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Los Angeles Contemporary Archive:

Guidelines for Cataloguing, Preserving and Shelving Materials

Table of Contents

                 Categories in the LACA collection                                

         Cataloging and Shelving:

         Archival collections                                

 Archival Items                                

         Library collections                        

 Library Items                                

 Digital objects                                

 Irregular materials                                

Preservation techniques, archival rehousing        

Archival Collections:

These are holdings in the LACA archive that can be understood as a natural grouping. Collections will have been donated by the artist/organization at one time, as a single acquisition, OR in a series of acquisitions at separate times. Each collection will have an accompanying finding aid. The finding aid will include a brief biography/description of the creating body, a description of the collection content and formats, an approximation of the collection extent and a list of collection contents (boxes, folders). They will be shelved in a single location (with the exception of books transferred to the library), and boxes that are part of a later acquisition within that same collection will be incorporated as they are processed. Each box in the archival collection would typically contain folders and/or items with unique IDs automatically generated. The website will eventually accommodate browsing by Finding Aid to showcase some of LACA?s larger collections.  

Library Collections:

Large donations (loosely thematically linked) of books by, a publisher, gallery/organization or an individual. While these items will be placed on the regular library stacks, rather than in the original grouping we received them in, the contents of the entire library collection will be browsable in the catalogue. Therefore, the collection contents will be known and linked to the donor. Library collections would include a simplified finding aid with a note on content and extent.

 

Archival Items:

Items in the archive not linked to an archival collection. Depending on their size, these may be stored in a box with other archival items that do not belong to a particular natural group, or alone in a hard folder or smaller acid free container. If a donation is small, but consists of several items, the archivists will determine whether they should be considered a collection and given a finding aid.

Library items:

An individual publication (book, artist book, magazine, zine) held in the regular library stacks. Not included in a library collection. Organized alphabetically by author/artist, and by title where author/artist is unknown or if there is more than one. Library items may be part of al collection, indicated in the record for that item.

Oversize items (irregular items):

Unique objects or publications that are an atypical size. These may include artist kits, art objects that do not need to be placed in archival storage boxes or oversized/fragile artist publications. This section is currently also being used to exhibit particularly interesting items from LACA?s collection.

CATALOGING: ARCHIVE ITEMS AND ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS

Record example (archive item):

Include as many of the following fields in every archive item record:

-        Title (mandatory)

-        Artist(s)/Author(s)

-        Format

-        Dimensions

-         Description

-        Keywords

-        City Produced/Published (if known)

-        Date Published/Produced (if known)

-        File

-        Location

-         Date acquired

-        Collection

-        Donated By

-        Reference number (automatically generated)

TITLE:

Title of the document.

Required for all records.

If there is not assigned title and the title is attributed by the cataloguer, must appear between square brackets.

e.g. [postcard], [cocktail umbrella], [human hair]

If it is a book, see cataloguing rules for books.  

ARTIST(S)/AUTHOR(S):

An entity primarily responsible for making the resource. This could be an artist/gallery/author or any other entity associated with the item.

The Artist(s)/Author(s) field is useful and desirable but not required for archival items.

If the author/artist is not already in the LACA database

There are two ways to add an artist:

        On the upper left of the home page, click   New - Add Artist

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 4.14.19 PM.png 

In the Add Item page under the Artist(s)/Author(s) section, click   +New

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 4.23.15 PM.png

http://www.lacarchive.com/admin/merge-artists

Find the two names.

Check the white box for both names so it becomes blue check marks

go to the top and click the drop down that says choose an operation - and click merge artists (only option)

then click to the right of it - execute

Then it takes you to a new page called edit/merge artists

Highlight both the item on the grey bar and the white bar (field name, and artist name)

then hit next then hit confirm

then scroll back to your name

you will notice that under associated items your name will have 0 or 2 or however many you have merged.

You delete the 0 and keep the one with multiple entries.

