FAQ for web-archiving pilot project with Artist Files Special Interest Group and Archive-It.

What is the Artist Files Special Interest Group?

The Artist Files Special Interest Group https://www.arlisna.org/organization/sigs is a group of Art Librarians and Archivists who are members of the Art Libraries Society of North America https://www.arlisna.org/. The Special Interest Group is interested in the preservation, promotion and access-ability of Artist Files and to that end have embarked on a few projects: First the Artist Files Revealed Directory established in 2007 and now a web-archiving initiative.

What is web-archiving and why is web-archiving necessary?

Web-archiving is the process of capturing parts of the world-wide-web for preservation and long-term access for future researchers. In the past, ephemeral printed information was collected and gathered by libraries and archives in vertical file collections. Today, this information is placed on the internet, which is no longer a permanent format.

What is the Artist Files Archive-It Pilot Project?

The goal of this pilot-project with the Internet Archive’s Archive-It service is to develop and test the workflows, methodology, and practice of creating collections of ephemeral information related to a focused group of artists, galleries, exhibition histories, artists’ information, exhibition announcements, reproductions, and born-digital materials, which used to traditionally be gathered in print-format vertical files.

How do you make the website selections?

Members of the Special Interest Group whose expertise includes collecting and documenting vertical files made the selections based on their respective regions in the US: Mid-Atlantic; West Coast; and Northeast. Artists and institutions were selected based on range and variety of work represented. We welcome suggestions from researchers, scholars, and others interested in preserving artist related web material.

How often are the websites archived?


How do you know what the changes are?

Each month, the Wayback Machine https://archive.org/web/ allows researchers to see the monthly iteration of the saved site so researchers may monitor and view any changes that occurred.

What kind of content is archived?

The group tries to archive as much born-digital content as possible including exhibition histories, images, PDFs, and A/V materials.

How can I search for material in the archived collection?

You can browse the collection https://www.archive-it.org/collections/5037 or search by artist name, gallery, or exhibition title, etc.

What about copyright?

“The case law and legal opinions discussed below all indicate that library website archiving for the purpose of preservation and scholarship is transformative as that term is used by courts in the fair use context. “ p.1 A New Day for Website Archiving 2.0, by Jonathan Band http://www.arl.org/storage/documents/publications/band-new-day-for-archiving-2.0-23feb12.pdf

What if I don’t want my information archived in this project?

Please contact one of the Artist Files Special Interest Group co-coordinators (listed below) to have your content removed from this project.

How can I contribute or nominate my website for inclusion?

Please contact one of the Artist Files Special Interest Group co-coordinators (listed below) to add your content to this project.

Who do I contact for additional information?

Samantha Deutch
Assistant Director,
Center for the History of Collecting, The Frick
Collection, Frick Art Reference Library

Sally McKay
Head of Special Collections Services
Research Library, Getty Research Institute

Why an Artist Files Revealed Online Directory?

The Artist Files Revealed Online Directory was created as a centralized repository for cultural institutions to promote their collections related to artist files and for users to discover these resources more readily. All institutions, regardless of size or geographical location, are encouraged to contribute records to this directory.

Who can use the Artist Files Revealed Online Directory?


How do I add a record to the Directory?

To submit content you will need to contact Sally McKay either by email smckay@getty.edu or phone (310-440-7489) or Samantha Deutch at deutch@frick.org or (212) 547-6894.
Sally or Samantha will send you a link to submit a record. No password or login necessary!

How do I know what to put in all those boxes?

The No such attachment on this page is a user glossary that gives definitions for the fields on the submission form. We hope this will standardize and make consistent the content entered across collections. Please note that the Help doc/User glossary will launch in a separate page so that you can have it and the submission form open side by side.

How do I edit my record once I have added it to the Directory? And can anyone else edit it?

Using the login received earlier, you can open your previously created institutional record which will now have an edit/delete tab as well as a view tab.

Navigate to the "Browse Online Directory"
Click "Browse All Records"
Locate and click on the record for your institution.
From that page, on the top right of the menu bar, click "login" and enter your login.

This will allow you to select the "Edit/Delete" button (note: the edit button will turn red, and the form has the word "edit" at the top).
Make your changes, and be sure to click “save.”

Yes, others who have login privileges can edit your institutional record. In order to make this database low maintenance, the administrators are trusting those who have been given a login to enter their own record to act respectfully towards other records in the database.

How do I navigate the Directory?

The drop down menu gives a variety of options: see all directory records and sorting by various sub searches/type. We recommend that you click on “All directory records” and sort columns of interest by clicking on the column header.

Can I do advanced or Boolean searching?

Not at this time, sorry, but we hope that the next release of the software will allow for advanced searching.

Can I sort records?

Sure! Click on “All directory records” and simply click on the column header.

Font sizes:

If any of the fonts are too small on your screen you may click on "Ctrl +" to increase the size in the browser.

(Last updated 12/19/14 SM)