Shakespeare First Folio at New Mexico Museum of Art

Rebecca Potance, Librarian, Archivist, and Webmaster at the New Mexico Museum of Art reports:

For the month of February, the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe will be displaying an important  book in the history of printing known as the First Folio. The First Folio was the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623, seven years after the author’s death. This special exhibition is just one of many planned throughout the world commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  Shakespeare’s plays have been the subject of countless works of art, and this subject will be explored further in a companion exhibition at the museum called Stage, Setting, Mood : Theatricality in the Visual Arts.

The idea of an art museum celebrating the works of Shakespeare actually dates back to 1789, when a publisher named John Boydell opened the three room Shakespeare Gallery in London. The Shakespeare Gallery was enormously popular in its time. John Boydell commissioned the leading British artists of the day to paint scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. He then employed printmakers to make high quality reproductions of the paintings in the gallery which Boydell then published and sold. Stage, Setting, Mood includes four of Boydell’s color intalgio prints from the Shakespeare Gallery.

Although the Shakespeare Gallery closed in 1805, its legacy lives on.  Recently, the University of Texas at Austin meticulously recreated an online version of the first museum dedicated to Shakespeare for all to see:


Congratulations, Jessica Mlotkowski

Congratulations to Jessica Mlotkowski, the 2016 recipient of the Winberta Yao Travel Award from the Mountain West Chapter of ARLIS/NA!

Jessica earned her MLIS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, where her concentration was in the organization of information and materials.

Currently, Jessica is the Cataloger and Public Services Librarian at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), in Santa Fe, New Mexico. IAIA is the only four-year degree fine arts institution in the United States devoted to contemporary Native American and Alaska Native Arts.

Jessica’s academic focus has been on cataloging and metadata management for visual resources, as well as the role our cultural perspectives and perceptions play in the description and retrieval of those resources. Diversity, social justice, and bias in descriptive practices are themes that Jessica considers daily in her personal work.

In her letter of application, Jessica expressed the value of attending ARLIS/NA in Seattle, as she will have the opportunity to attend sessions on digitization projects, rights management, social justice, and diversity in our professional lives, and connecting collections to the open web. All of these themes will directly inform Jessica’s work at IAIA.

Please join us in welcoming Jessica Mlotkowski to our ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter and congratulating her on her upcoming attendance at the joint conference of ARLIS/NA and VRA in Seattle, Washington.

The Winberta Yao Travel Award Committee also wishes to extend special thanks to
all contributing chapter members who made the award possible. For more information about the award, visit

Best regards,

Margaret Van Dyk (Chair) and Caroline Dechert

The Winberta Yao Travel Award Committee

New Mexico Members Meet

On Friday, November 13, MW Chapter members from Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico, visited Santa Fe’s Museum Hill to tour two special libraries. First stop was the Bartlett Library and Archives at the Museum of International Folk Art, followed by lunch at the Museum Hill Cafe, and a tour of the Laboratory of Anthropology Library. There might have been a few stops at gift shops along the way… We talked artists files, special subject cataloguing, replacing offensive subject headings with inclusive ones, creating article analytics, and describing books in such detail the records become too large for MARC. If only we could do this every Friday!

Many thanks to Joan Benedetti for the pictures.

The conference that keeps on giving

peas  My personal award for best conference swag of all time goes to the 2015 ARLIS/NA Conference and the little pack of seeds for snap peas. This shot was taken in my garden about a week ago. The first peas are ready to harvest now.

Meanwhile, back at the Library, we are busy working on a possible digital asset collaboration grant (which explains why I’d rather rest my eyes on peas in our time).

Regular, useful news will return next week.

News from the Bartlett Library and Archives


Apologies for the long silence on this blog.

Here at the Museum of International Folk Art many of us wear multiple hats. I am both the Librarian and Archivist, and sometimes a one-woman moving crew. This May marked a wonderful transition, as our Archives finally graduated into its very own space. The process of finding space in an overcrowded facility, then finding funding for the compact shelving that would make the space useful, took a long while, but we got there in the end. The shelving selected is a Quadra Mobile system, a modular, moveable form of compact storage that is perfect for us, as there’s a chance the Archives will move again in a few years. Shelving was installed in early May, and for the past two weeks I’ve been moving in.

I’m very grateful to our security staff who moved the large flat files and filing cabinet. The records themselves I had to move, in large part because they were coming from three different temporary storage areas, and collections had gotten split up over the years. It was necessary to go bit by bit, checking carefully against an inventory done this winter, to ensure collections went in place in an organized way.

One of the spaces now emptied of archival material is the back room of our Library. It is well on its way to becoming a workroom and processing area, something we have not had at all.


Processing has been done either in my office, or in the public space of the Library. Working in the public area meant our intrepid volunteers had to haul out all their supplies from my office, do their work, and then squirrel everything away again. Now we’ll be able to leave longer term projects staged and ready for work whenever a volunteer can come in. This arrangement also gave us a space for our “study collections,” collections of materials (images, postcards, recordings, books, and more) that are not archival in nature, but don’t really fit in a classic library arrangement either.

