I enjoyed reading “Opening Artists’ Books to the User: An Example with Potential Approach” because it finally addressed what has been thus far an aside in the class when discussing artists’ books, e.g, “Of course, when you’re cataloging something like an art book, this is all different.” And then we run into the same old problems. There are no standards. Some have tried this, some that. Many of the most important aspects, to researchers, at least, of an artist’s book – the binding, the typeface – are consigned to a general “notes” field, making them difficult to search. “The ARLIS manual on cataloging artists’ books is an excellent resource, offering practical guidelines for describing artists’ books according to AACR2.” However, no one uses it.
I’m not surprised that no one uses it, having learned in this class of the strange factions and stubbornness in the cataloging world. However, if the ARLIS manual is an “excellent” resource, I would have liked to have seen the sample artist book catalogued according to its suggestions, using its controlled vocabulary.