These rules provide for the description of graphic materials that are of continuing or potential aesthetic or documentary value.  Specifically, they may apply to:

a.   Single two-dimensional pictorial works that are original:

Typical examples are prints, posters, drawings, paintings, photographic prints, negatives, transparencies, slides, etc.  (Single photographic copies and photomechanical prints of such works are included as well.) ( FN 1)  Single items may be unpublished (though they may exist in multiple copies) or published, in which case they may or may not have a statement of publication, distribution, or printing.

b.   Groups of single two-dimensional pictorial works:

For the purpose of these rules, these groups will be referred to as collections (whether two items or millions).  It is assumed that the items either:

1.)   have been assembled by or have accumulated without plan around a person, family group, or corporate body and been acquired by the repository as a collection, or

2.)   have been assembled by the repository from its own accessions into a collection for cataloging purposes.

Collections may consist of both published and unpublished items, but the collection itself does not exist in a published form.  Material is considered to form a collection even if it is bound together, as in an album.  Collections may be accompanied by related manuscript and printed textual material, such as pamphlets, catalogs, checklists, periodical tearsheets, and newspaper clippings, as well as non-print material, such as sound recordings.

If a bound volume or portfolio (even one consisting primarily of graphics) is a bona fide monographic publication with a title page or its equivalent, it is to be cataloged according to AACR 2, Chapters 1 and 2.  In such cases, it may be desirable to use the physical description and note area to describe the graphic content of the publication.

1996 UPDATE:  Optionally, GM may be used for published portfolios consisting primarily of graphic materials.  Since GM provides for the treatment of published materials regardless of presentation format, either approach is valid.  The decision should be based on an institution's needs, the focus of its collections, and what it chooses to emphasize in the record.

See also:

0.  General Rules