Core Collection Project

Developed for the Nashville School for the Arts

Creating a Core Reference Collection

I chose to focus my collection development on a public high school in Nashville, TN that is an arts magnet school. My goal was to infuse this older reference collection with new reference works that would mirror the students' interests in studio arts, art history, dance, theatre, music, songwriting and spoken word poetry. In addition, I wanted to provide additional online resources that would provide tools for students when they are not able to access the school library. The addition of these thirty resources, print and digital, will give students and teachers great authoritative sources when creating their own artistic works or conducting research for cross-curricular projects.
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Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Heroes and Superheroes by Bart Beaty and Stephen Weiner. Salem Press. 2012. 2 volumes. $295.

Part of the the Critical Survey of Graphic Novels series, these two volumes examine graphic novels in terms of archetypes throughout history. Highly recommended for scholars seeking research sources or as a reader' advisory for fans of graphic novels and comics. Library Journal describes this set as "impeccable."
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St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture by Thomas Riggs. St. James Press. 2013.

This voluminous work covers the history and current state of American popular culture. Entries include music, film, art, dance, sports, television, and performance. This second edition includes even more articles. The layout is concise with entries listed alphabetically and cross-referenced as well. Each entry also lists additional reference for more in-depth information. This touches on many people and events in American popular culture.
5 volumes. print $767. eBook. $802.

*Booklist Noteable Review 2013

Movies in American History, First Edition. ABC-CLIO. 3 vol. 2011.

Movies in American History is available as either an eBook or in a three volume print set. The on-line book integrates with ABC-CLIO database subscriptions for easy searching. This work features 450 entries that explore the history of American film in context to the political, social, economic and artistic movements during that film's time. The contents will appeal to students who enjoy cinema and would like to incorporate it into a research project. Also includes suggested reference works for further exploration within each entry.

*Booklist recommended

Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion-Berg Fashion Library. Oxford Press. eBook. 2011.

The Berg Fashion Library is a unique database that offers students and scholars access to current and historical fashion information world-wide. The global and historical approach makes this resource pertinent to cross-curricular projects. For example, students can look up the history of women's fashion and American politics. The fashion library has an extensive collection of over 70 fashion ebooks and a color image bank featuring the collections of many international museums. This resource also provides free bibliographic articles and lesson plans that integrate the Berg Fashion Library content making this an ideal tool for librarians.

*Dartmouth Medal 2011 (RUSA)

*Frankfurt Book Fair Digital Award 2011

*2013 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Electronic Reference Award

*Library Journal starred review

Pop Culture Universe. Greenwood/ABC-CLIO.

Pop Culture Universe is one of the most definitive research products exploring American popular culture. The user interface combines the ease and functionality of web sites while articles are written by authoritative scholars. One of the most popular tools is the "Decades" index that allows researchers to look at people,places, and events according to their decade. This database gives student scholars the opportunity to research contemporary musicians and artists within the confines of an authoritative resource.

*Outstanding Academic Title, 2009 - Choice
*Editor's Choice Award - Library Media Connection
*Best Digital Resource - School Library Journal
*2009 Dartmouth Medal

*Library Media Connection recommended

Magill's Cinema Annual 2013: A Survey of the Films of 2012, 2013 Edition. St. James Press/Cengage. $217.

This annual survey of films provides an authoritative reference for all films produced. It categorically lists different awards, credits, and nominations for both foreign and domestic films released that year in the United States. In addition this resource offers authoritative critical reviews compiled in one convenient place. This would be very useful for student researchers that want to include very recent films as part of their research.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Alexander Street Press. online database. 2009

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music is one of the largest music encyclopedias available. This resource is now available through publisher Alexander Street. This database is periodically updated. Garland is the definitive source for researching world music. This database is comprised of all 10 volumes of the encyclopedia plus additional features such as a music controlled vocabulary and better search capabilities. On-line users will also find downloadable music as well as scores. The site features articles from 900 experts all over the world.
*2003 Dartmouth Medal
*the New York Public Library Outstanding Reference Book award
*Library Journal's
award as one of the 50 Reference Sources for the Millennium

Harvard Dictionary of Music. Harvard University Press. 2003.

