The Newly Available Online Core List of Architecture Resources (AASL)

ARLIS/NA Collection Development SIG Blog

The Newly Available Online Core List of Architecture Resources / by Barbara Opar

Want to check your library collection for core reference works? Not familiar with the discipline and need to quickly see what resources are considered basic to the field? The Association of Architecture School Librarians has made freely available in an online format such a list of core architecture resources. The list can be accessed at

AASL members previously compiled a core list of architecture periodicals and will be revising it soon. This new list provides an additional aid to librarians, especially those less familiar with architectural librarianship.

Several years ago, Kathy Edwards (Clemson University), Janine Henri (University of California, Los Angeles), Barbara Opar (Syracuse University), and Amy Trendler (Ball State University) took the initiative to begin developing a core reference list for architecture based on discussion which took place at the AASL annual meeting. The AASL…

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ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Fall 2014 Meeting: October 3 at Skidmore College

ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Fall 2014 Meeting
Friday, October 3, 2014 at Skidmore College
Hosted by Yvette Cortes

ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Fall 2014 Registration Form

9:00 – 9:45: Registration and coffee/Silent Auction
Payne Room, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery

10:00 – 11:00: Curator’s tour: “I Was a Double,” Ian Berry, Dayton Director, Tang Museum Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery

11:00 – 11:45: Chapter Business meeting
Payne Room, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery

11:45 – 12:15: Silent Auction Bidding
Payne Room, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery

12:15 – 1:15: Lunch at the Test Kitchen, Murray-Aikins Dining Hall

1:30 – 2:30: “The Art and Science of Creating Sustainable Digital Collections”, presented by David Seiler, Director of Visual Resources and Kathryn Frederick, Head of Digital and Collection Services
Lucy Scribner Library, Pohndorff Room (Special Collections), 3rd floor

2:30 – 4:00: “Bibliocraft: Featuring the Scribner Library’s Collections”, presented by Jessica Pigza, Assistant Curator of Rare Books at New York Public Library, will be speaking about her newest book Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects. You’ll have an opportunity to do a craft workshop using resources from the Scribner Library’s collections as inspiration.
Lucy Scribner Library, Pohndorff Room (Special Collections), 3rd floor

For more info on Saratoga Springs, see:

City Guide: Saratoga Springs, Design*Sponge

Skip the Horse Races in Saratoga Springs, New York magazine

Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a Perennial Favorite, Boston Globe

Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau

Maps & Directions:


2014 ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Silent Auction

We are now accepting donations for the 2014 ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Silent Auction!

When: The Silent Auction will take place during the ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Fall Meeting on Friday, October 3 at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

What: Whatever you want to donate, i.e. a handcrafted item, jewelry, a photographic print, a painting, a bottle of wine, a beautiful book, specialty teas or candles, fall bulbs!, seed packets. Whatever brings you joy to give or receive.

What will the monies raised be used for: To support student travel awards and/or professional development scholarships.

How: Fill out the ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Donation Form, scan it, and send it to Rose Orcutt or Barbara Opar at the address below. You may deliver your contribution(s) in person when you attend the fall meeting. You are also welcome to send your contribution ahead of time to one of the organizers (please contact via e-mail in advance) who will make certain that your item is delivered to the site and displayed in the most advantageous manner possible.
Keep in mind: Some costs related to auction donations are tax deductible! (so save your receipts).

Questions? Please contact the Silent Auction Planning Committee:

Rose Orcutt: or
Barbara Opar:

Last year’s Silent Auction was a success, we made $350! Here’s to another successful year!

Cornell’s Fine Arts Library: The Gift and the Architect

Mui Ho. Photo: Bill Hocker.
Mui Ho. Photo: Bill Hocker

Martha Walker, Architecture Librarian at Cornell University’s Fine Arts Library recently sent this announcement about a monetary gift to support the expansion of Cornell’s Fine Arts Library. The project is expected to be completed in (roughly) two years.  Over the next few months Cornell librarians will share additional posts about progress on the project, including information on the selection of the architect, the design process, managing a library operations during a major construction project, and, images pre- and post- occupancy.