To do this click on the side box again and hit delete for your entry.

FORMAT:

The nature or genre of the resource.

LACA?s controlled list of formats include:

Assign the document type from the controlled list. Select ?Archive item? in ?Format? field.?

Format type does not include containers (i.e box and folder)

Select a second Format to provide more detailed information about the item.

e.g. An audio file that is part of KCHUNG?s collection would have three ?Formats?: Archive Item, Digital File and Audio.

A photograph that is not part of an archival collection would have two ?Formats?: Archive Item, Photographic Material

A postcard that is part of Actual Size Gallery?s collection would have two ?Formats?: Archive Item, Paper Document

Part of an artwork by Mark Roeder (styrofoam) would have two ?Formats?: Archive Item, Studio Ephemera

A book that is part of an archival collection that is not being transferred to the library would have two ?Formats?: Archive Item, Book

An audio recording that is part of an archival collection would have three ?Formats?: Archival Item, Digital File and Audio. Same for a video file.

BOOKS FOUND IN ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS:

First, consult someone on what to do with these. They will be treated on a case-by-case basis

There are 2 options:

  1. We will leave the book in the archival collection and its ?Format? would be: Archival Item, Book
  2. Integrate it into the library collection and its ?Format? would be: Book

In both cases, it would be identified as part of the archival collection in the database.

DIMENSIONS: 

If the item is three dimensional:

KEYWORDS:

Keywords from controlled list. New keywords could be added to the list if the cataloguer consider them relevant. Keywords may give information about format, genre, geographical information, chronological information and subject. The keywords also create metadata for Google where anyone who searches those keywords on any search engine will be able to find the entry.

CITY PRODUCED/PUBLISHED:

Indicate only if it is known and if it is not part of a collection. In a collection, the city produced would be integrated into the finding aid (collection description in the taxonomy manager).

DATE PUBLISHED/PRODUCED:

Indicate only if known.

FILE:

Upload an image of the archival item, unless it is a Paper Document.

Upload the digital files for Video and Audio.

LOCATION:

Select Box on the controlled list.

There are two different situations you may encounter:

  1. The box is already created: Simply select the box from the controlled list. A number will automatically be generated for your item.

  1. It is a new box:
  1. Click ?Create box?
  2. In the field ?Box Number old?: enter the new box number following this convention

        Box#.0000

        e.g. 12.0000

        e.g. 12.1000 , 12.2000, 12.3000 and so on. (if you are adding a new acquisition (or second donation) and you want the new box to sit on the  shelf with box 12.0000)

        3)     In the ?Box number? field: enter the box number

        e.g. 12 or 12.1 etc.

        4)     In the ?Descriptive title? field: follow this convention

        Collection name/artist name, box number within collection

        e.g. Puppies Puppies 2

        The ?2? indicates that this is the second box of materials belonging to Puppies Puppies.

If the box you have created is part of an official Collection, indicate this in the ?Collection? field (controlled list) of your box record.

*NOTE: Please, when you create a new box add the number of the box on the list that you can find on this document: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hANp-3AILDiz7AV5XoVPhZ65aCXKiSVIIzg95Yh-YvU/edit?usp=sharing 

DATE ACQUIRED:

This will automatically appear as the cataloging date. Change it if you know the exact acquisition date.

MM/DD/YYYY

COLLECTION:

Only use if the item belongs to an archival collection that has been identified by the archivist.

DONATED BY:

If known, indicate the donor?s name. If the name does not appear in the controlled list, add it to the database.

REFERENCE NUMBER:

This will be automatically generated once you enter the location and box number.

Always verify that the automatically generated ID follows the conventions of others already in the database.

LANGUAGE:

Indicate if materials are in another language than english.

FINDING AIDS FOR ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS:

Eventually, the finding aid for a given collection will be published in the catalogue.

For the moment however, we have to include the finding aid in the ?Collection Description? of the Collection Record in the editor mode ? taxonomy manager ? Collections.

