A Note from Henry Pisciotta

Henry Piscotta is presenting in sessions 2E and 8A. You can find the abstract for his University Press Talk here and for his Big Picture talk here. Please see his remarks below.

Hi.  I’m Henry Pisciotta, Arts and Architecture Librarian at Penn State.   I’m doing two presentations for LRS-V.  They are not at all alike.  One (“Discipline-Specific Analysis of University Press Production: Art History and Its Specialties”) is a rather objective, statistical study (conducted with friend and statistician Jim Frost.) The other “The Big Picture: Artists on the Library” tries to combine the subjectivity of art criticism with……library criticism, I guess.

1) What do you hope people gain from your presentation and/or panel?

Big Picture:   SEE libraries a little differently.  Be appalled.  Be amused.

Univ. Press Art History:   Another way of understanding a discipline & its bibliography.

2) Are there one or two articles or websites you think attendees would benefit from reading before attending your session?

Big Picture: Heartney, Eleanor. 1991. “The Treacherous Library: Recent Book Art”. Sculpture 10, no. 5 (October): 46-51.

Univ. Press Art History: Lawrence T. McGill, The State of Scholarly Publishing in the History of Art and Architecture, July 27, 2006.http://cnx.org/content/col10377/latest/

3) What do you enjoy most about presenting to a crowd with such broad interests (practitioners, researchers, students, librarians, archivists, info tech, etc)?

Big Picture: Finally hearing the rightness or wrongness or absurdity of the ideas  as they float out toward a real audience.

Univ. Press Art History: Obtaining people’s hunches about what the numbers might mean.

4) How did you get interested or develop this research topic/project or panel topic?

Big Picture: I decided my sabbatical should be about something I could never find the time for otherwise.  From my POV, art and libraries have always had a lot in common.

Univ. Press Art History: It was not my idea.  I was hired to do the study for a foundation that funds research and publication in art history.

5) Where or to whom do you see your research/panel being most useful, implementable, or interesting?

Big Picture: Everybody needs the big picture.

Univ. Press Art History: A method of analysis that may, or may not, be useful for other disciplines.

6) If you have collaborated on your research or project, how has that collaboration assisted and possibly changed the development of your work?

Big Picture: I interviewed several artists and librarians, which was fascinating.  I wish I could have been in a seminar with other people interested in art or libraries during the project, but perhaps that is part of why LRS-V exists.

Univ. Press Art History: Jim Frost, and I worked together on a couple of previous projects, including the Visual Image User Study (2001-2003).  He is a statistician now working for Minitab.  He’s also used other research methods, such as user protocols.  We’ve always enjoyed working together.  We both love that process of getting familiar with the data and seeing what it has to say.  (Although he has to do a lot of translating for me, since I’m not fluent in data.)  Working with a research partner more than once is very interesting.  Perhaps like doubles tennis.

Looking forward to an interesting conference.


About Pembroke Center

As a recent graduate of the Archives Management program at Simmons College and of the Theatre and Performance Studies graduate program at the University of Pittsburgh, I am excited and honored to help develop a collection gathering the papers of some of the very scholars who informed my own academic work. During my studies, much of my work focused on sexuality in the theatre and gender and sexual identity in the works of Restoration and Victorian playwrights. My archival experience has included positions at the Rhode Island Historical Society, the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, the Harvard Law School Special Collections, and the Brown University Archives. My academic and professional work has prepared me to bring the Feminist Theory Archives to the next level, and we are counting on the commitment and donation of papers from scholars like you to help us do this.
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