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Re: [BKARTS] Drucker Article

I had the great pleasure of taking part in a working group meeting with
Johanna Drucker and others representing the University of Virginia and
other book arts collections across the country earlier this week. Over the
course of two very full half-days Johanna further outlined her work to
date, and we collectively modified and clarified the DTD (Document Type
Definition) which she had created. The meeting certainly helped inform my
understanding of the project, and the exchange of ideas with others was
helpful and rewarding. Johanna be posting a synopsis here and elsewhere in
the near future.  She has also been made aware of the discussion on this
list and elsewhere in response to her article.

As a participant, librarian, and bookartist (binder) I think this
structured way (the DTD) of describing artists' books and the book arts
will provide far greater and qualitatively better access to the items and
collections than currently available in library catalog systems. It will
allow artists to contribute to the description of their work. In addition
to physically describing a work, the DTD will also gather information
editions, collaborations, and allow for critical analysis, recording that
information alongside the other information. The project will also,
hopefully, contribute to/or benefit from a controlled vocabulary which will
help in the consistent description of works and concepts, something
necessary for learning, teaching, and professional discourse. In addition
to intellectual and conceptual challenges there are also still numerous
technical implementation issues to be worked out.

Once revisions are made to the DTD I too will experiment by entering a wide
range of materials, including "artists' books," fine press books, design
bindings, and other works which will hopefully help with testing the model.

In the meantime, I've been enjoying the discussion of the concepts as they
were presented in her article and hope it continues. We need to have high
level discussions like this for the field to move forward and attain the
respect and interest it deserves.


I have read the Drucker article several times now and share her
interest in the development of "shared reference tools", page 9. I do
not yet know if I fully agree with her criteria for judgement (page 4)
but it is a wonderful start point for discussion/assessment of specific
artists' books. Drucker's paragraph just before Appendix A speaks of
her intention to create a database using a set of protocols she has
developed and presents in both Appendix A & Appendix B. I intend to
apply her protocols to some of my own work as a way of assessing and/or
tinkering with her protocols. Doing this might be of interest to others
on the list. If you have not seen this article it is in the Bonefolder,
volume 1, number 2, spring 2005, you can find it at

Emily Martin


Peter D. Verheyen
Bookbinder & Conservator, PA - AIC
The Book Arts Web & Book_Arts-L Listserv
The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

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