Cataloguing & Classification Committee

What we do

The Cataloguing & Classification Committee supports the cataloguing and classification of all art materials in libraries:

promoting effective discovery of library resources for the visual arts, architecture and design, by supporting development and research in the cataloguing and classification of all art materials in libraries

supporting librarians responsible for providing bibliographic access to these resources, by maintaining and disseminating awareness of good practice, especially in the light of technological, organisational and cultural change.

Action Plan for 2018 (tbc)
Action Plan for 2016
Action Plan for 2015 (23.1KB PDF)
Action Plan for 2013 (41KB PDF)
Annual Report for 2012 (43KB PDF)

Details of committee members and contact details

Events or talks organised by the Cataloguing and Classification Committee

Forthcoming workshops


List of past workshops available here

Cataloguing resources produced by the Cataloguing and Classification Committee

Art Libraries Journal, vol. 36, no. 3, 2011, edited by Gillian Varley. ISSN 0307-4722. For further details, please go to the Art Libraries Journal page (122KB PDF).

The committee, led by Deborah Lee, co-ordinated a special issue of the Art Libraries Journal on the subject of classification in art libraries. Written by a variety of contributors including some committee members, the articles provide an interesting overview of the issues associated with this aspect of bibliographic control.

The first part of the issue looks at how successfully established classification schemes cater for art-related materials, with articles that discuss the relative merits of DDC, UDC, Bliss and Library of Congress Classification within the context of a variety of institutions. The second part covers some of the current issues in classification in art libraries, such as the problems of updating an adapted classification scheme to maintain its currency, discussions about the reclassification issues encountered during library mergers and the practical steps involved in reclassifying an area of library stock, and the challenges of classifying photography. The final article describes a museum library that has moved away from traditional classification to concentrate on keyword indexing for access to its collections.

Artists' books: a cataloguers' manual compiled by Maria White, Patrick Perratt and Liz Lawes (London: ARLIS/UK & Ireland, 2006). viii, 93 p.: ill.; 21cm. ISBN 0-9552445-0-1/978-0-9552445-0-6. For further details, please go to the Publications page.

This manual is designed for anyone involved in the cataloguing of artists' books. As many cataloguers may not be very familiar with the genre, the manual is preceded by an introductory section giving a brief history of artists' books, a discussion of the problems associated with defining the term itself and an outline of specific problems the cataloguer may face. The manual itself takes the cataloguer through each applicable rule from AACR2, offering guidance on interpretation and, where necessary, expanding on the rules. Appendices include full examples in MARC21, some with photographs, a bibliography and a list of websites that the cataloguer may find useful. The manual is in an easy to use spiral bound A5 format.

What the reviewers say:

'This manual [...] will come as a welcome addition to the cataloguer's reference shelf.' (Simon Ford,ARLIS News-sheet, Issue 183, September/October 2006, p3)
'At last a proper manual for cataloguing artists' books!' (Sarah Bodman, Book Arts Newsletter, No. 29, September 2006)
'This is a very useful book, not just for the special collections cataloguer but those working in more general collections who are likely to encounter artists' books only now and again.' (Richard Price,Catalogue & Index, No. 155, Winter/Spring 2007, p71)

Cataloguing artists' videos and DVDs: diversions and frictions (Notes, 2nd draft 16/8/2005) compiled by Jacqueline Cooke and Patrick Perratt on behalf of the ARLIS/UK & Ireland Cataloguing and Classification Committee, and presented at the ARLIS workshop Artists' film and video: building a balanced collection, 10 June 2005, Kent Institute of Art & Design, Canterbury.

The guidelines are based on MARC21 and AACR2, with other compatible guidelines for cataloguing moving image material, from the art libraries milieu. The authors highlight some of the difficulties of cataloguing this material in this format to provide a simplified guide.

The draft guidelines, presentation, and references can be downloaded below:

Draft guidelines (246KB PDF)
Presentation (1.51MB PDF)
References (76KB PDF)

Jacqueline has recently written an article about cataloguing artists' videos for the Art libraries journal. Details about the article can be found at: Cooke, Jacqueline (2009) Cataloguing artists' videos.Art libraries journal. vol.34, no.3, pp.40-45.

Trade literature: cataloguing and classification guidelines compiled by Bernadette Archer and Kaye Bagshaw for the ARLIS/UK & Ireland Cataloguing and Classification Committee (London: ARLIS/UK & Ireland, 2004). ISBN 0-9519674-8-7. (Originally sold as a boxed CD and now available as a PDF (549KB PDF) file to download for free.)

These guidelines are designed for anyone whose collections include trade literature, both current and historic. They provide general guidance on cataloguing and classifying these ephemeral resources.

Art exhibition documentation in libraries: cataloguing guidelinescompiled by the ARLIS/UK & Ireland Cataloguing and Classification Committee (London: ARLIS/UK & Ireland, 2000). ISBN 0-9519674-7-9. For further details, please go to the Publications page.

An invaluable addition to the professional literature for cataloguers who handle exhibition catalogues and other related documentation.

Who we are

Current members

Nicky Ransom (Chair)
Data Quality Librarian
University for the Creative Arts 

As the Data Quality Manager at the University for the Creative Arts, Nicky is responsible for the creation and quality of bibliographic data in the library catalogue. In conjunction with a part time cataloguer, she catalogues and classifies a wide variety of materials, including books, serials, exhibition catalogues, artists’ books, DVDs, and computer games. In addition, Nicky has responsibility for data quality, including authority work and retrospective projects to improve legacy data, and she is currently managing a project to reclassify large sections of stock to harmonise call numbers across the four site libraries.

Joanna Brogan
Assistant Librarian
National Art Library
Tel: +44 (0)207 942 2396

Joanna is based in the Collections section of the National Art Library in the Victoria and Albert Museum. She shares in the selection, processing and cataloguing of the books received in the NAL- a mixture of monographs, exhibition catalogues, theses and special collection material. Currently she holds the NAL liaison role for the museum's new Europe 1600-1800 galleries and has been learning how to enhance the catalogue records of books which have been selected for use in the galleries.

Aniska Kumra
Assistant Librarian Cataloguing
Goldsmiths, University of London 

Aniska manages a small cataloguing team who catalogue a wide variety of library materials including artist’s books, exhibition catalogues, audio visual items and e-resources. Aniska also catalogues a number of Special Collections including the Women’s Art Library, the Kathy Rae Huffman Media Art Library and more recently the student led initiative, the Art Writing collection.  Aniska is also involved with a number of projects within the Goldsmiths Library including marketing and more recently project managing the Summer refurbishment of the ground floor of the library.

Dr. Deborah Lee
Senior Cataloguer
The Courtauld Institute of Art

Yamuna Ravindran
Drawing Room Library

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