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Cataloging the Collection

All Drawings

Catalog records describe each of the approximately 3,700 loose drawings and summarize some 40 sketchbooks that contain about 1,300 drawings. Call numbers for the master drawings begin with the acronym “DRWG/MA” and designate each physical item in the filing series uniquely.

Drawings by Joseph Pennell

The item-level online catalog records for Joseph Pennell's drawings are based on entries in Louis A. Wuerth's unpublished 1931 typescript "List of Original Drawings and Paintings in Various Mediums by Joseph Pennell, forming part of the J. & E. R. Pennell collection in the Library of Congress, Compiled in Accordance with the Will of Joseph Pennell."

Richard J. Kelly expanded the descriptions significantly in a special project undertaken between 2000 and 2005. He researched book and article citations for the published drawings, transcribed annotations on the drawings and mounts, and added media identifications and subject summaries. His dedicated commitment to making descriptions of Pennell's drawings more widely available is greatly appreciated.

Drawings by James McNeill Whistler and Other Artists

The catalog descriptions for Whistler's drawings rely on information in Margaret F. MacDonald's authoritative reference book James McNeill Whistler Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995).

The catalog descriptions for the drawings by other artists came from a number of different sources over time, including unverified information provided by collectors and donors and subsequent descriptions by several generations of Library staff. Identifying information on the drawings themselves is often sparse, and the Prints and Photographs Division welcomes additional perspectives on such matters as attribution and dates. A Suggestion Form for Prints & Photographs Cataloging Data is available at

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May 1, 2008