The following is a list of the “ground rules” that govern the operation of the Ashbery Research Center (ARC) online catalogue search. The rules range from the obvious to the pedantic to the idiosyncratic, and are arranged from the most general in scope to those that pertain to specific search fields and to printing your results.

Browsing: If you want to browse through the complete catalogue, simply click "Do a new search" in either basic or advanced search without entering any terms in the search form. Your results will include all the citations in the catalogue at that time, arranged in the default order of search terms (see next entry).

Default order of search returns: The default order in which citations are returned for any given search is by bibliographic code. Section A results appear first, then Sections B, C, and so on. Within each bibliographic code, the order is chronological, with the most general dates (1989-00-00) appearing before more specific dates (1989-09-22). Citations that share the same bibliographic code and date are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author (in the case of citations having more than one author, alphabetization is by the first author to appear in the list). Citations that share the same bibliographic code, date, and author are arranged alphabetically by publication. More information about this system of organizing data may be found in the section on bibliographic codes in the complete instruction manual for the catalogue. If you do not want your results sorted by bibliographic code, you may choose another field by which to organize your returns (date, author, publication, etc.); simply click the up or down arrow located to the left of every field in each citation to sort by the desired field. The up arrow will sort your results Z-A, or for the date field, from the most recent to the oldest publication. The down arrow will sort your results A-Z, or for the date field, from the oldest to the most recent publication. 

Citations for missing primary items: Although most citations in this catalogue are written for the actual physical material housed in the ARC archive, some citations have been created for missing primary items based on documentation of those items from secondary material in the ARC archive. Such citations appear throughout the catalogue, but primarily in Sections J and K, which include many entries for non-print items (visual art, film, musical compositions, etc.). These entries for phantom materials are clearly identified in the notes field of the citation, as is the nature of the documentation from which the information is drawn. 

Complete citations for earliest publication: Generally, only the earliest publication in a particular format of any work available in the ARC archive is given a complete citation in the catalogue. Subsequent printings or editions of books usually are mentioned in the notes field of the entry for the earliest available edition. Similarly, subsequent reprints of individual texts in either books or periodicals usually are mentioned in the notes field of the entry for either the first book or first periodical appearance of the text, respectively. This procedure applies to Sections A, B, C, D, E, F and M. 


Section G items are given separate citations regardless of whether they are first publications or reprints. For further clarification of this point, see the complete description of Section G elsewhere in the complete instruction manual.

Items in Sections H, J1, J2, J3, K2, L1-L4, N1-N3 and P usually are given complete citations in the catalogue for the first publication only, whether in book or periodical format, and all subsequent publications in any format usually are mentioned in the notes field of the primary citation. 

Sections J4 and K5 include information relating to visual art; usually each artwork or group of related artworks in J4 and K5 is given a single citation, and all relevant reproductions, exhibitions and related publications are listed in the notes field. Similarly, Sections J5, K1 and K4 include information relating to cinematic and theatrical works; usually each film or play in J5, K1 and K4 is given a single citation, and all relevant recordings, screenings, performances, reviews and related publications are listed in the notes field. 

Section K3 includes musical compositions. Usually each new audio recording, public performance or sheet music publication of a given work in K3 is given a separate citation, with supplementary materials listed in the notes field. Multiple performances of a given work by the same musician or ensemble during the course of a tour usually receive a single citation. 

Case-sensitivity: Searches are not case-sensitive. 

Quotation marks in search terms: Although other popular search engines such as Google use quotation marks to perform exact-phrase searches, the search engine for this catalogue does not. Normally you should not use quotation marks in your searches, because you will only pull citations in which the search phrase is also enclosed in quotation marks (for example, the poem title 'Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror'). If you do use quotation marks as part of your search terms, note that this catalogue uses single rather than double quotation marks. 

Parentheses and brackets: Because of technical limitations in the program used to create this catalogue, it is not possible to search for a phrase that includes text both inside and outside parentheses or brackets. For example, a search for the poem title "Landscape (After Baudelaire)" will produce no results. Instead, try searching either for "Landscape," for "After Baudelaire," or for "(After Baudelaire)." Or, you may search for "Landscape" and then search within your results for "Baudelaire." 