Here is the first story in this sequence, which is reprinted with permission of The Communications Department at Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning:

Architect Mui Ho has made a $6 million gift commitment to overhaul and expand the Fine Arts Library (FAL) at Cornell University. Scheduled for completion in 2016, the library will hold one of the country’s most distinguished academic art and architecture collections in state-of-the-art, revamped facilities on the top two floors of Rand Hall, a 1912 campus icon.“The FAL is absolutely essential to all students and scholars who work with visual material,” said Kent Kleinman, AAP dean. He foresees a luminescent, contemporary research center housing 250,000 volumes, ample digital resources, and generous study spaces. “It will be a light-filled, 21st century library, glowing from behind the large industrial windows of Rand Hall — a perfect metaphor for conserving the old while erecting the new,” said Kleinman.

“It is critical that Cornell keeps this world-class collection in a good environment,” said Ho. “These books are important for students in architecture, arts, history, and other disciplines on the Cornell campus. Most images found within this collection are not readily available on the internet, and students, researchers, and teachers need to use these books intensely.”

A retired design faculty member from the University of California, Berkeley, Ho emphasized that accessing information is not only a mental act but a tactile and visual experience as well. “The digital age changes how students research their information,” she said. “The physical handling of materials at a real scale and seeing the true color as intended is important — but digital representations will enable broader archiving and distribution of the important work of our alumni and faculty. As technology changes, the way the work is represented will, too.”

Anne Kenney, the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian, noted a “groundswell of academic interest” in visual materials at Cornell and said that the recent hiring of a visual resource librarian will strongly complement the resources of the new library.

“The new FAL will be poised to compete with the very best art and architecture libraries in the world,” Kenney said. “Having a library that can bridge the physical/digital divide — offering cutting-edge services and deep research collections in tandem — will make the FAL one of the major jewels in the Cornell University Library crown and will serve to draw the best faculty and students to this amazing university on the hill.”


The Artist & The Librarian: Randi Millman-Brown


Randi Millman-Brown, Visual Resources Curator at Ithaca College, was recently featured on The Artist & the Librarian.

“I am a Visual Resources Curator at Ithaca College and a photographer. I currently am working on a series of photographs made from scanned old and moldy 35mm slides from the Ithaca College slide collection. These images show the effect of mold and the deterioration of the dye layers in slides formerly used in art history lectures.

I also maintain a blog about color, as well as the Visual Resources Center’s website and Facebook page!”

You can read the full article on The Artist & the Librarian Tumblr page:

The Artist and The Librarian project is ongoing. If anyone is interested in participating and is both an artist and a librarian, send an email to Sarah Burris at: for more details.

News from the ARLIS/NA Chapters Liaison

pic-sherman_cropHello Upstate New York Chapter Members!

I am now half way through my two-year term, as   Chapters Liaison on the ARLIS/NA Executive Board. I’ve enjoyed working with all 17 chapters and I look forward to working with you until the 2015 annual conference in Forth Worth, TX.

At the 2014 annual conference in Washington D.C., the Executive Board had pre- and post-conference meetings and during the conference the Chapter Chairs and I met for a roundtable meeting. I wanted to share few highlights with you:


Washington D.C. Conference: It was a record-breaking success (surpassing the success of the 2013 Pasadena conference)! We welcomed 791 registrants, the largest ARLIS/NA conference to date. The fundraising efforts totaled $77,000. We greatly appreciate the support of the sponsors and the 76 vendors.

Future Conferences: I look forward to seeing you in Fort Worth, TX from March 19-23, 2015. We will meet in Seattle, WA in 2016 for the 3rd joint conference with the Visual Resources Association (VRA). The Executive Board is working with prospective host chapters to select a 2017 location.

Virtual Conference: There will be four taped sessions from the D.C. Conference available to members and non-members through our new learning software. Watch ARLIS-L for more details.

