Cataloging by font in AAT
September 30, 2005 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Non-book CatalogingFilter: Is there a resource that maps typefaces by name to terms from the Art and Architecture Thesaurus?

The deal is this: I'm cataloging artists' books for work and I'm trying to describe the construction and appearance of the book using terms from the AAT. I do not have the actual books in front of me, I'm working from photographs of the books and the Note field in the library catalog. Sometimes, I've get the name of the font in which the work was set. This is valuable information for the end user of the database.

However, the original catalogers record only the name of the typeface. Here's the current record I'm working from. As you can see, it tells me that the text is set in Meridien. The font does not appear by name in the AAT. Only the term under typefaces are available to me and scope notes with phrases like "characterized by such features as vertical emphasis, strong contrast between thin and thick strokes, and unbracketed serifs" aren't particularly helpful to non-design-inclined me. Similarly, the online font identification resources don't help because I already know the name of the font, I'm just not sure of an authoritative way to describe the font in the controlled vocabulary.

The perfect resource for me would be an alphabetical list of fonts by name with their AAT classifiaction written under the names. I kind of doubt such a thing exists. At least, I haven't been able to find it. Suggestions?
posted by stet to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I guess it was an obscure question, but if anyone wants to know how I resolved this...

I eventually found the category page on the most excellent My Fonts website. I can then translate their taxonomy to the Art and Architecture thesaurus and catalog away.
posted by stet at 2:17 PM on October 20, 2005

Response by poster: I also found the Equivalent Font Names reference from the Comp.Fonts.FAQ. This is helpful because many fonts have been published under different names. Hence, if one classifies a font by name, it may be located in more than one place. The font Amherst, for example, is either transitional or fraktura depending on whether the example is the American Type Founders' font of that name or the Corel font of that name.
posted by stet at 11:36 AM on October 25, 2005

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