From the catalogs of babes

Well, it’s been a busy (and therefore blog-post-less month) due to our former head librarian heading off for a new start in a new state. Despite the exciting possibilities of change, I was truly sad to see her leave, so I’ve been a bit lax to post.

But the other day I found not one, but TWO awesome records that totally brightened my day and cheered me right up!

The first was for Discovering the Great Masters: The Art Lover’s Guide to Understanding Symbols in Paintings. Not only is this an amazing book, with quality large-scale reproductions of some of western art’s most famous paintings, check out the table of contents in the bib record:

505 00 $t The last judgement / $r Giotto di Bondone — $t Secrets of the animal world — $t The adoration of the Magi / $r Gentile da Fabriano — $t The Arnolfini portrait / $r Jan van Eyck — $t The Ghent altarpiece / $r Jan van Eyck — $t The Chancellor Rolin Madonna / $r Jan van Eyck — $t The annunciaton / $r Rogier van der Weyden — $t The deposition from the cross / $r Rogier van der Weyden — $t Christ mocked / $r Fran Angelico — $t The triumph of Federico da Montefeltro / $r Piero Della Francesca — $t Portinari altarpiece / $r Hugo van der Goes — $t St. Jerome in his stuidy / $r Domenico Ghirlandaio — $t The adoration of the Magi / $r Leonardo da Vinci — $t La primavera (spring) / $r Sandro Botticelli — $t Marriage of the virgin / $r Pietro Perugino — $t Virgin and child enthroned with Saints / $r Giovanni Bellini — $t The birth of Venus / $r Sandro Botticelli — $t Madonna della Vittoria / $r Andrea Mantegna — $t Pallas Athena expelling the vices / $r Andrea Mantegna — $t The last supper / $r Leonardo da Vinci — $t Mona Lisa / $r Leonardo da Vinci — $t Doni tondo / $r Michelangelo — $t The garden of earthly delights / $r Hieronymus Bosch — $t The Madonna of the meadow / $r Raphael — $t The school of Athens / $r Raphael — $t Mars and Venus / $r Piero di Cosimo — $t The three philosophers / $r Giorgione — $t The adoration of the trinity / $r Albrecht Durer — $t The Isenheim altarpiece / $r Matthias Grünewald — $t A banker and his wife / $r Quinten Metsys — $t Bacchanal of the andrians / $r Titian — $t The last judgment / $r Michelangelo — $t The enigmas of architecture — $t Madonna and child / $r Joos van Cleve — $t The French ambassadors / $r Hans Holbein the younger — $t A Christian Allegory / $r Jan Provost — $t Decoding flowers and fruit — $t Allegory of immortality / $r Giulio Romano — $t St. Luke painting the virgin / $r Maerten van Heemskerck — $t Fight between carnival and lent / $r Pieter Bruegel the elder — $t Allegory of vanity / $r Jan van der Straet (Johannes Stradanus) — $t Burial of the Count of Orgaz / $r El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) — $t Feast in the house of Levi / $r Paolo Caliari called Veronese — $t The calling of St. Matthew / $r Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) — $t Apelles paints campaspe / $r Joos van Winghe — $t Allegory of sight / $r Jan Breughel the elder and Peter Paul Rubens — $t Minerva’s victory over ignorance / $r Bartholomaeus Spranger — $t The education of Marie de’ Medici / $r Peter Paul Rubens — $t The artist’s studio / $r Jan Miense Molenaer — $t Time vanquished by hope and beauty / $r Simon Vouet — $t Fortitude brings peace and plenty / $r Eustache le Suerur — $t The consequences of war / $r Peter Paul Rubens — $t Eucharist in fruit wreath / $r Jan Davidsz. de Heem — $t Vanitas (self portrait) / $r David Bailly — $t The banquet of the bean king / $r Jacob Jordaens — $t The spinners (the fable of Arachne) / $r Diego Velázquez — $t In luxury, look out / $r Jan Steen — $t The gathering of manna / $r Nicolas Poussin — $t In Ictu Oculi (in the twinkling of and eye) / $r Juan de Valdés Leal — $t Las Meninas / $r Diego Velázquez — $t The art of painting / $r Johannes Vermeer — $t The secret language of myth — $t The spell / $r Francisco de Goya — $t Liberty leading the people / $r Eugene Delacroix — $t The apotheosis of Homer / $r Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres — $t Jupiter and Semele / $r Gustave Moreau. 

Is that not the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? (Well, if you’re a cataloging librarian at an art school where students are looking for particular works, like, say, the Mona Lisa, rather than having to flip through multitudes of art books about Leonardo da Vinci to see if they might include an image?) Now granted, this wasn’t benevolent on the part of the British Library or a helpful arts library cataloger adding this in–this is a direct transcription from the table of contents, as the 505 should be. But still! It’s amazingly helpful in our library environment, and I would love to see this sort of enhancement done for more art books, regardless of whether it’s a direct TOC transcription or not.

And if I wasn’t swoony enough over discovering that record, a few books down the pile later I encountered Ad Boy: Vintage Advertising With Character, which had the following 505:

505 0_ Ad boys — Ad girls — Ad kids — Alphabet — Anthropomorphism — Bees — Birds — Bugs — Burgers — Candy — Casinos — Cats & dogs — Cereal — Cleansers — Coffee shops — Cookies county fairs — Cowboys — Cows — Crate labels — Dairy — Desserts — Devils — Donuts — Elephants — Energy — Farm — Flower power — Frosty treats — Happy hour — Holidays — Home — Hot dogs — Indian maidens — Mechanical men — Monsters — Misters — Motoring — Muscle cars — Nasties — Nemesis — Not-so-super heroes — Orange drinks — Pigs & pork — Pop corn — Potatoes — Potato chips — Power — Public service — Puppets — Restaurants — Royalty — Scottish plaid — Sea creatures — Slogans — Snacks — Snowmen — Soft drinks — Space adventure — Supermarket savings stamps — Toys — Travel — Travel (across the U.S.A.) — Vote. 

Again, transcribed directly from the book’s table of contents by LC, but so helpful for our students, who are more inclined to search for items by these sorts of concepts and keywords. Props to the book’s editors for organizing, arranging and describing the book in such a fashion–it seems to me like they truly know their audience and readers.

I would love to see more enhancements like this in records for arts libraries. I can see where non-arts libraries might not want such keyword clutter in their records, as it might provide false or incorrect retrieval leads for their patrons. But the enhanced data could easily be included in a field that needn’t be displayed or indexed by other libraries, but could still be shared with any library that wanted to utilize it.

Just when I was getting down about something, here came these great records that cheered me up and made me smile. A big thanks to the diligent and kind souls out there at the British Library and the Library of Congress who created them, even if they were just following proscribed standards. You guys made my day, whoever you are.



et cetera