Talks and Lectures, Special Events

Art Museum Libraries Symposium


Thursday, September 23, 2010 to Friday, September 24, 2010

Location: Peabody Essex Museum

Art Museum Libraries Symposium

Join library, archives and museum colleagues to discuss the unique issues faced by libraries affiliated with art museums.

NOTE: A limited number of scolarships to attend the Art Museum Libraries Symposium are available for library and museum professionals and students who are studying to enter these professions. To apply for these scholarships, please contact Andrew French at


Download Symposium Brochure

Registration Form


Reserve online or mail completed registration form to:

Art Museum Libraries Symposium

Attention: Peabody Essex Museum

East India Square

Salem, MA 01970


Day 1 | Thursday, September 23

8–9 am | Registration and Coffee
9–10 am | Keynote Speaker | Dan L. Monroe
10:15–11:30 am | Session One | The Role of the Library and Archives in an Art Museum
11:30 am–12:45 pm | Lunch | East India Marine Hall
12:45–2 pm | Session Two | Data Unity in the Institution
2–3:15 pm | Session Three | Serving Various Audience
3:15–3:45 pm | Break
3:45–5 pm | Tour Opportunity | Phillips Library and/or PEM Exhibitions
6 pm | Dinner | Atrium

Day 2 | Friday, September 24

8:30–9:30 am | Registration and Coffee
9:30–10:30 am | Keynote Speaker | Kenneth Soehner
10:30–11:45 am | Session Four | Fundraising for Museums and Libraries
Noon–1:30 pm | Lunch | East India Marine Hall
1:30–2:30 pm | Tour Opportunity | Phillips Library and/or PEM Exhibitions
2:30–3:45 pm | Session Five | Collaboration among Personnel
3:45–4 pm | Break
4–5 pm | Session Six | Wrap-up and Future Trends


Symposium Topic

SESSION ONE |  The Role of the Library and Archives in an Art Museum

Free-standing or academic libraries have distinct clients. So do libraries in art museums. Many a museum library caters only to its “local” patrons: the personnel of the museum who are doing research to further the museum’s goals. However, in many institutions, the library and archives in an art museum serve a much wider clientele, like scholars and students, genealogists and historians, writers of fiction and nonfiction, people interested in local history and others. In either case — with only internal patrons or with clients from throughout the scholarly world — the library and archives must define their strategies, based on their own patrons, and direct their activities accordingly. This session focuses on strategies for making such assessments.


SESSION TWO | Data Unity in the Institution

Libraries catalog their printed items in a particular way, adhering to specific cataloging rules promulgated by professional bodies for over a century. Likewise, for their manuscript and archival materials, processors create finding aids, guided by industry standards. Museums use their own professional practices to catalog their objects. The aim of each approach is access: giving all researchers the ability to locate the objects or information they need. Through data unity, researchers would be able to research all of the institution’s holdings at one time, accessing information about museum and library objects. This session will focus on determining the goals of data unity and how the needs of each component of the organization and their patrons are met. It will also consider appropriate methods to achieve these goals.

SESSION THREE | Serving Various Audiences

Resources can be stretched only so far. What is the primary audience for the library? For the institution’s archives? Is it the curators and the administration of the museum, or is it also a wider clientele of scholars in the world beyond the institution? How do libraries in art museums prioritize their efforts? How do they balance their resources to offer the best services to their most central clients? How do they decide who these clients are? How do they expand their audiences and determine how to serve these new users without negatively affecting services to existing audiences? This session focuses on how libraries, archives and art museums serve various audiences.


SESSION FOUR | Fundraising for Museums and Libraries

Just as a museum can never have enough money, libraries can acquire endless resources. When a library resides inside a museum, how should fundraising be done to the benefit of both? How does one separate development for one from development for the other? Should development campaigns be separate? This session focuses on creating strategies for the smooth integration of fundraising.


