Saturday, April 19, 2014

Learning From Each Other - The Reference Fair

Every year the San Francisco Public Library organizes a staff only reference fair so that Main departments and selected branches can highlight their collections and remind all staff what they do.

What treasures do big main libraries hold that even the librarians don't know about?  This fair gives all our departments the chance to share and explore.

At past Reference Fairs, the Art, Music and Recreation Center highlighted specific resources used to answer specific reference questions by patrons.  This year our goal is to illustrate a more subjective type of reference question. This is the kind of bibliographic brainstorming a visual artist might do using our collection. It could also be the kind of "forensic" reference work you need to do for the patron who doesn't know, or can't articulate, exactly what they're looking for. Our hypothetical artist needs to find images based on the elements of Color, Pattern, Graphic Lettering and Copyright Free Images.

We created four sample boards, one for each of the subjects above, filled with examples from our collection.

1. COLOR was further broken down into “theory”, “in combination”, “form and space”, “mixing pigments” and “psychological aspects”.  A few Library of Congress subject headings that can be used to find more books on this subject are: Color in art; Colors; Color guides; Color Decoration And Ornament; and Color In Art Exhibitions.

Selected sources used to create this board are:

Artist's Color Manual: The Complete Guide to Working with Color by Simon Jennings (San Francisco, CA : Chronicle Books, 2003)

Color Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers by John T. Drew (New York: Allworth Press, c2012.)

Color Index by Jim Krause. (Cincinnati, Ohio: HOW Books, c2010)

2. PATTERNS, PRINTS AND TEXTURES - Subject headings and keywords that can be used to find books on these topics are: Mosaics – technique; Tiles – history; Decorative arts – history; Patchwork – patterns; Repetitive patterns (Decorative arts); Symmetry (Art); Stencil work; Decoration and ornament; Design -- Themes, motives

Sources consulted for this board:

Mosaic Patterns: Step-by-step Techniques, Stunning Projects by Emma Biggs and Tessa Hunkin. (North Pomfret, Vt. : Trafalgar Square, 2006.)

Japanese Stencil Designs; one hundred outstanding examples collected and introduced by Andrew W. Tuer.(New York : Dover Publications, 1967)

Floral Design. Second series by Alan Weller designed by Juliana Trotta. (Mineola, N.Y. : Dover Publications, 2011)

3. GRAPHIC LETTERING - Use subject headings and keywords such as: Graphic Design (typography); Type and type-founding; Calligraphy; Lettering; Alphabets; Printing; Letterpress printing; Signs and signboards; Electric signs; Posters; Graffiti; Words in Art; Illumination of books and manuscripts.

A selection of books used to design this board:

Vintage Neon by Len Davidson (Atglen, Pa. : Schiffer Pub. c1999)

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story by Paul Shaw (Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2011)

An A-Z of Type Designers by Neil Macmillan.(New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, c2006)

4. COPY-RIGHT FREE IMAGES.  The main source of inspiration for this board was the library's own Etching and Engraving Picture File.  The list of subject headings can be found here and the actual etchings and engraving can be found in Art, Music and Recreation Center at the Main library.  Twelve items can be checked out at a time and there is a scanner and copy machine available at the library.  Also search the catalog with the keyword Dover Clip-Art Series.

Other books used to create this board:

Food and Drink: A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth-Century Sources. selected by Jim Harter. (New York : Dover Publications, 1980.)

Ready-to-use Old-fashioned Music Illustrations: Copyright-free Designs, Printed One Side, Hundreds of Uses. selected and arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton. (New York : Dover, 1990.)

Ready-to-use Art Nouveau Small Frames and Borders: Copyright-free Designs, Printed One Side, Hundreds of Uses. designed by Ted Menten. (New York : Dover, c1985)


Floréal Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux by E. A. Seguy (Paris: Calavas, n.d.)
Within the pages of this book you will find examples of a pochoir-illustrated book by the well known E. A. Seguy.

example of pochoir illustration

Color Papers [n.p.] 1930
sample book of Fat Shan, paper dealer, Canton, China.

example of paper for sale for 10 cents

Interaction of Color by Josef Albers

display of color silk screens housed in individual folders

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