The Wolanski Foundation Project


Paper no 36: Chronology









List of papers








Compiled by Paul Bentley as a supplement to Serving the Arts.



The Arts Libraries Society / Australia and New Zealand (ARLIS/ANZ) was established in December 1975 to promote arts librarianship and co-operate with other national and international organisations in the fields of arts and librarianship.


It was initially called the Art Libraries Society, but became the Arts Libraries Society in 1980, after an amalgamation with the Sydney-based Museums Arts and Humanities Group.


ARLIS/ANZ publishes a journal, holds a regular conference, and maintains a website and e-list to represent the interests of librarians and other information workers in libraries and information services in public libraries, higher education and training institutions, art galleries, museums and other art organisations.





ARLIS/ANZ founded, Melbourne, 5 December. Joyce McGrath elected founding chair. ARLIS/ANZ News no 1 published.




1st AGM, Sydney. Inaugural meeting held at the Australia Music Centre with representatives from New Zealand, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and the ACT. Original membership fees: $10 institutional, $5 personal.



Aug 31

2nd AGM, Hobart. Invitations received from ARLIS (UK) and the Library Association of Australia (LAA) to affiliate. Resolved that ARLIS/ANZ  affiliate with ARLIS/UK, but not the LAA Special Libraries Group. The 1st Annual report 1976-1977 records a membership of 36, an increase of 15 since August 1976, and notes that Valerie Richards had convened a successful seminar of arts librarians in New Zealand. Following the meeting, Professor Antje Lemke, Syracuse University, gave an address on Education in Art Librarianship. [Source News no 3, Dec 1977]

Sep 1-2

Arts Information Seminar in Australia, organised by the Sydney-based Museums Arts and Humanities Group (MAHG). Held in conjunction with the LAA conference with the participation of ARLIS/ANZ. This included, among other papers on the arts and libraries, Visual Arts Resources in Australia by Sue Boaden, based on a survey of arts resources conducted by Sue Boaden and Paul Bentley of 41 organisations. In her paper, Sue acknowledges the stimulus provided for this work by Dietrich Borchardt’s 1975 AACOBS submission proposing a bibliographic survey of the visual arts.




2nd AGM. Membership 39. Discussion on ARLIS/ANZ participation in Art Association of Australia annual conference, whether ARLIS/ANZ should join IFLA, and possible links with ARLIS/Sweden. Joyce McGrath summarises progress as follows: “One of the difficulties associated with formal planning for ARLIS/ANZ is that we have not yet established close links with other organisations have related interests, [but] “as retiring chairman, looking back over the past three years since we first gathered together in Melbourne, I think we can be please with the start we have made. There were several cooperative projects which had to be abandoned or deferred, but we have managed to launch a newsletter, to organise a seminar and to bring a speaker from abroad.”

Aug 18-20

ARLIS/ANZ participates in 4th annual conference of the Art Association of Australia, Melbourne.  The opening session, organised by ARLIS/ANZ, includes a presentation by Stanley Hess, from the Cleveland Museum of Art, on art libraries and visual arts resource collections in North America. “The record of ARLIS/ANZ, like its sister organisations in Great Britain and North America, is nothing short of phenomenal. Art librarians and visual resource curator / librarians constitute a small proportion of library and information specialists in each of those countries and areas, yet our determination and energy have propelled us forward with speed and proficiency in developing viable and productive professional organisations…Libraries everywhere need to become more active and aggressive in documenting the materials in their collections and carrying out individual scholarly research. Our institutions and government agencies need to be made aware of the problems of conducting scholarly research in art history and encouraged to make available both time and funding for its understanding by both libraries and visual resource curators / librarians as well as art historians”. Hess also conducted seminars on slide collections at the University of Melbourne, College of Advanced Education in Canberra and Alexander Mackie CAE in Sydney, 21-14 August.  




Executive 1979- : Katherine Cummings, Frances Love, Beth Hatton, Sue Boaden.


NZ art and architecture librarians hold seminar at 46th Conference of NZ Library Association, Dunedin. Convener: Michael Hutchings, Hocken Librarian, University of Otago.


Newsletter 6 notes that membership is approaching 50. Katherine Cummings notes that the Australia Council is reviewing a proposal to establish an Australian Art Information Centre at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1977. 

