Sackner Archive

The Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, 1984 (Catalog)

This page includes three images. One is the catalog cover, which is orange with black and white vertical text as design. The catalog title is prominent. The second image is the catalog spine and features the title. The third image is the open catalog.

 

The image contains a large book with an orange cover. Words in black and white vertically decorate the cover, which also says "The Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, 1984."

Cover of The Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, 1984 catalog. Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.

Not long after Ruth and Marvin Sackner purchased the first items for their Archive, they began creating detailed records of the materials within it. Nothing demonstrates their determination to do so quite like the bulk of this 1984 catalog—roughly 3 inches thick! There have been many, many items added to the catalog since 1984, which may help explain why the format changed from an alphabetized and typed book to a full database. Today, the database contains over 60,000 records with information ranging from basic—title and creator of the piece—to complex—the location the item was acquired and for how much, its loan history, its exact measurements in both US Customary and metric scales, and more. It is undoubtedly one of the most complex databases of a privately held, previously non-institutionalized collection anywhere in the world. The University of Iowa Libraries are currently working to convert the database into a library-friendly format in order to improve access to the collection.

– Margaret Gamm, Head of Special Collections & University Archives

 

The Sackner Archive catalog of objects is roughly 3 inches thick. This photo shows the 3 inch height of the spine while the book lays flat.

Spine of The Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, 1984 catalog. Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.

This image shows the catalog propped open. It shows a list of items on the two open pages. There are no images, just text.

A sample of pages from The Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, 1984 catalog. Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.