IFLA Art Libraries Section Endorses Art Discovery Group Catalogue Project

The Art Libraries Section of IFLA is pleased to announce its enthusiastic endorsement of the Art Discovery Group Catalogue project. This endorsement reflects a unanimous vote taken by the Section’s Standing Committee at their August 2014 meeting in Lyon, France. Art Discovery is an innovative, open-access research tool being developed by the world’s leading art libraries in collaboration with the OCLC library network.

Art Discovery offers a visual arts-focused research experience within the OCLC WorldCat environment, bringing together items from more than sixty premier art libraries alongside additional content from a multitude of online journals and databases. Art Discovery promises more—and freely available—results on a global scale. Powered by WorldCat and coordinated by the committee, the project has been developed in the context of the Future of Art Bibliography initiative. Thanks to generous support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Getty Research Institute, Art Discovery was launched at the Art Libraries Society of North America conference in May 2014.

For more information about Art Discovery, contact any member of the Project Group. Questions about the IFLA Art Libraries Section can be directed to Lucile Trunel, Chair of the Standing Committee. - VIRTUAL CATALOGUE for ART HISTORY is a meta search catalogue based on the federated search architecture of the German Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog. Currently more than 90 art libraries in 14 countries in Europe, North America and Australia participate in this network.  They offer access to more than 12 million bibliographic records related to literature on art history, architecture, art theory, aesthetics and related disciplines. 

The IFLA Art Libraries Section is supporting the development of this steadily growing network by promoting it through conference sessions, workshops and publications.  The multinational nature of the Art Libraries Section has been a tremendous support to the growth and publicity of the network in recent years.

PUBLICATIONS relating to


The Editor, Thomas Hill, engaged the support of 53 Regional Co-ordinators covering most of the world. This dedicated team provided the Editor with a complete update of facts and he was able to produce camera-ready copy for K.G. Saur to publish the Directory in time for the Copenhagen conference. ARLIS/NA deserves our gratitude for undertaking the development of the Directory in electronic form, and especially Thomas Hill, staunchly supported by Vassar College, for single-handedly pursuing the objective.

This groundbreaking project was developed in the early days of the internet. The vast growth of institutional websites, together with the emergence of search engines, has overtaken events since then.

Thomas Hill (Ed.)
International Directory of Art Libraries
KG Saur, 1997. 251 pages
ISBN 3-598-21807-9


This book was initially published by the Art Libraries Section in 1984 with a revised edition appearing in 1991.  This was a ground-breaking initiative at the time and greatly welcomed by art librarians.  The text was also published later on the IFLA website.  The intention was to grdually expand the range of languages and continually update entries.  However, the emergence of the internet and online translation tools reduced the need for such a publication and in 2012 the Art Libraries Section decided not to continue developing this initiative.

See: archived online version.

Art Libraries

Last update: 10 August 2018