Aug 29

AGM & Conference held as part of LAA conference, Canberra. UK guest, Phillip Pacey, presents keynote address Vive La Difference. ARLIS/ANZ provided an audio-visual entertainment for the closing session of the LAA conference. Chair Katherine Cummings proposed an affiliation with ALIA and is authorised to investigate and decide on the affiliation. There is talk of a ‘national conference of our own’. ARLIS/ANZ membership 66 (25 institutional, 41 personal).




Museums Arts & Humanities Group, following a joint meeting held at the Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education, amalgamates with ARLIS/ANZ because of the significant overlap in membership. The report on the amalgamation notes that “ an interesting factor in the amalgamation will be the commitment to active interest in some formerly neglected areas of art librarianship”.    


Survey on Indexing the Arts in Australia. Patricia Sabine, Victorian College of the Arts, and Margaret Shaw of the National Gallery of Australia, design a preliminary questionnaire for a study being carried out by Patricia in relation to the proposed Australian Art Information Centre.

Aug 25-29

Conference. ARLIS/ANZ & Art Association of Australia Joint Conference




AGM, organised by Valerie Richards, held in conjunction with LAA/NZLA Conference, Christchurch, NZ.



Aug 22-26

Conference & AGM, Adelaide, held in conjunction with LAA 22nd Conference. 




Executive 1983. Margaret Shaw (Chair), Joan Bruce (Secretary), Lynn Farkas (Treasurer), John Thomson (editor). Additional committee members: Kay Britcliffe, Fancoise Lentsch, Betty Collins

Aug 28-29

Conference & AGM, Canberra. Proposal to affiliate with Council of Australian Museums Association (CAMA) defeated 13 votes to 11. The ARLIS/ANZ chair asked to investigate an affiliation with Art Association of Australia. An affiliation with LAA rejected.


Directory of Arts Libraries and Resource Collections in Australia / edited by Sue Maddrell, published by the Australia Council. The directory had been stimulated by the 1975 Arts Information in Australia Seminar.     



May 7-12

Education in Arts Librarianship seminar, Sydney with Professor Antje Lemke as overseas presenter. 

Aug 25-26

Conference & AGM, Brisbane. Theme: Art in Queensland. Considers affiliation with the Art Association of Australia. Issue referred to  chapters for recommendation. Call for an ARLIS/ANZ logo to be developed through a competition. Membership fees $15 personal, $30 institutional.




Executive: Ray Choate (Chair); Rosemary Griffiths (Secretary/Treasurer), Committee: Christine Downer, Massie Durinck, Patricia Forster, Elaine Meehan, Dianna Routt, Michael Watson.

Aug 22-23

Conference & AGM, Melbourne, held in tandem with the Art Association of Australia, incorporating Future of Art Research Libraries Seminar.



Jul 2

Conference & AGM, Darwin, held in association with the LAA biennial conference: Theme Aboriginal Art.

Sep 27-28

Documentation in Australian Art seminar held in Wagga Wagga. Later published as Documentation in Australian Art / edited by Claire Louise Williams and James Henri (Wagga Wagga: Riverina Murray Institute of Higher Education, 1986).


Australian artists index: a biographical index of Australian artists, craft workers, photographers and architects / compiled by Jan McDonald. (Sydney: ARLIS/ANZ, 1986).




Executive: Susan Schmocker, Katherine Cummings (Co-chairs); Jill More (Secretary), Katherine Cummings (Treasurer)

Sep 30

Conference and AGM, Brisbane. 



Jul 18-29

Art Librarians Seminar conducted by ARLIS/ANZ in conjunction with the School of Librarianship, University of NSW.


ARLIS/ANZ program held as part of IFLA Conference, Sydney. Keynote speaker: Antje Lemke. Issues discussed at AGM: suggestion from Art Association of Australia for increased cooperation; ARLIS/ANZ lack of funds and newsletter production difficulties.


Australians: A Guide to Sources published as part of Australians: A Historical Library. Includes The Visual Arts by Terry Smith incorporating bibliography of reference, general and periodical sources.




Executive 1989-1900: Gillian Harrison (Chair); Nola Dean (Secretary); Elizabeth Agnew (Treasurer).

Aug 6-10

ARLIS/ANZ conference and AGM, Adelaide, coinciding with ALIA Asian Pacific Special and Law Libraries Conference.



Sep 27-29

Conference & AGM, Perth.




