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Link It or Lump It: Basic Access Strategies for Digital Art Representation.

Authors :
Murphy, James L.
Source :
Journal of Library Administration. 2003, Vol. 39 Issue 2-3, p139-160. 22p. 3 Black and White Photographs, 2 Charts.
Publication Year :


Mounting digital images of art objects on a Web site is only the first step in providing patron access to such materials. Libraries and museums have a responsibility to provide not only high-quality digital reproductions but also high-quality access from an integrated library catalog with controlled vocabulary and consistent access points. While some digital collections may have excellent internal searchability and require no more than collection level cataloging in a library's OPAC, others may demand cataloging of individual components of the collection. A particular collection's significance, its potential audience, the types of access required, as well as factors such as its size and cohesiveness need to be considered before becoming locked into a specific Web design-especially when it is that of another institution. This paper examines several online library catalogs in which records for art objects as well as historical objects and natural history specimens have been merged, with varying degrees of success, and briefly addresses a modest proposal to catalog ceramic objects at the Ohio State University Libraries. The importance of consistent subject access in a merged catalog, regardless of the thesaurus or thesauri used, is stressed. Library consortia and bibliographic utilities may offer an economically appealing alternative for libraries that cannot design and construct their own digital libraries but these external organizations often have limited capability for—or interest in—modifying the design for a particular library and even less interest in cataloging the collections. Libraries, too, must be faulted for simply listing available electronic resources, either alphabetically or in broad subject categories, on a separate portion of their Web page and failing to provide full catalog records in their catalog. Finally, it is emphasized that the current debate over the viability of MARC 21 versus other metadata standards remains largely irrelevant to the importance of continuing to cultivate a monolithic online catalog, maintaining cataloging standards, and not mindlessly developing what amounts to a separate, rudimentary catalog solely for electronic resources. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


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Academic Search Index
Journal :
Journal of Library Administration
Publication Type :
Academic Journal
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