Reviews from the London Observer, Bloomsbury, and even composer Andre Previn extol the many virtues of this compact music reference work. Over 1,000 entries provide quick reference for musical styles, instruments, and composers. Not many other reference works have been able to capture so many obscure topics in such little space. This book remains on most music scholars' lists. I included it despite it's age because it remains in many library's collections.

Ferguson Career Launcher:Fashion. Ferguson Publishing. 2011.

Ferguson has a long history of publishing career books for middle and high school students. This book is a part of the series Career Launcher. It breaks down the possible careers in the field of fashion as well as gives tips from fashion pros on how to prepare for a career and get your first job. Book includes helpful list of resources including web sites and books to help students considering a career in fashion. Only available in print.

Media History Digital Library. Media History Project.

This site gives students and scholars an opportunity to search through thousands of original media publications that are now under public domain. The collections are divided according to different "gateways" such as: Early Hollywood, Fan magazines, Global Cinema, and government and law. The Government and Law collection offers the original McCarthy hearings transcripts. This site is a historical treasure trove of primary sources.

*2012 Winner Best Electronic Reference Award, American Culture Association

American Memory Project web site. The Library of Congress.

The American Memory home is a project of the Library of Congress to give citizens open and free access to significant cultural items including written word, sheet music sound recordings, moving images, photographs, maps, and atlases. Most of these items are outstanding primary sources. While the subject matter is broad, many of the collections could enhance or support arts education. For example, the American Memory project contains a set of plays by Zora Neale Hurston discovered posthumously. The site also has a collection of WPA artwork including photographs by Ansel Adams. This web site has a lot of potential for collaborative projects in history and the arts.

Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture by Jaqueline Edmondson. Greenwood. 2013. $394.

This four volume set does a great job of covering every base in American popular culture and music. Providing a wide range of musicals styles and influences from classical to hip-hop. For example, Cher's entry is right under Chamber Music. This compendum also provides historical timelines and information on specific instruments. This is a very inclusive set that gives an authoritative resource for students who want to do a research project on a popular musician or music format. This is available in print or Kindle.
*2013 RUSA Outstanding Reference Services

*Starred review Library Journal
*ARBA recommends


Artcyclopedia is an art search engine that has indexed approximately 3,000 art sites, 9,000 artists and 160,000 links. Users can search the Artcyclopedia by artist's name, artwork title or even museums. You can even browse by art medium or movements. Artcyclopedia provides art images that are copyright protected. The author has included glossaries for different fine art terms and a section on current events in the art world. The Master Scans section updates new scans of contemporary and historical artwork daily. Artcyclopedia was created by John Maylon, a Canadian art scholar.

*RUSA MARS Best Free Reference Site

*Britannica Internet Guide Award

Art History Resources on The Web

Professor Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe (Sweet Briar College) has compiled one of the preimmenent compilations of web sites and resources for the history of art. Art History Resources on the Web does a fantastic job of documenting every significant period, artist, and work in art history. In addition, he has two other digital books, The Visual Experience of Art (2013) Art's History in Europe (2014) that I would also add to the collection of this arts magnet. Witcombe's hyperlinked list cover the entire gamut of art history in civilization beginning with Prehistoric Art and ending with Contemporary Art. Information regarding art in many different cultures is also represented. For example, there are links to small Asian countries such as Myanmar. Perhaps the best feature is his amazing list of web links for research. Dr. Witcombe is a respected scholar and art history authority.

Smarthistory Web Site by Khan Academy

Khan Academy, the same people who produce the free videos for math, have developed this "open" digital resource for art history. It is beautifully organized and offers over 500 videos featuring world renowned art historians explaining a work of art. Users can sort by time, style, artist, and theme. In addition there are links to new videos and essays. Smarthistory takes full advantage of different scholar's opinions and digital technology to create a resource that is not only rich in depth but is available for free. Smarthistory was created by Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, both of whom are respected art history scholars. They started Smarthistory in an effort to bring art history to every learner. There is even a section that offers concrete examples of how to create your own Smarthistory videos.