Executive 1991-1992: Joye Volker (Chair); Corinne Collins (Secretary); John Thomson (Treasurer); Margaret Shaw (Conference convener); Jacquie Woodbury (Special Projects); Margaret Cazaban (News editor); Ann MacCallum (Visual Resources)

Sep 4-7

Conference & AGM, Canberra. Theme: The Art of Excellence. Margaret Shaw, convener.




Conference & AGM, Albury-Wodonga, coinciding with ALIA Conference. Proposal to continue ARLISANZ as a special interest group of ALIA rejected. Constitution amended 30 Sep 1990.




Executive 1993-1994, 1994-1995: Andrew MacKenzie (Chair); Dominica Chinarini (Secretary); Michael Watson (Treasurer); Barbara Cameron (News editor). Jennifer Durran joins executive 1994-1995.




Conference & AGM, Wellington, coinciding with the NZ-ALIA Conference.



Aug 25-26

ARLIS/ANZ conference, Sydney, coinciding with the ALIA Special Libraries Conference.




Executive 1996-1997: Jill More (Chair); Neil Hinsch (Secretary); Susan Schmocker (Treasurer); Wendy O’Connor (Journal); Jennifer Durran (Web); Joye Slater and Janet Sorby (Committee members)

Oct 3-6

Conference & AGM, Melbourne, coinciding with the ALIA conference. Theme: Fin-de-Siecle: Art Libraries- Dynamic or Decadent? Membership increased from $20-$30 to $40-50.



Oct 10-12

Conference & AGM, Perth. Theme: Horizons. Attendance: 17.  Membership 138 (institutional 66, personal 71). E-list subscribers: 109.  Resolved that ARLIS/ANZ News be changed to Journal.




Executive 1998-1999: Joan Bruce (Chair), Alice Steiner (Secretary); Cheryl Stevens (Treasurer); Wendy O’Connor (Journal); Jennifer Durran (Web).

Feb 2

NZ Chapter of ARLIS/ANZ officially formed.

Oct 22-24

Conference & AGM, Adelaide. Theme: Money and Mission - Achieving our Goals in Art Libraries. Convener: Jin Whittington. Proposal to merge Australian arts information and curatorial special interest groups  deferred.




Executive 1999-2001: Julie Phillips (Chair); Michael Proud (Secretary); Cheryl Stevens (Treasurer); Wendy O’Connor (Journal),  Joye Volker (Website & e-list).

Sep 8-10

Conference & AGM, Brisbane. Theme: Beyond the Future. In NSW report Jill More commented that “memberships from visual arts librarians were shrinking and the appeal [of ARLIS/ANZ] had to be broadened to keep up membership”. Membership 155 [personal – 86, institutional 69]. 



Oct 19-22

Conference & AGM., Canberra. Theme: Securing our Heritage. Convener: Margaret Shaw.




Conference & AGM, Auckland. Theme: Getting the Picture. Convener: Catherine Hammond. Membership in 2001 - 126 [personal 68, institutional 58].


Executive 2002-2004: Paul Bentley (Chair); Barbara Rendall (Secretary); Cheryl Stevens, Jin Whittington, Susan Schmocker (2002, 2003, 2004 respectively); Wendy O’Connor until June 2004; Jill More from August (Journal); Joye Volker (Website & e-list). 




Visual Arts Information Project. Initial meeting on Australian visual arts information resources held at UNSW Library with representatives of ARLIS/ANZ and National Library after Jill More, supported by the NSW University Librarian Andrew Wells, initiated request for National Library support to review and develop strategies for management of visual arts information resources. 


Australian Libraries Gateway. ARLIS/ANZ submits suggested improvements.


ARLIS/ANZ membership: 113.




Visual Arts Information Project. Forum held at the National Library of Australia, following a survey conducted by the NLA on behalf of ARLIS/ANZ. Papers incorporated in the June 2004 issue of the Journal. Working groups on digitisation, indexes and databases established. A workshop on digitisation was held in conjunction with the 2004 Conference program.

Sep 8-11

Conference & AGM, Sydney. Theme: What Makes Us Special? Serving the Arts as an Information Provider.




Executive 2005: Linda Groom (Chair), Vicki Marsh (Secretary), Susan Schmocker (Treasurer), Jill More (Journal Editor), Joye Volker  (Website and arlisanz-l manager), Gillian Currie (committee member).


Serving the Arts


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