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International Foundation for Art Research, Inc. (New York, NY 10110-0002)
Sharon Flescher (Project Director: July 2014 to June 2016)
Enhancements to IFAR's Catalogues Raisonnés Database

Planning for enhancements to an existing database for art historical research, and development of a pilot to test usability of the enhancements.  The current database, Catalogues Raisonnés, contains records to about 3,600 published volumes on approximately 2,300 artists, covering all artistic styles from antiquity to the present, and serves scholars and general users.  The proposed enhancements include linking to digital aggregators to view and search on published texts and locate libraries holding the work, and also adding an ontology of artists’ names and relationships that would deepen search capabilities across the database.

Catalogues raisonnés are essential art historical research tools. Recognizing this, IFAR launched a free interactive Catalogue Raisonné Database in December 2008. It is the only online resource devoted to catalogues raisonnés in all media. Now IFAR intends to enhance its usefulness to humanities researchers by taking advantage of online resources not available in 2008. We plan two enhancements: 1) links to bibliographic aggregators, such as WorldCat, Hathi Trust, Google Books, and others, enabling users to: a) view and search the text of a catalogue raisonné, where copyright permits, and b) locate the closest library housing the book, and 2) creating the first-ever, interactive artist ontology, which will add context and clarify complex connections between artists in our Database--and in so doing--transform the Database into a nexus of information on catalogues raisonnés. This request supports the planning phase of the project and will result in a "mini-prototype" and user survey.

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Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 4/30/2016