MARC Records for All Auction Sales Catalogs in HOLLIS

Project Summary

Submitted by Amanda Bowen of Fine Arts Library.

A significant portion of our current and historical auction sales catalogs have no access through HOLLIS or OCLC’s SCIPIO database. These catalogs, approximately 7,000, were acquired through roughly 70 long-standing subscriptions over the past eight years. Staff reductions in Fine Arts in 2004-2005 resulted in a decision to stop adding Harvard records to SCIPIO. Instead, individual sales catalogs have been accessioned on an in-house spreadsheet the is inaccessible to Library patron’s. Thus, the only way for an individual to locate one of these catalogs is to ask a research librarian or member of the access services staff.

Two years ago we used collection funds to load all of our 40,000 sales catalog SCIPIO into HOLLIS where they are now fully-searchable. This has furthered the impression that everything we have may be found using HOLLIS. The completion of the project we propose would fulfill this expectation. We will use an automated record automated matching service available from MARCadia to create and load HOLLIS records from our spreadsheet.

Amount requested is $12,000.

Expected Results with Partial Funding

Lesser funding that would support an incremental approach to creating access to these materials would also be welcome.

Estimated Follow-on Activities and/or Costs

We plan to use this approach going forward on an annual basis for new receipts. Expected cost to be covered by Fine Arts Library collection funds is $800.00 - $900.00/year.

Benefit to Harvard Scholars and Patrons

A diverse and wide-ranging audience makes use of our auction sales catalogs to study individual art works, to track sales and economic trends for different art markets, e.g., contemporary, old master, etc. Sales catalogs are also used for tracing collectors collections for provenance and restitution research. The movement of works of art is also used to understand historical and political events and patterns.

Ways the Project Supports Cross-Unit or Cross-Discipline Activities

The types research, described above, ranges beyond the traditional study of art and art history and can include anthropology, literature, history, the history of science, political science, business, economics, and other fields.

Resources the Sponsoring Library Can Support or Will Need Support For

Fine Arts can provide a thorough clean-up of the spreadsheets and the addition of any missing accessions. We will require the assistance of ITS and LTS to evaluate our spreadsheet data, help with matching data points, and with MARC file loads into HOLLIS.

Other Approaches to Achieving Goal or Result

None. We will otherwise await new funding sources in order to make these resources visible.

Risks if Proposal Is Not Approved

Important collection material will remain “invisible” and inaccessible to Library patrons.

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