SESSION FIVE | Collaboration Among Personnel

Administrators, curators, librarians and archivists at a museum have individual responsibilities, which are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are essentially all working toward the same goal: the overall success of the institution. How does one define “success” for each of these constituencies? How can these parties work together to serve the mission of the museum? How does each group achieve its goal while providing context and support for the other? This session addresses forms the collaboration could take and how collaboration can be achieved.


SESSION SIX | Wrap-up and Future Trends

This session recounts what was learned in the symposium and helps predict where the two parts of the institution are headed. The conversation following the presentations at this session should be insightful, inventive and revealing.

Keynote Speakers

Museum Perspective | Dan L. Monroe | Executive Director and CEO | Peabody Essex Museum

Since 1993, Dan L. Monroe has been executive director and CEO of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM). He led the consolidation of two predecessor museums: the Peabody Museum of Salem (established in 1799) and the Essex Institute (established in 1821), which merged in 1992 to create the new Peabody Essex Museum.

During his tenure, PEM has achieved national and international standing, visibility and recognition as a highly progressive museum of art and culture; more than $40 million worth of additions to collections has been made through purchases and gifts. PEM operates the 15th-largest art museum facility in North America.

Monroe has had many regional and national museum leadership roles. He was president of the American Association of Museums and AAM-ICOM between 1992 and 1994. He is presently active in the Association of Art Museum Directors, where he chairs the AAMD Art Issues Committee.


During his tenure as president of AAM, Monroe spearheaded sweeping changes to its system of governance and established a new Code of Professional Ethics. Monroe was instrumental in the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990. He is currently a member of the NAGPRA Review Committee. He has written and lectured widely on NAGPRA.


Monroe also was president of the Western Museums Conference and was a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum Services. He served as senior museum advisor to the Getty Trust’s Museum Management Institute from 1991 to 1994.

Monroe has written and lectured nationally and internationally on a wide range of topics related to museums and their future. He was featured speaker at national museum conferences in Japan and Korea. He co-authored Gifts of the Spirit and has organized or co-curated several exhibitions in the fields of photography, contemporary art and Native American art. Monroe has also been a professional musician, an art photographer who has had one-person exhibitions at museums and an award-winning filmmaker.


Library Perspective | Kenneth Soehner | Chief Librarian | The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Kenneth Soehner has been a librarian at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the past 15 years.

He began at the Met as bibliographer/acquisitions librarian and for the past 13 years has served as Arthur K. Watson Chief Librarian. The libraries at The Metropolitan Museum, including the Robert Goldwater Library, the Nolen Library, The Lehman Collection Library, The Menschel Library in the Department of Photographs, the Thomas J. Watson Library and others within the museum’s library system, comprise one of the nation’s largest and most encyclopedic collections of research material relating to the history of art.

During Soehner’s time at the Met, the library has undergone many changes, accelerating over the past two or three years, especially with respect to the library’s policies, staffing and structures. A key organizational change in moving away from a rigid, unit-based structure to a flexible, team-based one that benefits from extensive cross-training and staff innovations took time to develop but proved vital when the economic crisis forced a significant staff reduction. At the same time, the library has maintained its uncompromising commitment to building the collection and increasing its depth and global scope. Reflecting the encyclopedic nature of the museum’s collection, the library’s collection has been international in scope for 140 years, but the range of collection building for the library is now wider than ever. Four years ago the library began an Outstanding Service Initiative, and its success is expressed by increased hours (30 percent to outside visitors and 20 percent to museum staff) and an increased number of outside visitors and items circulated.

Before arriving at the Met, Soehner was bibliographer/acquisitions librarian at Barnard College Library. He has also worked at Queens College and Union Theological Seminary. He is active in ARLIS at the national and local levels and was president of ARLIS/NA in 2008–09. He helped spearhead collaborative projects among New York’s art museum libraries as one of the participants in NYARC. For the past seven years he has been visiting associate professor at Pratt School of Library and Information Science, where he teaches classes on Art Librarianship and Museums & Library Research.


