A blog for materials collections in art, architecture, and design environments. Sponsored by the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA).

Header image: SABIC Innovative Plastics: Wire Insulation made from SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Flexible Noryl PPO Resin. Image courtesy of Flickr.


Materials-based collections represent a challenging new mode of art librarianship with regards to subject specialization, physical description and accommodation, their close relationship to industry, and institutional mission. Whether a fully realized studio, a modest lab, or a nascent collection of samples, they play an important role in presenting the physicality of art and design objects to a digitally native audience of students from varied interests and disciplines that include architecture, interior design, furniture, textiles, lighting, color, painting, sculpture, etc. Increasing in number, materials collections are staffed by an equally diverse profile of librarians, curators, and directors. This proposed Materials Libraries Special Interest Group would ideally situate the gathering of such diverse yet common interests within VRA-ARLIS/NA’s strong legacy of best practices for art librarianship and visual resources.


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