At Tate and elsewhere artist books are typically catalogued in terms of core bibliographic details (place of publication, size of edition etc.), but these catalogue entries rarely provide a sense of what the books are like and often do not assist users who might wish to search a collection thematically.
As part of the ‘Transforming Artist Books’ Research Network, Tate piloted the writing of five descriptive texts that combined bibliographic details with descriptive and interpretative commentary similar in tone and format to the summaries written about artworks in Tate’s collection. Some of the texts contain artist-generated information and all have suggestions for further reading. New photographs of the books help show their physical complexity.