Session Speakers


Susan von Salis | Archivist | Harvard Art Museum

Susan von Salis holds a B.A. in Religion and Afro-American Studies and an M.A. in History/Public History. As curator of the Harvard Art Museum Archives, she is responsible for appraising, accessioning and cataloging records and personal papers; strategic planning; preservation of archival collections across the museum; and reference and archives technology. Von Salis is the author of many books and articles, and she has presented numerous professional papers on museum archives, EAD privacy issues in archives, archival outreach and various topics in social history for the Society of American Archivists. She recently was on the Society of American Archivists program committee for the 2009 annual meeting. She is co-chair of the Museum and Archives Professional Affinity Group of the New England Museum Association.


James Ulak | Deputy Director | Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution

James Ulak is the deputy director of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. A specialist in the history of narrative painting production in 14th- and 15th-century Japan, Ulak received his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1994. He was a researcher at the Cleveland Museum of Art, associate curator of Asian art at Yale University Art Gallery, associate curator of Japanese art at the Art Institute of Chicago and curator of Japanese art at the Freer and Sackler galleries. In addition to supervising curatorial, research, archival, conservation, conservation science activities and fine arts collections management at the Freer/Sackler, Ulak has been extensively involved in the development and funding of programs for research in East Asian painting conservation. He has published on a wide range of topics in Japanese art.



James Forrest | Web Creative Director | Peabody Essex Museum

James Forrest is the award-winning Web creative director of the Peabody Essex Museum and also the principal of Ambalogic Interactive Studios. With a background in new media design, fine art and sound design, Forrest has created new possibilities for the changing experiential landscape online and beyond. His work has been featured in many articles, presentations and shows about personalization, bookmarking, cultural exchange and community outreach. As part of PEM’s Integrated Media team, he works to create rich, engaging experiences in varying learning models and cultures.

Rose Sherman |Director/Chief Information Officer, Enterprise Technology & Business Development | Minnesota Historical Society

Rose Sherman joined the Minnesota Historical Society in 1999 as director of enterprise technology. In addition to planning and managing the society’s enterprise technology architecture for two museums and 20-plus historic sites and their business applications, Sherman has been guiding the society to produce award-winning websites at, featuring e-commerce with digital products, user-generated content of stories and comments, and social media. Her most recent website accomplishments include wotr — a user commenting tool —,, and an in-gallery video postcard application using streaming video. Sherman holds a B.A. in Marketing and Economics from Augsburg College.

Elizabeth O’Keefe | Director of Collection Information Systems | Morgan Library and Museum

Elizabeth O’Keefe has been director of collection information systems at the Morgan Library & Museum since 1997. She is responsible for overseeing the integrated system used to manage the Morgan’s library and museum collections and to disseminate collection information through the Morgan’s online public catalog, CORSAIR. O’Keefe has lectured on object cataloging and integration of library and museum information at many conferences, and is on several data-standards committees, including the MARC Advisory Committee, the Cataloging Advisory Committee of the Art Libraries Society of North America, the Cataloging Cultural Objects Advisory Group and the Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Manuscripts) Editorial Team.



Deirdre Lawrence | Principal Librarian | Brooklyn Museum of Art

Deirdre Lawrence has been the principal librarian at the Brooklyn Museum since 1983. Before coming to the Brooklyn Museum, she was associate librarian at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She received her M.L.S. from Pratt Institute in 1979 and has studied art history on the graduate level. At the Brooklyn Museum she established the Museum Archives and implemented many projects to preserve and make accessible the research collections ( Lawrence has written articles on the collections and lectured frequently on the research collections in the Libraries and Archives of the Brooklyn Museum as well as on Brooklyn Museum history. She is a visiting professor at Pratt’s School of Information and Library Science and is a board member at the Center for Book Arts, in New York.


