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last updated: 4/23/2012

Collection Development Policies - Fine Arts

Fine Arts Collection

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      To support instruction and research in fine arts, including the history of art, studio art, and archaeology.

    2. Audience
      This collection supports instruction and research for students and faculty of the School of Fine Arts to the M.F.A. level in studio practice and to the Ph.D. level in art history and supports interdisciplinary programs between the School, African Studies, and Classical Studies and other programs having an art-related curriculum, including Afro-American Studies, American Studies, Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, Arts Administration, Folklore, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Jewish Studies, Latin American and Carribbean Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Literature, History, India Studies, Religious Studies, Theatre and Drama, and Western European Studies. The collections also support the research and exhibition requirements of the Art Museum curatorial, conservation, and education staff as well as the staff of the School of Fine Arts Gallery. Indiana residents including art collectors, the general public, and gallery dealers also use the FA Library collections.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, founded in 1865, is today considered one of the premier art schools in the country. There are over 500 undergraduate majors and over 130 graduate students who pursue courses in art history and studio practice. Over 5,000 students annually enroll in art/art history classes ranking this department among the largest in the College of Arts & Sciences.

      An internationally distinguished faculty of over fifty artists and art historians direct a wide range of programs. Studio areas include ceramics, drawing and painting, graphic design, metalsmithing and jewelry design, digital media/computer arts, photography, texitles, printmaking, and sculpture. The Department of the History of Art offers programs in classical art, medieval art, Renaissance and Baroque art, Modern art, the arts of Africa, Oceania, and Pre-Columbia America, Asian art, and art theory.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        . The first Fine Arts Library was established in the late 1930s as part of the Departmental office of the University Library which was then located in Franklin Hall. In 1941, Henry Radford Hope became chairman of the Fine Arts Department and a Fine Arts Center was created by remodeling Mitchell Hall and Mitchell Hall Annex which included a small art library numbering about 2,360 volumes and a collection of slides by 1942. By 1956, the Department of FA had grown to sixteen full-time faculty with offices in four separate buildings. Plans began for a new FA Building which was opened in 1962 including about 4,500 sq. ft. for the FA Library and a capacity of 20,000 volumes. By the time B.J. Irvine became head of the library in 1969, she was already involved with planning for a greatly enhanced FA Library facility that would be in a new Art Museum building. During the mid 1970s, the collections expanded rapidly, and plans for a new library were developed as she worked with the building's architects, I.M. Pei & Associates. Under Irvine's guidance the library was moved into the new Art Museum in August 1981 at which time the collections were over 54,000 volumes. By 2002, the collections totalled over 120,000 volumes, over 40,000 mounted art reproductions, a circulating slide collection of over 10,000 slides, as well as over 160 CD ROMs, over 130 videotapes, and about 49,000 microforms.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        Collection strengths include the following: coverage of the major art historical periods from ancient art through the twentieth century with an emphasis on painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, and mixed media of the twentieth century; nineteenth and twentieth century architecture of the United States; ancient Greek and Roman architecture; Byzantine and Medieval architecture with an emphasis on the monuments of Great Britain, France, and Germany; and the arts of Pre-Columbia, Africa, and Oceania; and studio practice with an emphasis on artists' books, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking; and the history and techniques of ceramics, photography, graphic design, digital media/computer arts, jewelry and metalsmithing, papermaking, and printed, dyed, woven and constructed textiles. The arts of China and Russia are collected with an emphasis on painting and sculpture. Generally, our collections are weakest in the arts of Asia (except for Chinese painting and sculpture), the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and modern architecture (all countries except the U.S.).

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        Subject focus on the following areas: major art historical periods from ancient art through the twentieth century with an emphasis on painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, mixed media and digital arts of the twentieth century; nineteenth and twentieth century architecture of the United States; ancient Greek and Roman architecture; Byzantine and Medieval architecture with an emphasis on the monuments of Great Britain, France, and Germany; and the arts of Pre-Columbia, Africa, and Oceania; and studio practice with an emphasis on painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and the history and techniques of ceramics, photography, graphic design, digital media/computer arts, jewelry and metalsmithing, papermaking, artists' books, and printed, dyed, woven and constructed textiles. Major survey histories of art are collected for all countries, cultures, and historical periods. General works on the arts of China and Russia are collected with an emphasis on painting and sculpture. Generally, our collections are weakest in the arts of Asia (except for Chinese painting and sculpture), the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and modern architecture (all countries except the U.S.).

      4. Collection locations
        Fine arts collections are located primarily in the Fine Arts Library with related collections in the Research Collections/Main Library, e.g., arts of the American Indian, Folklore Collection (vernacular architecture of the U.S. and other countries, details and decoration of vernacular architecture, and rural and farm architecture), "NX" (multi-media visual, language, and performing arts). Selected art reference materials also are in the Reference Department/Main library. The Business/SPEA Library has related materials on arts administration and marketing, and apparel merchandising.

