SPEC Kit 333: Art & Artifact Management  · 75
Library of Congress
Collections Policy Statement. Fine and Applied Arts—Non Book Materials (Graphic Arts)
interest in appropriate regional collections. The Library collects information about such
holdings and, where possible, microform copies of the same.
E. Popular and applied graphic art
1. Particular emphasis is placed on the acquisition of prints that are important pictorial records
of the people, history, and culture of the United States and of its present and former territories
and possessions. These include views of American buildings, cities, urban and rural sites,
people, and events or personalities whose work is of significance or of special importance to
the history of the United States, and are acquired on a selective basis.
2. The Library acquires on a selective basis important examples of the ornamental and
functional uses of the graphic arts in the United States. The types of materials include, but are
not limited to, illustrated sheet music, baseball cards, advertising labels, postcards, trading
cards and bank-note engravings. Outstanding examples of foreign works in these categories will
be acquired if they can be shown to have influenced developments in or were significantly
influenced by American illustration and graphic design.
3. The Library collects foreign prints of historical significance that support the research
interests and collections of the Library's various area studies divisions.
4. Works which are of strictly local significance are considered the province of regional
repositories. The Library attempts to direct such works to the appropriate institutions.
5. Collections, in most cases, are confined to individually issued prints or series of prints, as
distinct from those originally included in books or periodicals. Every effort is made to collect
across the spectrum of popular printmaking: woodcuts and wood-engravings, etchings and
engravings, lithographs and chromolithographs, and silkscreens, as well as photomechanically
and digitally produced prints.
6. In acquiring examples of popular and applied graphic arts, the holdings of other institutions
in the Washington area are to be taken into account so that duplication is generally, though not
necessarily, avoided. For example, the Library takes care when acquiring portraits of American
statesmen and public figures to not duplicate the efforts of the National Portrait Gallery.
7. The Library acquires on a comprehensive basis American and foreign political satires,
allegories, and caricatures and other types of political prints from the Reformation period to
the present.
IV. Acquisitions Sources
Graphic arts materials will be collected to support the Mission of the Library of Congress across
the broad spectrum of its collecting areas. The Library will accept gifts and make purchases of
those items which qualify as the best edition of works of art on paper available, both published
and unpublished, regardless of fragility or wear and tear due to use and age, if they qualify
based on the Specific Collecting Policy Guidelines above. The Copyright Office states its Best
Edition of Published Copyrighted Works for the Collections of the Library of Congress, Circular
7b. While this establishes the ideal practice, in reality most copyrighted Visual Arts works are
submitted in a reproductive format as permitted in circular 40a Deposit Requirements for
Registration of Claims to Copyright in Visual Arts Material which is outside the scope of the
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