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Critical revaluation and updating of the cataloging system of MAC-USP collection

Abstract

The present project aims at establishing a systematic research in the elaboration of an efficient and updated cataloging tool to the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo. Although the museum has a data bank for the cataloging of the works in the collection, and an institutional website - which has a link to a small selection of works in the museum -, and the publication, in 1992, of a general catalog of its collection, it is most urgent to revaluate the systematic of cataloging. First of all, the data bank is not updated (both in terms of its platform - which is in Access, and no longer efficient - and of the elements created for the works' chart). There are approximately 6.900 works cataloged, but it is estimated that the museum houses nowadays around 8.000 works. The actual format of the data bank has not yet been able to embrace the museum's collection of conceptual art (approximately 1.800 works), and has not yet incorporated the collection of artists' books (163). Moreover, there has been no systematic record of the works that have entered the museum's collection after the publication of the last general catalog, in 1992. The on-going researches in the Department of Research in Art, Theory and Critique, coordinated respectively by prof. PhD Cristina Freire (Conceptual Art) and prof. PhD Helouise Costa (Photography) have already raised issues and problems pertinent to the way the cataloging charts have been elaborated in the data bank, and tackle the fundamental debate to the creation of such a tool of efficient consultation, and that may map the specificities of the collection, which cover a period of the international and Brazilian art histories, from the beginning of the 20th century to today. Finally, the research will serve as the basis for the constitution of a general catalog of the collection to be published on the museum's website, giving access to the museum's researches, its collection and the exchange with other institutions. MAC-USP must get updated in this sense, and make up to the great museums in Brazil and around the world, which already have their general catalogs on their websites. To implement such a website tool, we will take as pilot-project the first donations to the museum's collection, i.e., collections Ciccillo Matarazzo and Yolanda Penteado. (AU)

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