 'film' into 'film' and 'cinema.'
The split between 'example of' and 'regarding' hinted at in the distinction between media and genre terms on the one hand and discipline terms on the other is but one prism with which to refract the spectrum of subject terminology. Panofsky and Shatford-Layne are widely cited in the literature on subject access for images for their explications of the differing levels of information conveyed by visual imagery. As noted by Angela Giral31, Layna White, and Susannah Benedetti32 et al., Panofsky split the topics of visual images into pre-iconography (common imagery that can be identified by anyone with everyday experience in a culture), iconography (imagery requiring some specific historical and/or cultural knowledge), and iconology (images that require significant historical and/or cultural contextualization). Shatford-Layne's work built upon these layers of meaning with the conceptual distinction between what an image is 'of' and what it is 'about'. Giral, in particular, synthesizes these two approaches by noting that Shatford-Layne's 'of' and 'about' can each apply to both 'pre-iconographical' and 'iconographical' imagery (239-240). So, a work like Karen Finley's A Woman's Life Isn't Worth Much can be analyzed on several levels:
|Pre-iconography “primary or natural subject matter||Iconography “secondary or conventional matter||Iconology “intrinsic meaning of content or interpretation|
|Of||Episodes such as a woman’s reaction to being raped by her doctor, and another woman’s death due to an illegal abortion.||Karen Finley’s stories of the specific rapes and illegal abortions that she and her relatives have survived (or not).||-----|
|About||Sexual violation and victimization, the rage and vulnerability of women.||Feminism, the patriarchal nature of US society, the need for the continuation of Roe v. Wade.||The culture wars, the struggle for artistic free speech (and the legislative hostility thereto) during the era of the NEA Four.|
Franklin Furnace's distinction between 'literal subject' terms and 'content' terms reflects Shatford-Layne or Panofsky's work: in the above table, literal subject terms are underlined, and content terms are italicized. Depending on the type of show involved, the literal subject terms are used for pre-iconographical and/or iconographical 'ofness', while content terms are used for iconographical and/or iconological 'aboutness'. For instance, an installation that used hand-beaded replications of clothing and kitchenware as a metaphor for the endless toil of women's work included 'socks' and 'underwear' as literal subject terms and 'women's work' and 'feminism' as content terms.
Further Questions and Conclusion(s)
In order to provide relevant and precise controlled vocabulary access to non-textual works, the complications of subject access for such work must be addressed in sites ranging from academic libraries to small arts organizations to mainstream museums to national union catalogues of works. Unfortunately, there are larger access problems in contemporary arts archives beyond simple information retrieval (of which subject access is but one part). As Tong notes, this art is especially affected by its inherent ephemerality and the technological obsolescence of the media and formats used to document it (Tong 22). Amongst Franklin Furnace's holdings are boxes of unplayable video and audio media and unreadable CDs. Moreover, obsolescence affects not only the documentation, but also the works themselves. This is most obvious in the case of net.art, which is subject to all of the difficulties of electronic records, but even curators of physical works must contemplate strategies of conservation, migration, and emulation: some of the neon tubes that Don Flavin specified in his light art are no longer manufactured; since each type of tube produced light of a unique spectrum and intensity, his works involving those pieces can now only be approximated, not recreated. Granting that using a modern approximation is not ideal, is the substitution adequate or impermissible? This points to more general problems in preserving and archiving variable media art. Is the recreation / re-presentation of a piece that specifically mandated the use of objects collected onsite more authentic if it uses those original objects (if they are available) or if it uses objects gathered at the new site? Certain Fluxus works were presented as multiple sets of cards with instructions; are these cards art, are the instructions on them art, or does the art only happen when the instructions are acted out? Moreover the cards in the sets need not have had any specific order, and in some cases artists would create new instructions when they ran out of a particular card. In reproducing these pieces, what is the/an original? Can the medium here be separated from the message; must the instructions come on the original cards, or is the re-enactment of the original instructions more important than their (original) physical carriers? Can the artists add new instructions at any time, or is there a cutoff point? Is any enactment of any set of instructions valid? As these questions imply, improved subject access is only one front on which to address the problems of identifying and distinguishing works of art.
Indeed, it seems that fairly soon a mix of search approaches - of which standardized terms will be but one - will supercede current information retrieval paradigms. Keyword searching, cross and multi-modal searching33, and direct similarity searching of non-textual resources will become increasingly sophisticated and popular in the near future. The most basic of these approaches, keyword searching, is already a fairly mature technology, as evidenced by the popularity of Google. To this end, in addition to the vocabulary project that allows scholars to search the database according to controlled terms, Franklin Furnace is also putting the texts of its calendars, press releases, and other publications online. This will allow scholars to search the full text of these documents in a Google-like manner, by whatever keywords they desire. The use of keywords and subject terms will complement each other: For example, several Franklin Furnace events have dealt with the tensions between originality and reproduction in multiple art. Several terms related to these concepts (including 'originality', 'multiples', 'reproductions', 'authorship', 'creative processes', 'copies', and 'photocopies'), as well as art movements and genres that touched on or incorporate these issues ('Fluxus', 'mail art', 'Conceptual', etc.) are currently part of Franklin Furnace's terms database. Once it goes live, a researcher entering these authorized terms will thus be able to find events catalogued under these headings. But other researchers may come to Franklin Furnace's archives without knowledge of the institution's controlled vocabulary, or with queries that do not quite match the terms. For these researchers, full-text keyword searching of the archive's publications will be a great boon. For example, a researcher may search for 'xerox' or 'knock-off' - neither of which are vocabulary terms - and come up with the press release for The Copycat Show: An Exhibition of Photocopy Art or In The Flow: Alternate Authoring Strategies, respectively.
