ARLIS / UK & Ireland, The Art Libraries Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland: records

Scope and Content

Steering committee (1968 - 1972); collected papers (1968 - 1984); secretary's papers (1968 - 2000); Newsletter (1969 - 1976); miscellaneous publications by ARLIS (1969 - 1990); council (1969-2009); annual general meeting and annual reports (1969 - 2007); directories (1970 - 2004); co-operative acquisition and preservation scheme (1971 - 1977); education committee (1971 - 1999); ARLIS / NA (1972 - 1992); working parties and special interest groups (1972 - 1997); conferences (1972 - 2001); treasurer's papers (1973-2001); chair's papers (1976 - 1997); Art libraries journal (1976 - 2004); News-sheet (1976 - 2004); cataloguing and classification committee (1977 - 1995); committee for the national co-ordination of art library resources (1977 - 1995); national collecting network for art exhibition catalogues (1978 - 1991); Art libraries journal editorial papers (1979 - 1996); visual resources committee (1979 - 2001); acquisitions committee (1986 - 1989); international committee (1987 - 1988); VALIP (1988 - 1997); publications committee (1991 - 1993); website (1997 - 2003).

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1968 Trevor Fawcett, University of East Anglia Library, wrote to the Library Association Record, suggesting that art librarians and those interested in the field of art librarianship, should contact him with their ideas on enhancing communication between fine and applied art librarians. The response was so great that a steering committee was set up to examine this issue more closely and as a result "ARLIS: Art Libraries Society", was formed in 1969. The aims of the Society were to promote all aspects of librarianship related to the visual arts, including architecture and design. Both individuals and institutions, including art colleges, art galleries, museums, public libraries and universities, could apply for membership, as well as booksellers and publishers in the art and design field. As ARLIS expanded it formed links with ARLIS bodies set up in other countries, and close contacts were maintained subsequently with the USA counterpart ARLIS/NA (North America), to which it was affiliated, and with ARLIS/ANZ (Australia and New Zealand). In 1985 ARLIS changed its name to ARLIS/UK and Eire, the Art Libraries Society of the United Kingdom and Eire, and in 1993 its name was again altered to ARLIS/UK & Ireland, the Art Libraries Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland. In 1995 ARLIS became an educational charity.

The work of the Society is conducted by a Council which is elected annually, and a number of committees and working parties set up to consider particular aspects of art librarianship. Committees have included the Cataloguing and Classification Committee, the Committee for the National Co-ordination of Art Library Resources, the Education and Professional Development Committee and the Visual Resources Committee. Ad hoc working parties have considered a variety of matters from microforms to the state of public libraries in the UK. Key activities include the organisation of an annual conference, an education programme and the publication of the ARLIS Directory, the Art Libraries Journal and the News-sheet. The ARLIS website is maintained by the National Art Library.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Deposited on loan by ARLIS/UK and Eire, 1989. The archive is added to on an ongoing basis.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: