How To Do More Efficient, More Effective ARTstor Searching


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Eileen Fry, Indiana University presentation at VRA 28 Atlanta for the "Ask the Experts" session.

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How To Do More Efficient, More Effective ARTstor Searching

  1. 1. HOW TO DO MORE EFFICIENT, MORE EFFECTIVE ARTSTOR SEARCHING EILEEN FRY Fine Arts Slide Librarian Indiana University Ask the Experts VRA Atlanta 2010
  3. 3. Tips for Keyword and Advances Searches: Using Wildcards •underscore (_) The underscore (_) can represent any one character. m_net will retrieve "monet", "manet", etc. •asterisk (*) The asterisk (*) can represent zero, one, or several characters. ren* will retrieve "rene", "reni", "renoir", "rendering", "renaissance", etc. •dollar sign ($) The dollar sign ($) will expand the search to include terms that stem from a given root. $poison will retrieve "poison", "poisoned", "poisoning", "poisonous", "poisoner", etc. •Capitalization There is no need to capitalize words in ARTstor, even in titles or artists' names. When searching for Thomas Eakins, simply enter: thomas eakins •Articles You do not need to use articles (a, the, le, la, etc.) before titles or other terms. When searching for "The Judgment of Paris", you may simply enter: judgment of paris •Exact phrase To search for an exact phrase, put the phrase in quotes ("..."). When searching for the painting "Le Moulin de la Galette" by Renoir, enter: "le moulin de la galette“ •Punctuation When searching for phrases or words that include punctuation such as "self-portrait", you can either use the punctuation or leave it out. The following searches will both yield the same results: self-portrait or self portrait •Word order Unless your search phrase is enclosed with quotation marks ("..."), the order of terms will not affect the search. The following searches will both yield the same results: albrecht durer or durer albrecht
  4. 4. When to use quotation marks “”. New Old South Church (all common words) - 97, many false hits “New Old South Church” – 4, all true hits
  5. 5. _, $, or *. Practice till you know which one does what Problem: Borobodur, (Borobudur, Boro Boedoer, Boro Budor, Boro Bodor) TGN= Borobudur (deserted settlement) 7003697. Also Wikipedia. No other variants given . Will your user know to look for other forms? Solution. Wildcards Boro$= 61 results Boro$ Java =54 (all Echols collection, Cornell) Boro*= 1,000+ Borob*=751 (most are relevent, but also Borobridge, England) Borobudur=738 Borobodur=349 Borob_d_r = 45. all Relevant except for a few Gauguins Borob_d_r – Advanced Search – Title Only eliminates the Gaugins (Still have to navigate 20 pages of returns.
  6. 6. But if you only want the Muktesvara temple, just do that Always use the most specific term possible. Muktesvara = 76 records, all relevant
  7. 7. Muktesvara Temple, Bhuvanesvara | Bhubanesvara Bhuvanesvara is in ARTstor under many variants. bhu* returns too much. bhu_an* is better, but also includes Bhutan. Advanced search: Bhu_an* AND NOT Bhutan still has a few false hits. Advanced search Bhu_an* AND NOT Bhutan* return all and only Bhuvanesvara and its variants. Then sort by title, and you have a reasonably organized 578 images of the site.
  8. 8. Be wary of plurals and punctuation. Mohenjo-Daro Seals search Mohenjo seal for singles, Mohenjo seals for group shots. OR Mohenjo* seal* to get all variants
  9. 9. Tips for collection searches While you may browse individual collections, you may also search for particular collections by using certain search terms. Collection name Search terms Collection status Josef and Anni Albers Foundation albersfoundation completed American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) Collection (University of Michigan) acsaa completed American Institute of Indian Studies indiastudies in progress Andrew Dickson White Collection of Architectural Photographs (Cornell University Library) dickson white cornell completed Wayne Andrews: Architecture (Esto) andrews esto completed Architecture of Venice (Sarah Quill) "sarah quill" in progress Art, Archaeology, and Architecture (Canyonlights World Art Image Bank) canyonlights in progress
  10. 10. Another examples of problematic spelling, abbreviations, and attribution St. Michael’s Church, Charleston, SC. problems of st./saint and ‘s, real problem is with attribution. In my collection as Peter Harrison. All slides in ARTstor either have Samuel Cardy, or no architect. Creator: Architect unknown Creator: Cardy, Samuel, Irish; American, builder Title: St. Michael's Church Title: Saint Michael's Church (SAHARA) least subjective approaches = Charleston Michael church = 61
  11. 11. Learn to Expect Variation Anonymous Sienese | Tressa Master | Traini, Buffamalco, Master of the Triumph of Death* Madonna with the Big Eyes | Occhi Grossi, other title variants Pisa. Camposanto | Campo Santo di Pisa. Tressa = 1 IMAGE Creator: Maestro di Tressa (Master of the Braid) Title: Madonna dagli Occhi Grossi (Madonna with the Big Eyes) Work Type: painting Date:1220s Repository:Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Siena, Italy) ARTstor Collection:Italian and other European Art (Scala Archives) Occhi Grossi = 3 IMAGE (Because 2 don’t include Tressa Master as creator) * When attribution is a problem, find another approach