All in all, we can be cautiously optimistic about the thesaurus Franklin Furnace is building. Deviation from authorized vocabularies will cause some difficulties until new paradigms are adopted. Nevertheless, by working collaboratively on research and publication and submitting their results to standardizing bodies, members of cutting-edge consortia like CIAO have the chance to bring literary warrant to their side; the work will form the basis for authorized terminology for new media art. In addition, to some extent any and all improvements in access will benefit Franklin Furnace's artists. The increases in visibility and access that will result from bringing this art to the attention of larger academic and scholarly communities will also raise the chances of such works being preserved and archived in the future, allowing artists to be more informed of their histories and more aware of similar movements in other times and places. Ultimately, the world will be a little safer for avant-garde art.
Benedetti, Joan. "Words, Words, Words: Folk Art Terminology - Why It (Still) Matters". Art Documentation 19 no 1 (2000), pp 14-21.
Benedetti, Susannah, Annie Wu, and Sherman Hayes. "Art in a Medium-Sized University Library: Acquisition, Cataloging, and Access Issues: Challenges and Opportunities". Library Resources & Technical Services 48 no 2 (2004), pp 144-154.
Giral, Angela. "At the Confluence of Three Traditions: Architectural Drawings at the Avery Library". Library Trends 37 no 2 (1988), pp 232-242.
McRae, Linda. "Indexing Images for Subject Access: Controlled Vocabularies in the VISION Project". Art Documentation 19 no 2 (2000), pp 4-9.
Tong, Darlene. "Artists' Archives: Preserving the Documentation and Collections of an Artist Organization". Art Libraries Journal 27 no 2 (2002), pp 22-27.
White, Layna. "Interpretation and Representation: The Who, Why, What, and How of Subject Access in Museums". Art Documentation 21 no 1 (2002), pp. 21-22.
1. See " echo $absolute?>/about/institutional_history/timeline.php" for yet another view.
5. Franklin Furnace uses ‘netcast’ for art that is broadcast over the net, but which does not depend on it. For art that depends on the real-time interactivity and/or randomness of the Internet (or other computer network), it uses "net.art". These terms describe partially overlapping sets of works. Franklin Furnace’s events have included internet-dependent art that did not include net broadcast as well as Internet broadcasts that were not dependent on the specific mode of transmission—they could have gone over television; some Franklin Furnace events are both.
6. In many cases, terms chosen from authorities such as the Getty’s and the Library of Congress’s tools include information such as definition, scope notes, and citations; but not always.
9. http://authorities.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First; this page allows one to search a number of Library of Congress Authorities, including both the LCNAF and the Library of Congress Subject Headings.
14. Go to http://authorities.loc.gov/ and search the subject authority headings for ‘personals’; click on the ‘authorized heading’ button, and then on the ‘personals’ link to get to the page showing LCSH’s sources for the term.
18. The authors of the works cited are all librarians; Linda McRae’s scholarly focus is on cataloging and describing visual works, and one of the co-authors of Cataloguing Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images ( American Library Association, 2006).
19. This is especially true for the works of artists like Tehching (Sam) Hsieh, known for performances in which he commits himself to following or refraining from specific courses of action over periods of an entire year or longer.
20. Joan Benedetti was a consultant for the AAT and is editor of the forthcoming Art Museum Libraries and Librarianship, to be published spring 2007 by Scarecrow Press.
21.Bias in the LCSH has long been a point of contention in the library world; see almost anything by Sanford Berman or regarding his crusading efforts to update the LCSH for more.
22. Darlene Tong writes on archiving new media and multiculturalism in the arts and co-author of Performance Anthology: Source Book for a Decade of California Performance Art ( Contemporary Arts Press, 1980).
23. Several of the databases related to the Event database do catalogue portions of the physical archives, namely audio recordings, press listings and reviews, still images, and moving images. But the three types of subject access terms—literal subject, format/genre, and broad content—that Franklin Furnace assigns refer to and are listed on the main event record, not the records for those associated documents.
24. Franklin Furnace’s adoption of event-level description can be seen as in line with IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations)’s adoption of the FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) Reference Model, which includes description at the abstract levels of ‘work’, ‘expression’, and ‘manifestation’ as well as at the ‘item’ level. See the FRBR working group’s final report at http://www.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr.htm
25. Layna White has been a member of advisory groups and steering committees for the Museums and the Online Archives Collaboration (MOAC), Cataloguing Cultural Objects (CCO), and the RLG Cultural Materials Alliance.
27. http://www.getty.edu/vow/AATFullDisplay?find=film&logic=AND¬e=&english=N&prev_page=1&subjectid=300054141 Note that in 2004, the explanatory text cited "motion pictures (visual works)" as the term for "actual works on film". As of January 2007, the ‘film’ entry now references "motion pictures (information artifacts)", but the corresponding AAT term remains "motion pictures (visual works)".
30. Indeed, in the information artifact by form hierarchy, ‘filmstrip’ is even listed as a type of video recording: http://www.getty.edu/vow/AATHierarchy?find=filmstrip&logic=AND¬e=&subjectid=300137960
31. Angela Giral was the long-time head of Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library.
32. Susannah Benedetti researches the cataloging and classification of film and other special format materials.