Visionaire – Multi-format art/fashion publication

For academic librarians…

If your library collects issues of Visionaire, would you kindly share your impressions with regard to the following questions:

1) What are their approximate usage counts?
2) Which departments use them? (fashion, graphic arts, package design, etc.)
3) Do they circulate, or are they located in Reference, Permanent Reserve, etc?
4) Do you take any measures to prevent loss or damage?
4) How are they cataloged & shelved? (I.E. Irregular formats, shapes, etc.)


Sandra Ley (FTC SIG Moderator)


Author: Sandra Ley

Sandra Ley is the visual arts and fashion design librarian for Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona.

6 thoughts on “Visionaire – Multi-format art/fashion publication”

  1. Hi Sandra,
    We have a subscription.
    1) Class viewings of several (5-10) issues once or twice a semester. Individual viewings of 1 or more issues about once a month.
    2) Fashion, graphic design, and general studio.
    3) Special Collections – requires an appointment made 1 day in advance; 2-hour long appointment.
    4) Special Collections are viewed in isolated room or supervised by librarian and instructor in a class setting
    5) Cataloged as periodicals, each issue in custom archival housing, shelved on metal shelves in locked Special Collections room.

  2. Hi Sandra,
    We have a subscription to Visionaire.
    1) Classes view several issues (about 5-10) at a time, once or twice a semester. Individuals will view view one or more issues once a month, give or take.
    2) Fashion, graphic design, and general studio classes.
    3) Special Collections – viewing requires making an appointment at least 1 day in advance; 2 hours long appointment.
    4) Can only be viewed in the Special Collections room or supervised by a librarian and instructor in a class setting.
    5) Cataloged as a periodical, each issue has its own archival housing (I believe the Lady Gaga poster is going in an archival tube), and shelved on metal shelves in our locked and isolated Special Collections storage and viewing room.

  3. Hello,

    Here’s some info that might be helpful to you:

    1. I don’t have concrete usage stats yet but we have people requesting issues of Visionaire quite regularly- if not every day then at least once or twice a week. This can vary from someone wanting to just look at one specific one to someone wanting to browse through every issue!

    2. Again, our fashion students are the main users but occasionally the graphic designers and fine artists also use specific issues (we mainly collect the fashion themed issues, as that budget is the healthiest- so there is perhaps less variety for other users). We usually have a healthy interest from external visitors as well (Alumni, SCONUL users and Industry researchers).

    3. We keep them in locked display cabinets on the library floor so they are non-circulating; considered part of our special collections and must be requested at the info desk.

    4. We are currently writing new policies for special collections use so they will now only be able to use one at a time, it will be issued to them but they will have to view it under ‘supervision’ (at a table next to the info desk). We do tag them with RFID tags, but when they are manually issued by us they are not de-sensitised so they cannot leave the library. External users will have to provide photographic ID’s and contact details before having the item issued onto a generic user account while they consult it.

    5. The cabinets we keep them in are glass fronted so it currently enables all issues to be displayed- which generates interest. However, the larger ones are more difficult to display- luckily we have a large cabinet which houses them for now, but when issue 61 arrives (‘larger than life’) we may have to reconsider! They are catalogued as individual items, according to their medium (book/object etc), and tend to either have a 391.092 classification (for fashion issues) or a 741.092 (for graphic design/illustration issues). We add as much descriptive information in the 520 field as is necessary, although since we have moved to a centralised acquisitions service within our University this will have to be double checked (most cataloguing is no longer done in-house at each college).

  4. hope this can help:

    1. We don’t keep (reliable) usage stats on the Visionaire collection.
    2. Our fashion design students seem to be the dominant users, and they seem to take inspiration from the collection in several ways, from entertainment value to portfolio design ideas.
    3. We keep the collection at the reference desk and patrons must present an ID to use them.
    4. Keeping them at the reference desk and holding onto a patron ID prevents loss. We do not tattle tape or mark the Visionaires in any way since this would negatively impact their value.
    5. They are cataloged as a collection, with extensive information about each issue put into the notes field. Barcodes are affixed to cards placed in the books, again in the interest of preserving their value. We shelve them behind our ref desk, and kindof make a display out of them, arranging some of them to be supports for others, and the most attractive ones facing out. This arrangement draws more use, as patrons coming to the desk for other reasons ask about the display, and inevitably peruse a few issues after we tell them what they are.

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