Resource Library: Overview
History and Timeline
Prior to August, 2004, Resource Library was named Resource Library Magazine, founded in 1997 by a commercial entity named Traditional Fine Art Online, Inc. Resource Library Magazine accepted advertising for partial support. Resource Library Magazine was acquired by non-profit Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) on August 16, 2003 from Traditional Fine Art Online, Inc.
Initially, Resource Library Magazine published mostly exhibition articles based on news releases and publicity images. Articles by columnists, plus occasional essays, artist biographies, and articles about museums were added incrementally. An early editorial policy was to publish articles on as many exhibitions as possible to provide encyclopedic coverage. Those articles were usually short, many times under 200-300 words in length. For traveling exhibitions the publication often published multiple articles based on information provided by the various venues. The reason for multiples was to provide non-repetitive information from each venue that would cumulatively provide a broader perspective. Resource Library Magazine also maintained a record of contemporaneous museum exhibitions throughout the United States by publication of a national calendar of exhibitions.
In 1999 Resource Library Magazine began focusing more attention to scholarly texts relating to museum exhibitions. Copyright holders of essays within catalogues accompanying selected exhibitions began to be contacted regarding permission to reprint the essays. Resource Library Magazine also began in 1999 to contact museums, other non-profit organizations and commercial publishers for permission to republish essays and articles from prior years. These inquiries led to republishing of articles and essays written as early as the beginning of the 20th century. Resource Library Magazine obtained Library of Congress number ISSN 1550-8420.
By the time Resource Library Magazine was renamed Resource Library in 2004, editorial policy was evolving in new directions. Columns with bylines were phased out in 2003. Articles about individual museums and their key employees were mostly discontinued by 2004. Starting in the mid-2000s, the publication began favoring longer articles on fewer exhibitions. Minimum article lengths were instituted, increasing over time. As of 2011 the minimum size of an exhibition article lengthened to 650-700 words, exclusive of information about the venue or organizer. The practice of publishing multiple articles on traveling exhibitions declined in favor of providing to readers one article on an exhibition with ancillary texts such as wall panels, object labels and checklists.
As the volume of articles and essays grew on America's most venerated artists and locales, Resource Library modified its editorial direction in order to fill in gaps in aspects of the American representational arts experience. Increased attention was made to texts and images that strengthened coverage of numerous topics. Emphasis was reduced for artists, topics and locales most favored in exhibitions. Other restrictions were made on acceptable texts.
Resource Library editor's notes at the end of articles and essays broadened over time to include reference to related information that might be of interest to readers. As TFAO catalogues developed to include a spectrum of media, materials in them were referenced through the editor's notes. Resource Library now informs readers about related information from all forms of media.
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