Sunday, August 23, 2009


Welcome to my Independent Study, Fall 2009, blog of the experience.

Here is a brief overview of what this semester has in store for me, as far as this independent study goes. First, at one end, I will be working with Michael Joseph, the Special Collections Librarian of the Alexander Library on the College Avenue Campus of Rutgers University. Meanwhile, at the other end, I will be communicating with my advisor, Stew Mohr, a professor in the MLIS program.

My Understanding of the Work:

I will endeavor to provide much wider access to the artists' books collection at the Alexander Library. This will be done by creating electronic records for finding aids that will be available in the library's online catalog. The electronic records for the artists' books will include high-quality photos and descriptions of the art, and in some cases, the artists may be contacted to provide the descriptions.

The goal is to make more researchers aware of the collection and contribute to the discourse in this area of art. I will be working with rare and unique artist materials, organizing objects, and generally creating greater access to the collection.

What Stew and I Agreed Would Be My Deliverables for the Independent Study Credit:

a. To benefit all involved, I will create a documented process of the work described above. In other words, I will provide step-by-step instructions for handling and photographing the artists' books, as well as creating the finding aids.
b. I will create an annotated bibliography of resources for the project. This will include papers by librarians who have done this type of work as well as documents describing handling procedures and digital photography and archiving, amongst other resources.
c. I will keep an ALA-style referenced blog (this lovely blog) to document my experience on the project. This will be updated on a regular basis (most likely weekly, if not more, depending upon events and how excited I am about a particular moment in the project). Some of the areas to be covered include: addressing the "aboutness" of the descriptions, how to make things findable, metadata and tagging of electronic records/finding aids, the different areas I will draw upon to accomplish my work, and what I learn along the way.

That should pretty much cover it for now. In the meantime, I can't wait to get started!


  1. Hi Deb. Good start.

    Your descriptiion of the deliverables is fine. For documenting the process, work with Michael to determine the most appropriate medium in which to do this. "Simply" putting it into a Word document may not work best. How will be be findable afterwarrds, and so on. For the blog (this blog), try to track down some way to capture it all at the end so you can keep for your files, if you so decide. Download to a simple file, or something like that.

    P.S. I know what RSSs are but don't have a clue as to how to set `em up. Do you know if there's a way to automagically have the updates sent to my e-mail???

  2. Follow-up comment posted 9/11. Any additional progress? How're things going?

  3. Thanks for checking up, Stew. Sorry I haven't emailed earlier. See the new post above for details.


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