When not in use by library volunteers, the workroom will be a quiet space for our curators to do reading and research. They are looking forward to it. Their offices are downstairs, without windows or light, so this will be a welcome change. With a bit of new furniture, this room can also double – or wait, it’s triple by now, isn’t it? – as a small meeting room. The only meeting spaces we have are the break table downstairs, the main Library research tables, and a small table in the Director’s office. It’s not just the people here who wear many hats. The spaces have to multi-task as well.

More regular blogging will resume now that I’ve hung up my mover’s cap and resumed librarianship. Thanks for your patience.

Winberta Yao Travel Award recipient’s report on the 2015 ARLIS/NA Conference

Thank you, Mountain West Chapter and Travel Award Committee members, for making it possible for me to attend the 2015 conference in Fort Worth. As a solo museum librarian, I seldom have the chance to discuss work with others in my field. This sort of discussion is crucial if we want to keep up to date and provide the best possible professional services to those who use our libraries. I am most grateful for the chance to attend so many excellent sessions, and, even more, for the impromptu discussions in hallways and on lobby sofas. I have come home refreshed with new ideas.

Here are notes on some of the sessions I attended.

What Can I do With This Image? provided concrete practical advice on switching from a model in which publication fees are regarded as a source of income to a more open model. There was also a good deal of buzz about the copyright research tool the Durationator ( It was the subject of a poster session as well. The Durationator aims to be a comprehensive tool for researching copyright information worldwide. My big question remains how (un)affordable this might be for smaller museums and libraries.

Continue reading

MW Members’ Poster Sessions in Ft. Worth

Peggy Keeran shares her photos of three conference poster sessions presented by Mountain West members. A description of each poster session follows the image.


What’s Your Story?: The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center Oral History Project — Eumie Imm Stroukoff, Emily Fisher Landau Director of the Research Center, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center is in the first phase of an oral project.  We are actively collecting stories about Georgia O’Keeffe from the people who knew her personally and employing a variety of methods to gather these stories. One way is by using telephone technology to gather recollections from visitors who audio record memories of personal interactions with Georgia O’Keeffe.  We are also conducting in-depth interviews with individuals who had friendships with her. Finally, we are collaborating with the Pueblo de Abiquiu Library and Community Center to collect stories as told by community members attending local events such as fiestas.  These stories and recollections give our visitors and researchers a rich context to learn about Georgia O’Keeffe as a person and as an artist. The audio recordings and supplemental materials (such as transcriptions, photographs, and biographies) will be ingested into the archives, making it possible for researchers to access and utilize them.  In addition, these recordings might be used for educational purposes as well as interpretive purposes in the galleries at the museum.



Bringing the Outside Inside: Brazilian Graffiti and “String Literature” on the Walls Are Not Your Typical Art in the Library Exhibit — Christiane Erbolato-Ramsey, Fine Arts Librarian, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University

Art exhibitions in academic libraries traditionally display works by visual arts students, faculty, or visiting artists. In an effort to strengthen the liaison between the Brigham Young University Lee Library and the area of Brazilian studies, two exhibitions were organized to bring exposure to otherwise inaccessible art forms in Brazil.  Both belong in dynamic, outdoor public spaces and are meant to be discovered by passersby. This poster session will provide an overview of these exhibitions and offer accompanying bibliographic material. One exhibition featured images and videos of major works by “grafiteiros” on the streets of inner cities in Brazil, projected on the gallery walls.  Brazilian graffiti has gained a significant role in voicing sociopolitical opinions and has become a frequent topic of research by students. The other exhibition presented a selection of the library’s unique collection of “literatura de cordel” (string literature), zine-like booklets containing the folk stories and covers illustrated with woodcuts.  These are hung on strings on the walls, in the way they are traditionally sold in the public open markets of Northeast Brazil.




Testing the Waters: Harnessing the Power of Technology in the Virtual Conference Environment — Luke Leither, Art and Architecture Librarian, University of Utah

Come and learn more about an experimental new format for virtual conferences attempted for the first time by the ALRIS Mountain West Chapter in the fall of 2014.  Having run virtual conferences over the last several years, our chapter has learned that many attendees find it nearly impossible to barricade themselves behind computer screens in their offices for an entire day.  We found that a stable platform allows our conference, conversations, critiques, and questions to take form over the course of weeks and months rather than a single day.  This promised to be a richer experience for everyone who participated.  Thus, the conference “Testing the Waters: Professional Experimentation in the Arts and Art Librarianship was born.

At this poster presentation, there will be a demonstration on how we used the course management software Canvas and the virtual meeting software AdobeConnect to host our content.  Our conference featured pre-recorded presentations attendees could watch at their own convenience, along with a live Q&A event for real-time interaction with our presenters.  This poster will cover the successes and failures observed with this model as well as the feedback we received throughout the process.