        Other locations for fine arts materials include the Lilly Library, the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, and the Archives of Traditional Music (for more information, see IV.)
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      English and all Western European languages are widely collected. Limited selections are made among Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and other non-Roman languages.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      . Emphasis is on Europe, including art of classical Greece and Rome and the Latin East and Greek East for early Christian art. Focus is on Russia, Serbia, and Italy for Byzantine art and architecture from the 7th to 15th century. Emphasis is on the United States including art of the American Indian. Another area of collection focus is Africa (primarily Sub-Sahara) as well as the arts of Pre-Columbia, Oceania, China, and Japan, and limited coverage of India, the Islamic world, and southeast Asia,

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      All major historical periods of Western art from ancient through the twentieth century are collected. Emphasis is on the pre-twentieth century art of Africa, China, and Japan.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Generally, emphasis is on current publications with very selective retrospective collecting. However, currency of publication is not a limitation in art so that historical works or reprints may have as much significance as current titles.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Collected: periodicals; books; microforms; facsimiles; exhibition/museum publications; artists' books; CD Rom; DVD; videotapes; online databases.

      Exclusions: original prints and art objects (except when such items are part of a book or form a library-based package such as a portfolio; original manuscripts; slides (except for those given to the library by the Slide Library; recordings (except when included as part of a book and/or periodical).
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The head of the Fine Arts Library is primarily responsible for collection development in this area. Collaboration, as appropriate, occurs with the collection managers for the following areas: African Studies; Afro-American Studies; Arts Administration; Central Eurasian Studies; Classical Studies; East Asian Studies; English & American Literature; Folklore; History; India Studies; Jewish Studies; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Lilly Library; Middle Eastern Studies; Music; Reference Department/Research Collections; Religious Studies; Slavic Studies; Theatre and Drama; Undergraduate Library Services; and Western European Studies.

  4. Related Collections

    The Folklore Collection collects in the following areas: vernacular architecture of the U. S. and Canada, Great Britain, Austria, France, Germany, Scandinavia, and Switzerland; details and decoration of vernacular architecture; and rural and farm architecture.

    The Lilly Library collects in the following areas: livres d'artiste; modern British bookbinding; cartoons and caricatures of the War of 1812 and Abraham Lincoln; works illustrated by George Cruishank; and original art for book illustration. In addition, the Lilly's acquisition of works on manuscript illumination relates to courses/research on Early Christian and medieval art.

    Subject and area specialists in Archaeology, History, African Studies, East Asian Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, Religious Studies, Classical Studies, and Western European Studies collect in areas related to the study of fine arts which may be shelved in theResearch Collections/Main Library. Materials relating to apparel merchandising and interior design, and arts administrating and marketing may be shelved in the Business/SPEA Library.

    The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction has research level collections on the nude in art and erotic art, and has the world's preeminent collection of sexual art, artifacts, photographs, and films which constitute a unique resource for research.

    The Archives of Traditional Music collects aural documentation of cultural groups which would relate to the study of African art, art of the American Indian, and other indigenous cultures.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    Emphasis is on publishers of scholarly or technical material, university presses, art publishers, museums and galleries, and art auction houses (to a limited degree). Material published by any publisher may be acquired depending on content and quality and/or the significance of illustrations or iconographic material.

  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      As an academic art research library, all materials collected have potential research value and are therefore preserved using procedures and/or techniques available through the IUL Preservation Department.

    2. High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment
      Nineteenth and early twentieth century journals and books should be given high priority for preservation review/treatment. In addition, our historical and contemporary collection of artists' books merit high priority due to the unique and often fragile, limited edition nature of this material.
  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    Fine arts selection criteria follows the "General Guidelines for Selection of Materialsfor the ALF" (see online ALF guidelines). Low-demand materials will be given first priority for ALF shelving. Ceased or cancelled serial runs also will be reviewed for ALF transfer as well as selected 19th and early 20th century journals and monographs in order to preserve and protect materials with original prints or graphic art.

  8. Digital Projects
    1. Criteria for selection for digitization
      At this time, the primary fine arts digitization project is DIDO (Digital Image Database Online), created and developed by the Slide Library/FA Library. DIDO is based on the selection of images required for School of Fine Arts/Studio and History of Art Department courses. These criteria apply to nearly all material on DIDO with the exception of the IU Art Museum collection slides which also have been added to DIDO.

    2. Priorities for collections to be digitized
      First priority is given to materials needed for classes as noted under "a."

  9. Other Resources and Libraries
    The study of visual arts and art history requires the examination of original art and vast historical archives/records which are commonly distributed throughout the world. Even research on the arts of the U.S. often requires use of multiple libraries and/or research collections. The IU Fine Arts Library is the largest art library in Indiana; however, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IUAM) Library also holds considerable resources which are not in the IU Libraries, e.g., historical runs of auction/sales catalogues, early exhibition literature, and extensive vertical files on artists in the IUAM. The University of Notre Dame has considerable holdings on medieval culture and manuscripts. The largest art library collections in North America are at the Art Institute of Chicago/Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, Avery Architectural Library/Columbia University, Fogg Art Museum Library/Harvard University, Metropolitan Museum of Art Library, Cleveland Museum of Art Library, and the Getty Research Institute Library. In the Midwest, many other CIC libraries have significant art library holdings which complement those in Bloomington, e.g., University of Michigan (especially arts of the Far East), University of Illinois (history of architecture), Northwestern University (arts of Africa); Ohio State University, University of Chicago (arts of the Near East and Far East), University of Iowa (Center for the Book Arts. African art), and the University of Wisconsin (book arts, decorative arts, history of architecture). For the art, culture, and history of Africa, IUL is among the five largest collections in the U.S. including Northwestern, U.C.L.A., University of Iowa, and Yale University.

  10. Consortial Agreements
    At this time, we have no formal consortial agreements with other art libraries.



Fine Arts Collection Home Page

Revised April 2012


last updated: 4/23/2012