Do You Know Arts Journal?

ArtsJournal describes itself as “a digest of some of the best arts and cultural journalism in the English-speaking world. Each day ArtsJournal features link to stories culled from around the internet, including blogs and more than 200 English-language newspapers, magazines and publications featuring writing about arts and culture.” The website is constantly updated with fresh news, and is supplemented by a daily email newsletter (in both free and premium versions)  and about 40 blogs on a wide range of subjects  including audience building, national arts policy, dance, opera, public art, and, of course, “how culture will save the world”.

I’ve subscribed to the email newsletter for about 8 years now, and find it a great source of information and ideas. Editor Douglas McLennan, formerly an arts columnist and arts reporter with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Weekly, has an eye for the offbeat and thought-provoking.

Of course, he is not perfect. There is no Art Library blog on ArtsJournal. There’s an opening for someone…


Free Art Ebooks

Here are my favorite sources for free art-related ebooks. If you know of others, please email the editor to share them.

Book Arts of Isfahan: Diversity and Identity in Seventeenth-Century PersiaGetty Publications Virtual Library

Ancient & Historic MetalsGetty Conservation Institute

Metropolitan Museum of Art

coverUniversity of California Press

Paul Klee by Paul KleeInternet Archive (main ebook page and search results for Art as subject) – the subject terms and search function here don’t work as perfectly as I’d like, but there’s gold for those who keep trying new searches)

The next two sources are less art history and criticism, more technique and how-to, and you’ll find overlap from the sources above:

Creative Illustration Link


100 Best Free Art Books from Gold Coast Art Classes

paintersFree Artist Handbooks from The Color of Art

Score One for Serendipity

Serendip-o-maticModern search tools and discovery platforms have all but eliminated the joy of the serendipitous find. All of us old enough to remember card catalogs can also recall the pleasure of randomly discovering a useful bit of information or a wonderful book never dreamt of while sifting through the cards in search of something completely different. Some software tries to reintroduce serendipity – the Koha system my library is about to implement has a “browse shelf” feature, for example – but these are wishy-washy attempts at best.

Enter the Serendip-o-matic. Enter text – any text – into the big box and feed it to the hippo (try it; you’ll see). Continue reading

Welcome to the ARLIS/NA-MW Blog

Welcome, Mountain Westerners.

MWArtLibraries is a test blog for the Mountain West Chapter of ARLIS/NA. Why a test? Well, to see if this is really a useful format for us to share information about what we’re doing and what we’re thinking about. Our newsletter comes out only once a year; the blog can be updated any time. If you have news you’d like to share, or suggestions for other content, please email the Editor. And who is this mysterious editor? I’m Caroline Dechert, a member of ARLIS since 2013, when I became Librarian and Archivist at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.

I hope we can use this space to share ideas, links to cool new things we’ve found, and virtual tours of our libraries. As a librarian new to arts librarianship, I would love to learn more about what people are working on. I’m betting I’m not alone in that. Please send your news and ideas, share how you’ve worked around pesky problems, and brag about your successes to colleagues who will understand and appreciate! Postings need not be elaborate or long, and links to existing articles, posts, and such are very welcome.