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Cataloging Graphic Materials

DRAFT 6/9/97

General Rules

0A. Scope [8.0A]

These guidelines focus on graphic materials that document performances or dance-related events, particularly production photographs and original costume and set designs. Other items covered are posters, prints, paintings, and drawings. While cataloging at the item level may be undertaken for graphic material, performing arts collections generally contain such quantities that this level of cataloging is rarely feasible, except in brief in a finding aid. Catalog records at a collection, series, or subseries level may be created for graphic material described in more detail in a finding aid. . Examples of finding aid descriptions and related catalog records are included as an appendix.

Among the groups of materials frequently found in performing arts collections and discussed here are [DHC Participants: Please look for or create sample records for any of theses groups which you have in your collections]:

Photographic materials:

  • groups of photographs depicting a single performance or production, groups of photographs depicting a dance companyÝs performances or productions of a single choreographic work over the course of time
  • groups of photographs that are maintained as an active subject file on a single choreographic work (or on another subject),photographic collections by a single photographer, series within such a collection, and items within such a collection
  • photographic collections brought together by an individual collector which may cover a variety of topics
  • groups of photographs of single individuals or performing groups
  • individual photographs of significance

Designs and drawings:

  • groups of designs documenting a single performance work, either for a single performance or several performances over the course of time
  • an individual design for a performance work
  • a drawing, or group of drawings, relating to a performance work, but not a design
  • a group of designs by a single artist for a number of productions
  • a group of designs and drawings collected by a person or institution
  • architectural drawings [?]

Prints and paintings include:

  • individual portraits, or groups of portraits, of performers
  • theater buildings (exterior and interior)
  • theatrical scenes
  • scenography
  • social dance scenes and/or invented scenes
  • costume prints

Posters include:

  • individual posters
  • groups from a theater
  • groups from a producing company
  • groups for a particular performance work
  • groups collected by an individual

The above list is not inclusive. Examples for most of these types are included throughout the guidelines, as appropriate.

0B. Sources of information [8.0B]

0B1. Chief source of information

0B1.1. For single items, treat as the chief source of information printed or manuscript text provided by the creator or creating body on or with the item. When the text is not known to have been provided by the creator or creating body, use information from the following sources, in this order of preference:

a) text on or with the item provided by sources other than the creator or creating body
b) reference sources, such as published descriptions, catalogues raisonnés, exhibit catalogs, auction catalogs, dealersÝ catalogs
c) any source, such as unpublished descriptions, including provenance and accession records, inventories, advertisements, personal information, etc.

In cases where the title is taken from a chief source of information other than a) above, describe the chief source in a note.

0B1.2. For collections, treat as the chief source the whole collection itself, relying first on textual information on the material and its containers, then accompanying textual material, such as finding aids, provenance and accession records, then the visual content of the material itself.

0C. Punctuation [8.0C]

Follow AACR2 and ISBD rules for punctuation (see Appendix for punctuation rules).

0D. Levels of detail in the description [1.0D]

Records should include at a minimum the following elements:

Level 1:
Collective or supplied title. ˝ date(s) of execution ˝ physical description (extent and medium only) ˝ note(s) ˝ subject and other added entries.

Level 2:
Title proper / statement(s) of responsibility. -- date(s) of execution. -- physical description. -- note(s). -- subject and other added entries.

[It was suggested that this be expanded to three levels, however, is this really appropriate]

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