Roman and italic text: Because of technical limitations in the program used to create this catalogue, it is not possible to search for a phrase that appears partly in roman and partly in italic text. For example, a search for "Ted Berrigan's The Sonnets" will produce no results. Instead, try searching either for Berrigan, or for The Sonnets; or you may search for Berrigan and then search within your results for The Sonnets

Accent marks: You may not be able to search for a term that contains accent marks without using accent marks in your search. Searching without accent marks for text with accent marks should work for the major European languages: French, Spanish, Italian, German. For some phrases in Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, etc., you must search for the exact term, including foreign characters and accent marks, in order to obtain results. Because the number of results for those languages is relatively small, we suggest that you search by Type: translation, and the particular language, rather than by title or publication. Non-Latin alphabets for languages such as Greek, Russian, Japanese, or Sanskrit are not usually used in the catalogue — Latin-character transliterations of words in those languages have been given when possible. 

Changes and additions to the catalogue: Citations are added and corrected on a regular basis. In these initial stages, the compilers of the catalogue generally enter citations in order of bibliographic code, beginning with the citations that postdate David Kermani's John Ashbery: A Comprehensive Bibliography (New York, NY, Garland, 1976). When pre- and post-bibliography citations are related, or if citations with different bibliographic codes are related, those citations may be entered as the processing of archival material logically dictates, which may indeed be "out of order." 

Examples used in the instruction manual: Examples of representative items from each section of bibliographic code used in this catalogue are given in the instruction manual following the description of that section. These examples have been selected to convey a sense of the variety of material included in the section, and they are listed with a minimum of descriptive information. The citations in the catalogue itself are fully annotated and presented in a consistent format. 

The manual may cite as examples material that has not yet been entered into the online catalogue. Additionally, citations in the catalogue may occasionally cross-reference other citations that will be — but have not yet been — entered. Please do not assume that the search function is malfunctioning if you cannot find an item cited in this manual or in another citation. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope that all the holdings of the archive at the Ashbery Resource Center will be entered soon. 

Explanatory information supplied by compilers / Use of square brackets: Throughout this catalogue the compilers occasionally have added supplementary information in order to clarify certain points or to make the citations more meaningful or revealing. Notes, explanations, and clarifications that have been added within the formal citation fields are enclosed in square brackets. Information in these fields about which the compilers are unsure will be indicated by question marks in square brackets, with an explanation in the notes field as appropriate. Other pertinent information will be included in the notes field. 

Use of semicolons: Multiple names or titles within a single field are separated by semicolons. 

Empty or null fields: Empty or null fields are suppressed. Fields for which data is not available or that are irrelevant to a particular entry are not displayed (for example, the translator field in the case of a text that has not been translated). 

Searching by first and last name: If you are doing an exact-phrase search by first and last name in the author, author/editor or translator fields, you must enter the name exactly as it appears in the entry: last name, first name (comma included), for example, "Ashbery, John." An alternative would be simply an any-phrase or exact-phrase search for "Ashbery." Names in foreign languages, such as Hungarian or Japanese, that traditionally put the family name before the given name (i.e., Gergely Ágnes) will still include a comma between the two to facilitate searching. 

Order of names: When there are multiple names in the author, author/editor or translator fields, authors will be listed in the order in which their works appear or are credited in the publication, except that Ashbery will always be listed after other authors in order to facilitate alphabetization of the others' names in those fields. 

Titles: Short titles usually are given for periodicals, but full titles usually are given for books. Citations for articles by or about Ashbery that were published with both a headline and standing head or kicker generally note all such titles. 

Publications including various works by more than one author: Publications that include several relevant works by different authors may be given either a single or multiple citation(s): 

When all relevant works in a single publication are of the same type (for example, multiple essays about Ashbery by different authors), the publication usually is given a single citation that lists all authors and works. Authors are identified in parentheses following individual titles in the title field. 

When the relevant works in a single publication are of different types (for example, a publication including a poem by Ashbery, a review of one of Ashbery's books, and an interview with Ashbery), the publication usually is given multiple citations. When this occurs, the notes field of each citation will state that there are additional citations for other relevant works in that particular publication. 

However, when a single publication includes relevant works of different types that all focus on a single central theme, it is usually given a single citation. For example, the poetry by Ashbery and prints by visual artists that appear together in fine art editions are cited together in a single entry, since the poetry and visual art are generally either conceived in conjunction with each other, as a full collaboration between poet and artist, or the artwork is presented as a response to Ashbery's work. 