*Time magazine 50 best web sites 2011

Dance in Video. Alexander Street Press.

This digital subscription includes more than 768 works; roughly 500 hours of dance. Dance in Video features many different forms of dance including:Aboriginal, African, Avant-Garde, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, etc. The videos feature documentary, interviews, and performances, In addition there are instructional videos for dance students. This subscription provides a unique combination of research and teaching. This service can be accessed by smart phones and tablets for students on the go. Alexander Press has added features like video tools that allow the browser to create playlists which would be very helpful for teachers. Users can also integrate annotations and video presentations. All materials are high quality and licensed. Transcripts are available to access commentary. This video tool is a wonderful model for providing new tools that aid student research and student learning.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. 1993.

This web site was an on-line pioneer. However, Shakespeare's works have not changed much in the past 20 years so it is included. This web site has compiled all the original works by Shakespeare and arranged them simply as either comedy, history, tragedy, or poetry. The user interface is very plain by today's standards but the text is easy to read and the works are free under public domain. Each play is divided into scenes which could easily be printed for study or performance.

Findaplay is a web site that allows users to search for plays by title, author,genre even cast size. This free service could be very helpful for high school students and teachers searching for performances for a high school. It could also be useful for students when doing initial background research on different genres. It allows the user to quickly access basic, helpful information.

ARTStor. subscription database. JSTOR.

Artstor Digital Library is a curated collection of more than 1.6 million digital images in the arts and humanities. These images are licensed from international archives, museums, scholars, photographers, and artists. The images span history from prehistoric and medieval art to contemporary art. JSTOR, one of the premiere scholarly databases, produces Artstor. Artstor allows the user to search by keywords or to browse by time period or collection. Artstor licensing allows users to upload images and sound files found on Arstor as long as they are used according to copyright. Images can be imbedded into Keynote, PowerPoint, Prezi, and other presentation tools making this an invaluable tool for teachers and their students. OpenArtstor is an initiative with the Digital Public Library that will allow ArtStor users to download over 10,000 images for free.

Fine Arts and Music Collection. Gale Cengage.

This electronic database boasts that is has more than 10 million articles published between 1980-2014. One of the largest databases in fine arts, it provides resources for students researching arts, theatre, filmmaking, music, and photography. Fine Arts and Music offers some neat new visual tools for students searching including searching by term clusters. Users can type in the name of a novel, play, or director and the they will see a visual circle that has inner and outer rings that show more focused results. The user can click around and related articles will appear that the user can access. This is a different way to "browse for information and to provide discovery in database search. Arts students, many of whom are highly visual, would probably enjoy utilizing this cluster search feature.

Art2. PBS(Public Broadcasting System).

Art21 is a nonprofit devoted to providing digital resources for understanding 21st century art. Art21's web site provides access to it's award-winning television series, Art in the Twenty-First Century. In addition to access to this series, the web site provides educator guides and ebooks that would be valuable to teachers and students of contemporary art.

The guides integrate current curriculum standards with art and artists featured in Art21's previous six seasons.It is possible to purchase these programs directly from PBS Video or iTunes if this would be a better reference solution for your library. The Art21 staff is led by art scholars respected in their field.

*International Documentary Association Awards Nomination given by International Documentary Association in 2010 for Season 5

*George Foster Peabody Award given by University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2007 for Season 4

Art Project

Art Project is a part of Google's Cultural Institute. Google partnered with hundreds of museums, archives, libraries, and other cultural institutes to make art accessible to the public. Now treasures from the Louvre to the Museum of Modern Art can be viewed on-line. Art Project also allows users to "drag" and "drop" two different objects to compare them. It also has a way for users to drag items into a "collection." Students can create their own art collection or view other user's galleries and collections. Users can also view by The search capabilities allow users to search by collection, medium, event, place, person, media type, artist/creator, and date. Each cultural object has a description with details and a geographic map. Google Street view is available for some items so that users can see first hand important landmarks.