  12. 12. Learn to expect Exclusion of information Cambridge, MA. Craigie House Two views of the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House, home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in Cambridge. (Schlesinger History of Women in America Collection) John Vassall (Longfellow) House Longfellow National Historic Site Longfellow House View Description: exterior John Vassall House (SAHARA) (Carnegie Set) Records from Sahara do not mention Craigie or Vassall.
  13. 13. Don’t be too literal James Brice House – no returns Brice House – return Medford Royall House – 1 b/w Medford House – shows that most images use Royal, not Royall. 8 images
  14. 14. Take the “Path of Least Resistance” Portsmouth, MacPheadris-Warner House McPhedris-Warner House McPhaedris-Warner House M*C*PH*DRIS will do the job if you think out all the places you might need a wildcard BUT Portsmouth Warner is just as effective
  15. 15. Judicious use of NOT to eliminate a large group of unwanted returns Sukhothai, Thailand Sukhothai brings up 115 images, including many news photos by Abbas Advanced Search Sukhothai NOT abbas eliminates the false hits (76 images But a typo while searching shows that some images are actually under Sukothai (20). Suk*thai NOT abbas returns full set of 96 images
  16. 16. Learn to “think outside the box” “Kakcho Tomb. Wrestling Scene. Koguryo Dynasty. Three Kingdoms Period. Wall Painting” Kakcho = 0 Korea Tomb = 0 Korea painting – more than 1000 Koguryo=0 Three Kingdoms = 145 hits. (on page5 of 7) BUT: Korea Wrestling = 2, including right image Kakjuh-Chong. Wrestling Figures
  17. 17. Use One or two words, and make them the most distinctive words. For “South Berwick Hamilton House “ search “Berwick Hamilton”
  18. 18. Learn to spot the crucial word to search. “San Antonio. Mission Muestra Senora de la Purissima Concepcion de Acuna” “Acuna” gives many false hits Search “Acuna Antonio“ or “Acuna San” or “Acuna Mission”
  19. 19. AVOID LIKELY PROBLEMS: ARCHITECTURAL ATTRIBUTION, VARIANT SPELLINGS, ETC. Richard Taliafer(r)o. Westover. The variant spelling can be solved with a wildcard: taliafer*o (All in ARTstor are Taliaferro) But- Search on Westover shows many hits for which no creator is given Westover + sahara shows an anonymous creator Title:Westover View Description: exterior Work Type: Plantation Date: Creation date: ca. 1730-ca. 1734 Location: Charles City, Virginia, United States (SAHARA) Cleanest Search is “Westover” in A.S. Title only
  20. 20. Go with most distinctive term, least subjective term “Brandon” Plantation House near Burrowsville Virginia, Prince George County” aka. Brandon on the James Go with Brandon Virginia
  21. 21. Remember the classic problems with Classical Art Knidian Aphrodite in Munich Knidian or Cnidian Aphrodite or Venus Knidian or “Of Knidos” Knidos or Cnidus “Praxiteles Aphrodite” seems to give best results, but nothing says “Munich”
  22. 22. Avoid use of NY or NYC or New York if possible. Just too many hits. Watch for alternate terms, i.e. House vs. Mansion NYC, Morris (Jumel) House. 1765. Nothing under Morris house, (Manson, not house) “Residence of Roger Morris (Jumel Mansion)” Jumel locates image (Madame Jumel (morris) mansion Residence of Roger Morris (Jumel Mansion). When dating is concrete, use it Morris 1765.
  23. 23. How to be sure you are getting all the images that are acutally in ARTstor Alexander mosaic. Battle of Issus. Battle between Alexander and Darius Greek or Roman? Pompeii or Naples? Be sure people understand the collation icon and know to look for it. Easy to pass over the single image of the full mosaic that shows up.
  24. 24. KEEP TRYING COMBINATIONS Our label: gravestone of Holmes sons, Glastonbury, Ct., 1795 “Holmes Sons” does not return it. “Holmes” alone is 20 pages of returns. ) “Holmes Grave” & “ Holmes Gravestone” – no color image returned. “Holmes 1795” produces one color; “Holmes Glastonbury” produces two color images and several b/w’s
  25. 25. Don’t ignore the Value of info on bottom label: My Labels: “Anonymous Man’s bust. Early 19th c. wood, originally painted. Newport News, Maritime Museum” (No mention of Commodore Perry) In ARTstor as “Ship Figurehead” (no mention of bust). Commodore Perry. Newport News, Mariner’s Museum. Only words that overlap are “Newport News” But how likely is a user to know the location of an object?
  26. 26. Don’t just keep plugging more words into ARTstor. Sometimes better to go to the web first. Find out what other variations, attributions, alternate language titles might be. Locate sites or archives that specialize in what you are looking for Use both Google and Bing image searches to find usable images and/or look for clues
  27. 27. The value of Google for solving problems can’t be underestimated. For the Redon, it’s about the only way to confirm that “Face in Window” and “Lamplight/Lumiere” are truly the same work, as just visual comparison can be misleading. So when we’re instructing our faculty, students, and other users, it’s going to be important to show them several strategies, and how they can work together. If we don’t they are just going to get frustrated, give up, and ask us to scan something that is already available.
  28. 28. There is a big difference between searching ARTstor for something you already know, and may even have in your hand and searching ARTstor for “something representative” There is also a big difference between searching for images for use and searching for massive numbers of slides to “see if they are in ARTstor” For the latter, you, and your assistants, need to be quick, precise, inventive, and persistent.