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Appendix D: Conversations with Art History Editors

Module by: Lawrence McGill. E-mail the author

Information about art history publishing from the perspective of editors at university and trade presses was gathered through semi-structured in-person interviews, a focused discussion session at the annual conference of the College Art Association, and a survey questionnaire that was emailed to the focus group participants following the meeting. (Information about this survey may be found in Appendix E.)

In-person interviews were conducted with six senior editors at four major university presses that specialize in publishing in the field of art and architectural history, four senior executives at a foundation with a significant investment in the arts, three senior executives at an art museum with a significant publishing program, and two senior executives at professional associations with a strong interest in art history publishing. Topics discussed in the interviews included: changes in the business of publishing over the past decade, especially as they have affected the publication of works in art and architectural history; publication philosophies at university presses and museums; costs associated with publishing in the field of art history; sales and print-run trends; intellectual property issues; electronic publishing; recent trends in art history scholarship; and the relationship between publishing and tenure requirements. Interviews were conducted by Lawrence T. McGill, deputy director of the Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, and ran about 90 minutes to three hours in length. Interviews were conducted between November 10, 2005 and January 26, 2006.

A further opportunity to gather information from the perspective of art history editors was presented by the annual College Art Association convention, which took place during the week of February 20th, 2006 in Boston, MA. A list of art and architectural history editors at presses that typically send representatives to the CAA meeting was generated by examining lists of attendees printed in CAA convention programs in recent years. Potential attendees were contacted by email in advance of the meeting and invited to participate in a two-hour focused discussion session that took place on February 22, 2006.

Editors from more than two dozen presses/publishing organizations took part in the discussion. Organizations represented at the meeting included the Art Institute of Chicago, Ashgate, Blackwell, Brepols, College Art Association, Cambridge University Press, Clark Art Institute, Getty Foundation, Mellon Foundation, MIT Press, W.W. Norton, Penn State University Press, Phaidon, Prestel, Princeton University Press, Reaktion, Routledge, Thames & Hudson, University of California Press, University of Chicago Press, University of Hawaii Press, University of Illinois Press, University of Minnesota Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, University of Washington Press, and Yale University Press.

A semi-structured discussion guide was developed for the session (a copy of which is included in this appendix). The focus group was moderated by Lawrence McGill.

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