The finding aid should include:

SHELVING AND LABELING ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS, ARCHIVAL ITEMS

For the physical labels, follow the following convention.

B1 Actual Size Box 2

Print the label and place in the plastic label holder.

The boxes should be ordered numerically, and all collection boxes should be placed beside each other.

CATALOGUING: LIBRARY ITEMS AND COLLECTIONS  

(includes book items taken from an archival collection and transferred to the library)

Record example:

 

Include as many of the following fields in every library item record:

-        Title (mandatory)

-        Artist(s)/Author(s)

-        Format

-        Edition

-        ISBN (if available)

-        Number of Pages (if available)

-        Dimensions

-         Description

-        Keywords

-         Series

-         Publisher

-        City Produced/Published (if known)

-        Date Published/Produced (if known)

-        File

-        Library location

-         Date acquired

-        Collection

-        Donated By

-        Reference number (automatically generated)

TITLE:

Title of the document.
Required for all records.
The title must be transcribed as it appears in the document. Take into account that the title must be transcribed obeying the rules of each language, regardless of the typography used on the document.
If there are subtitles or parallel titles they must transcribed separated like this:
Title : Subtitle. Parallel title should not be included. Include in description if it is especially pertinent.  
If there is not assigned title and the title is attributed by the cataloguer, must appear between square brackets.

e.g.  [Exhibition view photography]

If the title is still unclear, categorize it under ?no title? (all lowercase).

Many works are titled ?Untitled? or ?untitled? and we would like to make a distinction between the two.

ARTIST(S)/AUTHOR(S):

An entity primarily responsible for making the resource.
Required for all library items, OS items, DOs.
If the author/artist is not already in the LACA database, add +New
Publisher / Entity / Author / Issuer / Sender and Recipient for correspondence

If the item has writer and illustrator or artist and writer

 ?        Put both names as ?Artist(s)/Author(s).

If you are confused about who produced the book:

?        Don?t make any assumptions

?        Look in the front/back matter of the book (title page, copyright page) to see if the artist who produced this work?s

name is in there.

?        If you cannot find any information, perform a quick search using Google.  

Always cross-reference everything with the information available online first.

Many presses have all the info that you need on their website.

Always check if the artist name already exists rather than duplicating your entry. We want to erroneous minimize duplications on the LACA database.

FORMAT:

The nature or genre of the resource.
Assign the document type from the controlled list. Select ?book? in ?Format? field. If the book was taken from an archival collection, select a second ?Format?: ?Archive Item?

Format type does not include containers (i.e box and folder)

EDITION

Only in case that it appears on the physical document (e.g. title page, copyright page, cover)

e.g. Edition of 100, 23/50, 2nd Edition

ISBN:

International Standard Book Number

NUMBER OF PAGES

As found on the book. If there are no page numbers, leave this field blank.

DIMENSIONS

Measure height x width x depth (inches) of the book.

DESCRIPTION

Notes related to the content of the document, the reason that has originated the publication or any other aspects of interest.

SOME VOCABULARY FOR THE DESCRIPTION OF LIBRARY ITEMS:

Anthologies, essays, collections
Artists' books
Mail art
Multiples
Audio, visual, multimedia
Bibliographies
boxed set, collection
Brochures, booklets, leaflets, pamphlets
Cards, postcards
Catalogues
Catalogue raisonné
Event catalogues
Exhibition catalogues
Comic strips, graphic novels
Conference, colloquium, symposium publications
Correspondence
Diaries
Dictionaries, encyclopedias, lexicons
Directories
Document

Exhibition ephemera
Facsimiles

Flyers, posters
Guides and Manuals
Interviews
Invitation
Monographs
Novels
Off-print

The nature or genre of the resource.
Articles
Artist's magazine
Newsletter
Periodical issue
Art magazine
Zine
Poetry
Press kit
Proceedings, transcripts
Programmes
Reports
Annual reports
Research reports
Scripts, theatre plays
Theses

KEYWORDS

Keywords from controlled list. New keywords could be added to the list if the cataloguer consider them relevant. Keywords may give information about format, genre, geographical information, chronological information and subject.

