28  ·  Survey Results:  Survey Questions and Responses
11. If you use more than one tool, how do you determine which one to use for an item or collection?
Check all that apply. N=49
Nature of the collection (e.g., objects that are part of a manuscript collection may
be treated differently than objects in an art collection) 35 71%
Staffing/resources available for description 28 57%
Material type (e.g., photographs may be treated differently than sculptures) 24 49%
Size of collection 23 47%
Anticipated use 14 29%
Method of acquisition (e.g., purchase, donation, transfer) 5 10%
Other method 5 10%
Please specify the other method.
Artists’ books appear in the online catalog and on the web page.
As noted above, we use the simple spreadsheets to track orphans/items disassociated from their larger collections.
Inherent value or uniqueness. Also, condition and preservation costs.
Value (monetary) for audit issues.
We are in a period of transition, but are moving towards using AT for all materials. All collections get EAD and MARC
Please enter any additional comments about choice of tools. N=9
All collections received have accession records in the AT and receive a collection-level MARC records; more granular
description occurs in finding aids.
Almost always a matter of expediency and availability/knowledge of personnel (usually temporary and short-term).
Art and artifact materials are treated in a similar way. We rely on MARC records for description in order to integrate
information about visual material collections with the Library’s other holdings, although a Prints & Photographs Online
Catalog also combines MARC records in standalone databases with MARC records from the library’s ILS. For a particular
collection or acquisition, we plan for processing and cataloging by assessing the “Use, Value, and Viability.” We have
at least a summary description for each collection, increasingly supplemented by a container list that outlines broad
contents or provides an index. Material that is inherently fragile or difficult to handle safely is likely to receive item-level
listing or at least item-level tracking through a unique identification number, e.g., original drawings and photographic
The collection is insufficiently documented. Over the years a little of everything has been used to keep track of it. The
most important tools are still the artist’s own manuscript inventories, old published lists and a catalogue raisonné of
prints. Volunteers and students have created non-EAD inventories and finding aids for a few very small parts of the
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