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ProQuest and Getty Research Institute Announce Second Chapter for International Bibliography of Art

ProQuest and Getty Research Institute work together to continue pivotal art history database

ProQuest, an information technology firm supporting global research, and the Getty Research Institute (GRI), dedicated to advancing understanding of the world’s artistic heritage, announce an agreement that will allow ProQuest to take over the indexing of the International Bibliography of Art (IBA), providing a secure future for a resource considered central to the study of art history. The agreement assures the database’s continuing development and accessibility to researchers around the world.

“As a set of guideposts to identifying the most influential literature in the field, IBA is a cornerstone resource,” said Marty Kahn, ProQuest CEO. “This collaboration between ProQuest and the GRI meets the needs of the art community and builds a future for this historic work, ensuring that it will continue to propel art research forward.”

ProQuest will distribute IBA content created by the GRI (covering the years 2008 through 2009), and build on it by adding new index records going forward. ProQuest will retain the editorial policies which made IBA one of the most trusted and frequently consulted sources in the field, continuing to provide full abstracts and subject indexing for its wide international and multi-lingual range of periodicals, monographs and catalogues. Over time, ProQuest also intends to expand coverage of art from Asia, Latin America and Africa in response to requests from art librarians and researchers.

“We have been searching for a partner to take on this valuable database, and ProQuest is a perfect fit,” said GRI director Thomas Gaehtgens. “We are delighted that this resource will continue to be available and expanded for researchers.”

Though perhaps better known for its expansive digital archives of newspapers, dissertations and journals, ProQuest also publishes a significant number of specialist databases in the arts, including ARTbibliographies Modern, Design and Applied Arts Index and the International Index to Music Periodicals. Further, the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), discontinued at the end of 2007, has long been available to researchers through ProQuest on the Illumina platform. Users will welcome the IBA with its expanded coverage and similar format. ProQuest will enable the IBA to be cross-searched with these other major bibliographies and complementary full-text resources.

As an official part of the ProQuest family, IBA will benefit from ProQuest’s acclaimed editorial operations, with its emphasis on subject expertise and manual indexing for specialist arts and humanities resources. The company’s advanced search technology will enable users to discover, gather, create and share this content. ProQuest will be making the existing IBA content available on the CSA Illumina platform immediately, and at the same time begin bringing the database up to date (no additions have been made since the December 2009 update) and continuing to add new records. The database will migrate to ProQuest’s all-new platform in early 2011.

The GRI has supported bibliographical services for the field of art history since 1981, when it began its support for the International Repertory of the Literature of Art (RILA), which was housed at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Beginning in 1985, the GRI began to work with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), which produced Répertoire d’Art et d’Archéologie (RAA), a publication similar to RILA. RILA and RAA merged to become BHA, which appeared first in 1991, published by the CNRS’s database production and distribution arm, the Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique (INIST).

BHA was produced jointly by the GRI and the INIST until 2008. Thereafter, the GRI continued producing records under the new name of IBA before budgetary constraints led to the difficult decision to discontinue its support earlier this year. At this time, the GRI made the IBA (as well as the historical data in the BHA and RILA) freely available on its Website, so the historical data would continue to aid researchers.

“Art bibliography remains central to the mission of the GRI, and we will continue to make the historical BHA and RILA data available on the Website free of charge to researchers who access it,” said Gaehtgens. “We are also continuing our work in service to the art history global community by collaborating with colleagues internationally on innovative ways to facilitate art historical research going forward.”

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