Folger Digital Texts

The Folger Digital Texts is a compilation of digital copies of Shakespeare's greatest works. They have been edited by Shakespeare scholars at the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. The Folger Library encoded the texts to make searching and access much easier for researchers and dramatist alike. The publisher encourages developers to utilize their code to make other digital products, such as apps, for non-commercial products. This web site would be a great place for students to start when writing a paper about one of these works.

Naxos Music Library.

A subscription to the Naxos Music Library gives users access to over one million tracks culled from approximately 95,000 compact disc recordings featuring music from over 7,000 composers. These recordings include world music, classical arrangements, opera, jazz, pop, and classic rock. Users can search by title, artist, instrument, label, period, year composed, or a combination of these criteria. Each description includes liner notes, album artwork, musical terminology, biographical information, images, and critical reviews if available. Users can create their own playlists. Includes basic ebooks on opera, classical music, opera synopses, and music imagery. Naxos does have some limitations to content distributed in the United States due to copyrights.

*Recommended School Library Journal

*Recommended Library Journal

Oxford Music Online-Grove Music Online

The Oxford Music Online is a subscription based database that features over 33,000 biographies and 55,000 articles written about music and musicians in all genres. The database is frequently updates with new music and articles. Teacher materials such as timelines and lesson plans are available. Subscription also includes access to the full text of both The Oxford Companion to Music and The Oxford Dictionary of Music. Oxford Music Online is about music around the world in genres from classical to rap. This authoritative resource has been produced and written by current and former music scholars and musicologists in the tradition of Grove Music.

Icons of Beauty:Art, Culture, and the Image of Women by Debra N. Mancoff and Lindsay J. Bosch. Greenwood/ABC-CLIO. 2009.

This book is available in both print or ebook and provides an interdisciplinary examination of women, beauty, image, art, politics, economics,and culture. Each chapter features a different work of art from Egyptian art to a modern photograph by Cindy Sherman. The chapters focus on the various aspects of the historical and cultural interpretations and ramifications of these artworks. This book would make a great starting point for a student projects.

*Recommended by Library Journal

*Recommended by Booklist

*Recommended by Choice

Broadway: An Encyclopedia of American Theatre and Culture by Thomas Greenfield. ABC-CLIO. 2009.

This two volume resource is available in both print and an electronic book format. The author chose to focus on thirty significant productions that best represent "Broadway". Over seventy scholars and experts contributed to this reference source creating over 200 encyclopedic entries on such topics as sexuality,feminism, and race relations. The encyclopedia includes off-Broadway plays and non-commercial theatre. In addition this compendium offers biographical information for over one hundred institutions and key players in the world of Broadway. This resource would be a great place to find authoritative resources on an American institution.

*Recommended by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style. Dorling Kindersley. 2012.

At almost 500 pages this oversized book is a gorgeous tribute to fashion from Ancient Egypt to Alexander McQueen and everything in between. The book has wonderful color photographs (in true DK tradition) as well as drawings. Students who are looking for a resource for school costumes or maybe inspiration for a career in fashion will appreciate the beautiful layout which includes timelines such as a 100 year history of women's purses.

Merriam-Webster's Rhyming Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. 2012.

This dictionary is an essential for songwriters and poetry writers alike. More than 70,000 words are arranged alphabetically and by rhyming sounds. Also features cross-referencing for easy access. It's now available in paperback or a Kindle version for creative types on the go.

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Kindle edition) by Colin Larkin. Omnibus Press. 2011.

When the first edition of this seminal work was published in 1989, editor and creator Colin Larkin described it as, "the modern man's" Grove Dictionary of Music. This now classic music reference set is in its fourth edition encompasses 27,000 entries. The print encyclopedia was previously published in a ten volume set for more than $1200. The current Kindle version cost $14.74 on This encyclopedia is considered the authoritative work on popular music, rock, pop, and jazz artists. Each artist's entry has a complete biography including a full discography that is rated by Larkin and his team. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music includes artists and music beginning in 1900. Hip-hop, rhythm and blues, electronic dance music, popular country and reggae are all represented. The entries are alphabetical and include not only the artists but the record labels, music festivals, television specials, and concerts and events. This is the authoritative reference source for students who want to research and write about popular music.
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