Chapter Chairs Roundtable

The chapter chairs will begin to meet virtually every quarter. These virtual meetings will be a venue for chapter chairs to discuss similar topics and brainstorm new ideas. The meetings will also include key members from the Society who will discuss relevant chapter related topics such as development, diversity, and ARLIS/NA’s Strategic Plan. In addition, to these virtual meetings, we will have the in-person meeting at the conference and have discussions on the chapters officers listserv.

Strategic Plan 2011-2015

I would like to remind you that chapter activities should align with ARLIS/NA’s Strategic Plan. I recommend that all chapter members familiarize themselves with the plan, which is available here. []

ARLIS/NA Website (AWS)
I hope you have had the chance to peruse the newly-designed website. Be sure to log in to the website with your member username and password to see all member-only information. The website no longer has a dedicated member’s page, instead member-only information can appear on any page within the website.
The Executive Board will continue to have our monthly phone meetings and we will gather in-person in New York for the mid-year Executive Board meeting on August 14-15, 2014. As usual, with every meeting we will have a lot to discuss toward the advancement of ARLIS/NA. I will keep you posted!

If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

Wishing you all the best,

Sarah Sherman
ARLIS/NA Executive Board, Chapters Liaison
Reference Librarian
Getty Research Institute

Report from the ARLIS/NA Upstate Travel Award Winner

A few months before the ARLIS/NA conference I received a wonderful surprise in the mail: a congratulations card and a travel award from the Upstate NY chapter!

It was so exciting to become a travel award recipient, kind of like receiving my first merit badge on my librarian sash. I felt totally supported as someone new to the field and this thread of encouragement and support continued throughout the whole conference experience.

My last semester of Library School is drawing to a close and I can’t help but feel a slight twinge uncertainty…while I am absolutely thrilled to graduate there is still the looming sense of “what will come next?” How will classroom conversations translate into the real world? How long will it take to find a library job? What exactly should I put on my business card? Attending the ARLIS conference was so heartening. It was like a balm for all of my pre-graduation anxieties, it made me feel excited and eager to really dive into the profession!

If you asked me to name the ONE most valuable aspect of the event, I would be hard pressed to make a decision. Inspiring conversations between sessions, the welcoming vibe at the reception and the social events, the fascinating panels… so many aspects of the conference seemed to re-affirm my confidence in the path I’ve been taking toward my degree. I really felt like I was in good company at ARLIS!

ARLIS members mingle in the Grand Hall of the Library of Congress

One of the highlights was the reception in the Grand Hall at the Library of Congress. Roaming the magnificent reading room and exploring the card catalog, I realized: “these are totally my people!” It was so meaningful to be able to share in a collective excitement and awe over the gorgeous architecture and the magnitude of the “mothership” of libraries.

Exploring the Card Catalog
Exploring the Card Catalog

Another major highlight occurred earlier in the week when I kicked off the conference by guiding a workshop entitled “Bookings: Making spaces for Makerspaces.” This workshop was a collaboration with various members of the Women’s Studio Workshop community, including the founders who are well versed in many technical aspects of book binding and book arts (with over 200 published artists’ books in the WSW catalog).

The workshop began with an overview of the makerspace movement, we reviewed a handful of unique spaces and library projects to serve as models. We also discussed the ways that WSW’s goals align with library makerspaces to provide resources and tools for creative expression and exploration. After this discussion we moved into some hands-on bookbinding fun.

Founders Ann Kalmbach & Tatana Kellner share a selection of Artists’ Books published at WSW

While many of our workshop guests had never bound a book before, a few had some prior experience. Varying levels of background experience aside, I hope every participant came away from the workshop inspired to keep making books and motivated to engage their local artist communities while designing library programming. I for one came away from the whole conference with my wheels spinning and I adamantly appreciate the opportunity to share and learn from the ARLIS membership!

-Sandra Brown, MSIS candidate at SUNY Albany