SERIES

A set of related items, appearing chronologically.

If the item is part of a recurring series such as a weekly radio program, journal or magazine:

If it is part of a series but there is no indication of the series/issue/volume number:

PUBLISHER

An entity responsible for making the resource available.

CITY PUBLISHED / PRODUCED

Write down the city as it appears on the cover, colophon, other preliminaries or accompanying printed material.

DATE PUBLISHED

When the item was published or created (for unpublished documents).

[199-] - Meaning ?Published in the 90s decade?

[199-?] - Meaning ?Presumably published in the 90s decade?

[1995?] - Meaning ?Presumably published in the year 1995?

ca. 1995 - Meaning ?Approximately published in the year 1995?-2000

FILE

*****************************************

LOCATION

Where is the item located on the shelves when it is not in circulation?

DATE ACQUIRED

This will automatically appear as the cataloging date. Change it if you know the exact acquisition date.

MM/DD/YYYY

COLLECTION

Only use if the item belongs to an archival or library collection that has been identified by the archivist. Remember to include the Collection name if the library item is part of a library collection or archival collection.

DONATED BY

If known, indicate the donor?s name. If the name does not appear in the controlled list, add it to the database.

REFERENCE NUMBER:

Automatically generated by the system.

LANGUAGE

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SHELVING: LIBRARY ITEMS

Library materials are alphabetized by the artist/author?s last name. Unless?

If the item contains more than one artist/collective:

?        It should be shelved according to the first letter of the title. The only exception would be the word ?the.?

?        All names of artists/contributors should be included in the database in the ?Artist(s)/Author(s)? field.

?        ?Various artists? is not a good solution. 

 

If the item is a collection of sources (such as essays) and was edited by one person:

?        It should be shelved by the title

?        All names of artists/contributors should be included in the database in the ?Artist(s)/Author(s)? field.

?        ?Various artists? is not a good solution.

If the item has writer and illustrator or artist and writer:

?        It should be shelved by the title

?        Put both names as ?Artist(s)/Author(s).

If the item is a part of a series produced by a group of people who do not consider themselves as a

collective:

?        It should be shelved by the title of the series.

e.g. Prism of Reality

If the item is published in conjunction with a GROUP exhibition:

?        It should be shelved based on the title of the item.

If the item is published in conjunction of a solo exhibition:

?        It should be shelved based on the artist?s last name.

e.g. ?published by (press/artist/exhibition space name) on the occasion of (exhibition name), (artist name) ?

e.g. If Karl Haendel does a show at Night gallery and makes a book called Shame. Then Night

gallery would only pop up in the description and keywords but its not published by Night Gallery (unless it says it is). The book would go under ?H? for ?Haendel?, ?Shame? would be the title.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

When shelving according to title, disregard determiners such as ?The? and ?A.?

However, do include these in the catalog record.

e.g. ?The Room? would be categorized under ?R? but its title would remain, ?The Room?  

If in doubt about how to format any of the fields, compare to a recent record in the LACA database.

If you don?t have time to put materials back onto the stacks, they should go onto the cart under ?reshelve.?

Make sure when you are organizing the regular stacks, everything sits perfectly along the front edge.

Do not allow any books to stick out on the shelves. If something doesn?t fit, it should probably

go into oversized (but check in with someone before doing so as the ID number should be changed to OS).

LABEL PRINTING

Print label from ?Print? on the cataloguing record on a 4x6 (no borders) paper.

IMPROVE THE GUIDELINES

Explain better that the archival items goes in folders and that location type is ?Folders?

FIELDS TO BE ADDED ON THE DATABASE

Add a field for internal notes not visible for non editors.