Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Out On A Limb: Citing the Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

I was so excited when The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design arrived in our library this spring. I don't know if I've ever been more excited for any print acquisition. I talked about it with colleagues, tweeted it, Facebooked it, even carted it across campus for impromptu introductions to willing art classes. No easy fete, as it weighs in at over 40 lbs. It was a blast!

UNTIL, one lone student in the back of the class, on my last library art instruction session, in the very last 5 minutes of class, innocently asked, "So, how do we cite it?" And, suddenly the archive went from my new best friend to my archenemy. I bumbled something about, "entry in an edited reference work," and quickly fled the class. Full Disclosure: I really strongly dislike the minutiae of citing. I don't care if there's a double space after the colon or not, as long as all of the information required to find the item again, is there. In recent years I have adopted the attitude of a colleague when she observed my furrowed hemming and hawing over some citations for a publication: "That's what editors are for." But, students don't have editors, and they often, in fact, have extreme attention to detail oriented professors that will take off points when there is a missing space in a citation. I owe this attempt to them. I really care about you guys. This one's for you.

Crowd Citing
And, so I offer up to you my feeble attempt at citing a truly great resource, that defies bibliographic logic. Please feel free to comment and respond, as I was really just making this up as I went along.

Here's the card I used for the example citations.

Every card has one image on the front and most other important identifying information on the back. MOST.  The cards, however do not include the names of the authors that wrote the corresponding articles. You actually need the separate index for that. Users citing the articles need to note the ID number on the top left of the card, then find the corresponding author in the author section of the index. (Behind the front cover.)
The ID number for this card is: I032

If we search through the author section in the Archive's accompanying index we'll find ID # I032 authored by Frederico Duarte.

One section in the index explains about picture locations. "The following abbreviations have been used to locate the position of the images on the cards; front: 1; reverse: 2; top: t; bottom: b; right: r; left: l; middle: m" This will be necessary when referencing one of the images. The guide gives an example of how to cite both images and articles in various styles. 

Again, I'm very happy to hear criticisms and suggestions for changes, I would really like this to be as easy as possible for students. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I went in and edited a few things on the guide this morning and then re-posted the edited version. If you saw the earlier version, you'll note the spelling and capitalization have been cleaned up. (Sorry about that!) The one issue brought up among colleagues is whether to cite this in MLA like an advertisement. I'm leaning toward treating it like an art piece, instead, especially since I have the designers information and don't have the publication information for where it was originally advertised. Any thoughts?