Michelle Elligott | Museum Archivist | The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Michelle Elligott is the museum archivist at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). In addition to directing the department, she organizes archival exhibitions and co-edited the museum’s first self-published history: Art in Our Time: A Chronicle of The Museum of Modern Art. She was also co-curator of the MoMA exhibition 1969, held at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center. With her “Modern Artifacts” column, she is a regular contributor to the art magazine Esopus. She has taught seminars in Havana, Caracas and Buenos Aires. She lectures and publishes widely. Elligott holds degrees in Art History from Smith College and the City University of New York and also studied at the Université de Paris IV, Sorbonne, and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.



Milan R. Hughston | Chief of Library and Museum Archives | The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Before assuming his duties as chief of library and museum archives at The Museum of Modern Art in September 1999, Milan R. Hughston was a librarian at the Amon Carter Museum (1979 to 1999). During that time, he published comprehensive bibliographies in museum publications, including “Thomas Eakins” (1996), the photography collection catalog (1993), “Eliot Porter” (1989) and “Laura Gilpin” (1986). In 2000, he established, with May Castleberry, The Library Council, to promote the research resources of MoMA through a membership program and publications of artists’ books in a series called Contemporary Editions. He is also a founding member of the New York Art Resources Consortium, which coordinates collaborative projects among the research libraries of MoMA, the Frick Collection, the Brooklyn Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


David Cole | Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives  | Harvard Art Museum

David Cole is director of development and strategic initiatives at the Harvard Art Museum, where he focuses on the planning and execution of the museum’s Expanding Vision capital campaign and on the development of community partnerships in the greater Boston area. He has been a research fellow in organizational learning at Harvard’s Project Zero and is a graduate of the Ed.M. program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A lecturer on museum development and community engagement strategies in Harvard’s Museum Studies program, Cole earned a Ph.D. in Art History and American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.



Barbara Rominski | Librarian | The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Barbara Rominski is head of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Research Library and Archives. As the department’s first active participant in the institution’s Collections Division, she has increased museum-wide perception and understanding of the library through promotion of its resources and participation in interdepartmental projects. In 2006 she established the museum’s first archives program under a grant from The Getty Foundation. Prior to joining SFMOMA, she worked with the private collection of Harry and Mary Margaret Anderson and The Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 


Kaywin Feldman | Director | Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Since 2008, Kaywin Feldman has been the director and president of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, one of the leading art museums in the country. Prior to moving to Minneapolis, Feldman was director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Tennessee’s oldest and largest encyclopedic art museum, where she oversaw major acquisitions in all areas of the permanent collection and significantly increased holdings of works by African-American artists. During her nine-year tenure, the museum’s membership tripled, attendance increased by 35 percent, and a $5 million lead gift for a proposed capital campaign, the largest gift in the institution’s history, was secured. She began her career at the British Museum, where she worked in the education department after receiving her M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.



Neal Turtell | Executive Librarian | National Gallery of Art

Neal Turtell has been the executive librarian at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., for the past 23 years. Previous to this, he was the assistant chief librarian, assistant professor of Library Science at the University of Wisconsin, and librarian and chief of Catalog Records at the Smithsonian Institution. He has been an active member of the Art Library Society of North America since 1987, and in 1996 became associate editor of The Cicognara Project at the Vatican Library. Turtell has published many book reviews for Library Journal and has organized numerous book exhibitions for the National Gallery of Art. Before earning his M.S. in Library Science from the Pratt Institute in 1975, he received his B.A. in Art History from Fordham University.


Joshua Basseches | Deputy Director | Peabody Essex Museum

Joshua Basseches is deputy director of the Peabody Essex Museum, where he oversees education, public programs, the Phillips Library, exhibition planning and all of the museum’s finances and operations. Basseches collaborates closely with the Ann C. Pingree Director of the Phillips Library to establish the vision and priorities for the library. Prior to joining PEM, Basseches was executive director of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, where he led the effort to make Harvard’s vast intellectual and collections resources in the natural sciences accessible to a wide public. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and is completing an M.A. in Art History at Boston University. He currently is first vice president of the New England Museum Association.



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