Minimal-Level MARC Record for Artist Files.docWhile the value of artist files to researchers has long been recognized, their visibility beyond the walls of research collections is surprisingly limited. Significant numbers of institutions provide records of their files from their local catalogs, though virtually all of these have yet to migrate them to larger union catalogs where users can more readily identify them. As a result, it is only the most diligent of researchers that will discover these files by way of searching multiple online catalogs or other publicly published indexes. In effect, this has made artist files the single most untapped resource to the broader art research community.

Thus, one of the objectives of this site is to provide art librarians with the tools to expand the reach of their artist file records into the broader research domain.

Elemental to the process of adding records to union catalogs is establishing MARC records for artist files. The documentation presented here is intended for institutions that have yet to create MARC records or those that intend to upgrade their existing records.

We should note that it is not our intent to establish a standardized record for artist files, but rather to provide two possible records for artist files. Significant work has previously been done by others to develop standards for similar materials.*

Building on this work, we present two record samples for artist files: one that is truly minimal and a second that is more extensive. The first will provide a simple, yet fully functional record. The second will provide an additional level of description and access as local conditions allow. Reasons for implementing one or the other may depend in great part upon access needs, ease of implementation, online catalog capabilities, cataloging staff levels, or consortial limitations to name only a few. Certainly, an institution might choose to implement the minimal record for some files and the fuller record for files of particular importance — or yet again something in between these two guidelines.

Option 1: Minimal-Level MARC Record for Artist Files
Option 2: Expanded MARC Record for Artist Files


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