2005 MELVA J. DWYER AWARD WINNER
This year the jury recognized Jonathan Franklin and the National Gallery of Canada Library for the Index to Nineteenth Century Canadian Catalogues of Art. The jury was impressed by all the nominated publications, but considered the Index to Nineteenth Century Canadian Catalogues of Art to be the most scholarly and best researched, with the broadest appeal and applicability. It was also commended as a bilingual publication, which will be widely used as an art reference source across the country, filling a gap in the documentation of Canadian art and art activity.
The Index to Nineteenth-Century Canadian Catalogues of Art is a 2,000-page, two-volume resource that helps identify, date and establish previous ownership of artworks, thus facilitating research on the history of artistic production, art collecting and the art market in 19th-century Canada. Many of the 266 catalogues upon which the Index is based are scarce, fragile and scattered sparingly among Canada's museums and research libraries.
The Index is arranged by artist, listing 4,545 names, and also contains a supplementary index of 1,660 collectors. It includes all surviving catalogues of art exhibitions, auctions and permanent collections published in Canada before 1900. These range from the catalogue of an 1823 auction in Quebec City and exhibitions of paintings in 1830s Halifax, to the annual catalogues of the Art Association of Montreal, the Ontario Society of Artists, and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Lesser-known societies such as the Women's Art Association of Canada are also covered. The extensive Art sections of the Toronto Industrial Exhibition catalogues are indexed, as are the Canadian contributions to the great international exhibitions in London, Paris and Chicago.
The Melva J. Dwyer Award is administered by the ARLIS/Canada Chapter, in honour of Melva J. Dwyer, former head librarian of the University of British Columbia Fine Arts Library. The award recognizes her dedication and lifetime contribution to art librarianship, and is given each year to the creator of an outstanding reference or research tool relating to Canadian art or architecture.
The award was officially announced on April 3rd, 2005 at the convocation ceremony during the ARLIS/NA (Art Libraries Society of North America) annual
conference in Houston, TX.