It's always gratifying to see a new monograph published about an item(s) that we've acquired for our Locked Stacks. The new MIT Press book Utopie: Texts and Projects, 1967-1978, for example, discusses the Parisian architectural group Utopie, whose main journal we purchased a few years ago. As is the way of a good research library, primary and secondary sources mingle together in the collection, offering different, and complementary, research experiences.
The Art & Architecture and Engineering Libraries recently subscribed jointly to the database Material conneXion, which provides technical information and images for materials used in design and manufacturing. Details include materials' sustainability, fire resistance, acoustics, stiffness, transparency, texture, etc.
The Image Permanence Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology has recently created an online print study collection that allows visitors to learn about and compare print processes ranging from intaglio lithography to ink jet. Print identification can be a tricky task, and the only way to truly gain proficiency is to spend lots of time with lots of prints.
Staff at the Art & Architecture Library are very used to seeing the twenty-one volumes of the Napoleonic work Description de l'Égypte, as their immense red slipcases populate numerous shelves of the Locked Stacks. However, it has been quite awhile since a patron has requested to see these volumes--so it was a treat when a visiting scholar wanted to look at all of the plate volumes earlier this week. Here are the books awaiting use in our reading room:
Disclaimer: this database was created by Foot Locker. But Foot Locker probably does know a fair bit about sneakers, and this is a sneaker database. It is searchable by brand, type, material, color, keyword, and/or year; images and descriptive info. come from sneaker owners. Pretty entertaining.
If you'd like to get notified of new additions to the Art Library's (or any library at Stanford, for that matter) collections on a topic of interest to you, one easy way is to set up an RSS feed for a specific SearchWorks search. You'll need: (1) some search terms; (2) a feed reader (I used Google Reader).
For example, to be notified when new artists' books are added to our collection (provided they're given the subject term "Artists' books"), follow these steps:
Search for "artists' books" in the Subject field, and then limit your location to the Art Library.
In an effort to make the Art & Architecture Library as accessible to patrons as possible (well, within reason!), we have just implemented a new set of loan policies that, among other things, extends the student borrowing period from 7 days to 28 days.
An article in The Guardian from September asks some intriguing questions about how photographs (particularly the snapshot or news-photo sort) can gain meaning beyond their original contexts, and how they, every so often, make the transition from document to art. And what an interesting reference to Pieter Breugel's Fall of Icarus.