The Art & the Book program allowed for me to have an internship at the Library of Congress with Mark Dimunation, head of the Rare Book & Special Collections. My tasks included organizing and cataloguing the Women’s Workshop Studio & Booklyn Artists Alliance archives. I also acquainted myself with their entire Book Art and Fine Press collections to prepare for a lecture I presented about the merging of the Artists’ Book and Fine Press Books. The opportunity allowed for me to interview the artists and have a conversation about the reality of being an artist in today’s world. All of the artists mentioned their collaborations with other artists allowed for them to grow, influencing my own thesis. Participating in the ‘horse and pony’ shows for frequent visitors become a common occurrence, we eventually began giving them ourselves.
After a semester with the Rare Book Collection I was invited back for another semester to help catalogue & evaluate the Artists’ Book Collection. With two other interns we formed a four part questionnaire for all the Book Art Collections across the country, Canada and Europe. We compared their answers to the LC’s own collection for a complete evaluation of their Artists’ Books. Between the three of us, we learned how similar/different other collections are to the Library of Congress, the acquisition process , collection influences, web presence and the cataloguing protocol. We took all of this information and wrote an assessment and presentation for the Rare Book & Special Collections. Together we designed a book to send to all the participating collections with all the responses (anonymously,) so they too could benefit from the questionnaire.