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Arcade, a New Shared Catalog, Positions Three Major New York City Art Museum Libraries for the Future of Art Research

Press Release: New York Art Resources Consortium [February 24, 2009]

More than 800,000 records representing the holdings of The Frick Art Reference Library and the libraries of the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art are now accessible via Arcade, a new catalog developed with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The catalog, at, unites the distinguished resources of each library into a virtual collection. Arcade is the gateway to a trove of rich and varied material, much of it unique, on art and cultural history spanning the spectrum from ancient Egypt to contemporary art. Exhibition and art collection catalogs, monographs, periodicals, rare books, photograph collections, artist and vertical files, auction sale catalogs, artists’ books, archival materials, digital resources, and specialized databases may now be easily located. "We are very pleased to have participated in the creation of this collaborative catalog, which promises to transform the nature of research services at these libraries," comments Anne L. Poulet, Director of The Frick Collection. "Arcade facilitates discovery of our collections in new ways and allows collective development of ever more useful access and services."

Arcade, based on the Millennium system from Innovative Interfaces, Inc., allows users to search all three libraries’ combined resources through a unified interface, while also providing collection-specific searching using Dadabase (MoMA’s catalog), FRESCO (Frick Research Catalog Online), or Brookmuse (the Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives catalog). Searches may be limited not only by location, but by format specifications, including auction catalogs, artist books, archival materials, and e-resources.

New features include relevancy ranking of results, searchable table-of-contents in thousands of records, book jacket images, icons that identify categories of results, and links to Google Books files. RSS feeds provide up-to-date headlines of news in the art world. Featured lists present the collections in new ways. Links to recent acquisitions, finding aids, bibliographies, new digital collections, and library blogs are offered in Arcade. Joachim Pissarro, Adjunct Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art and the Bershad Professor of Art History at Hunter College, calls Arcade a remarkable achievement: "Not only is searching the combined catalog of these premier art libraries now easier, what is even more exciting for art researchers is the potential of discovery without boundaries."

Behind the scenes of Arcade are modules for managing acquisitions, cataloging, and circulation at each of the libraries. Implementation of these components of the integrated library system has resulted in shared efficiencies as policies and procedures were harmonized. "A central system has significantly lowered the costs of annual maintenance and investment in new features," notes Deirdre Lawrence, Principal Librarian of the Brooklyn Museum.

The three libraries, along with the Watson Library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, are members of NYARC, the New York Art Resources Consortium. With initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NYARC was formed to forge new methods to improve the discovery and delivery of research, coordinate core activities, and sustain shared resources. Arcade is the result of a subsequent grant from the Mellon Foundation, which targeted the creation of a powerful online catalog to provide a strong foundation for moving ahead on multiple initiatives.

A third grant of $464,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was awarded in December 2008, to further develop Arcade. Over the next three years, the partners will create a mechanism for coordinating collection development, construct new services to deliver the collective Arcade collection to users onsite, implement a system for electronic resources management, and carry out a program of engagement with current and potential users to guide strategic planning. With today’s launch of Arcade, the partner libraries have demonstrated the power of collective action to build programs that connect researchers to the resources they need.

About The Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives

The Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives have been developed to encourage understanding of the Museum’s encyclopedic collections and of the broader areas of art and cultural history. The holdings encompass approximately 275,000 volumes of books, periodicals, auction catalogs, artists’ files and pamphlets, documentary photographs, fashion sketches, rare books, artists’ books, and over 2,000 linear feet of archival collections. The library, established in 1823, covers the fine and decorative arts, photography, costumes and textiles, museum anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology, with particular strengths in the arts of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Islam. The Wilbour Library of Egyptology was founded in 1934 with the personal library of Charles Edwin Wilbour, one of American’s first Egyptologists, who assembled the foundation of the Brooklyn Museum’s Egyptian antiquities collection. Today, the Wilbour Library of Egyptology is one of the world’s most comprehensive resources about ancient Egypt. The Museum Archives contain institutional records, curatorial correspondence, expedition reports, and other related textual and visual records dating to the founding of the institution.

About the Frick Art Reference Library

Each year, the Frick Art Reference Library, established in 1920 by Helen Clay Frick (daughter of Henry Clay Frick, founder of the adjacent museum), serves approximately six thousand individuals with a serious interest in art, primarily scholars, museum and art market professionals, collectors, and graduate students. One of the world’s most valued art research centers for the study of art in the Western tradition, it is also one of the most complete resources for the study of collecting and patronage. The Library’s book and photograph collections relate chiefly to the fine arts and selected categories of the decorative arts from the fourth to the mid-twentieth centuries by artists of Europe and the Americas. Known internationally for its rich holdings of auction and exhibition catalogs, the Library is a leading site for provenance research. Its renowned Photoarchive of more than one million photographs documents the work of 36,000 artists. Archival and special collections supplement over 350,000 volumes of textual materials. The Center for the History of Collecting in America was established in 2007 to stimulate awareness and study of the formation of fine and decorative arts collections from Colonial times to the present. The Library maintains an active program of lectures, exhibitions, academic affiliations and fellowships.

About the Museum of Modern Art Library

Established in 1932, The Library and Museum Archives of The Museum of Modern Art comprise the world’s largest and most comprehensive research centers on modern and contemporary art. In 2006, The Library and Archives moved into the newly inaugurated Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building in midtown Manhattan, where it serves 4,500 researchers and processes over 5,000 requests for information annually. The Library’s resources encompass over 413,000 serial titles, bound periodical volumes, artist exhibition catalogs and monographs, general exhibition catalogs, artists’ files, artists’ books, pamphlet files, auction catalogs, and special collection items, all documenting visual arts from 1880 to the present. Collection highlights include works on Dada and Surrealism, The Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection, and the Political Art Documentation and Distribution Archive.

View Citation
Publication Year:2009
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:February 24, 2009
Publisher:New York Art Resources Consortium
Products: Millennium
Libraries: Frick Art Reference Library
Brooklyn Museum
Museum of Modern Art
York Art Resources Consortium
Record Number:13835
Last Update:2023-12-03 13:12:17
Date Created:2009-02-24 10:57:40