Dates: Publications dated by season or other span of time cannot be identified as such in the date field because of technical limitations in the program used to create this catalogue. Therefore, when needed, an approximate date (described below) will be entered in the date field, while the actual stated date of publication will be cited in the notes field.

Publications dated by season will be entered in the date field by the first month in which a given season begins. Examples are: 

For a publication dated 1989 Spring, the date field will read 1989-03-00; 

For a publication dated 1989 Summer, the date field will read 1989-06-00; 

For a publication dated 1989 Fall (or Autumn), the date field will read 1989-09-00; 

For a publication dated 1989 Winter, the date field will read either 1989-12-00 or 1989-01-00. (The compilers assume that Winter issues appear at the end of the year rather than at the beginning, unless we have information that suggests otherwise.) 

Publications listing a date that spans a time period other than a single season will be entered in the date field by the earliest given date. Examples are: 

1989 Spring-Summer will be entered in the date field as 1989-03-00; 

1989-1990 will be entered in the date field as 1989-00-00; 

1989 April 27-May 13 will be entered in the date field as 1989-04-27. 

Foreign-language publications: While the ARC has attempted to accurately document as much information as possible about foreign-language items, interpretation of these publications is sometimes difficult. Users should verify information included in these citations. 

Multiple classifications of individual items: An individual item may be classified in more than one category within the type or format fields. For example, a CD recording of a Lincoln Center concert of musical settings of Ashbery's poems is classified by type as both music and performance. A journal including a translation by Ashbery of a review of art exhibitions in Paris is classified by type as both translation and writing about art. (Please note that, in advanced search, users may only search by one term at a time in each field. Therefore, to search for translations of writing about art, first select "translation" in the type field, then use the search-within-results advanced search form at the bottom of your results page to select "writing about art" in the same field.) 

Interview subject terms: Due to the specific and idiosyncratic nature of the topics Ashbery tends to discuss when being interviewed, the compilers of this catalogue have found it most efficient not to use the Library of Congress' standard subject terms to try to describe them, but rather to work with the idiosyncrasies of our subject. If you have trouble interpreting the lists of subjects provided in interview citations, or if you want to search the notes field for a particular topic discussed in an interview, see the section "interview subject terms" in the complete instruction manual for the catalogue.

Terminology in the notes field: The descriptive terminology used in the notes field reflects an effort to standardize and limit the vocabulary in order to make searches more productive and maximize the number of results. Search terms that may generate interesting results include: 

  • collaboration

  • source material

  • influence

  • epigraph

  • poetic form

  • never appeared

  • special issue

  • Hudson

  • architecture

  • house / home / apartment / etc.

  • music / opera / composer / symphony / listening / etc.

  • cinema / film / movie / actor / director / character / footage / etc.

  • painting / painter / photograph / photographer / art / artwork / etc.

  • dream / dreams / dreaming / dreamed / etc.

Uncollected poems: The notes field identifies poems published in periodicals or elsewhere that have never appeared in any of Ashbery's collections. Please note that identification of these poems is based, for now, primarily on a comparison of titles alone. It is possible that some of the poems identified as having never appeared in Ashbery's collections were in fact published under alternate titles. 

Hidden addresses of Internet resources: Please be aware that the search engine for this catalogue will search hidden web addresses that link to related resources. For example, an any-phrase search for "fugue" returns an entry in which that term does not appear because the hidden website address for the link to the Sierra Chamber Society is 

Links within citations: The notes and links fields may contain links to webpages, on this site or others, that are relevant to the citation. When you click on those links, a new window will open so that you will not lose your place in the catalogue. Links may take users to files containing images of cover art for Ashbery’s books or portraits of Ashbery, video files of Ashbery reading his work, audio files of musical settings of Ashbery's work, or text files of poems or essays, etc. There may be links to pages outside this catalogue that include poems by, interviews with, or essays about Ashbery. Some links may lead to information about Ashbery’s influences or source material. Please note that this information will often be speculative, and that the absence of such information does not mean that there is no information about source material or influences for the work in question. No attempt has been made in this catalogue to provide either an exhaustive set of links to supplementary websites or comprehensive information about Ashbery's sources or influences, and the links are meant merely to suggest various avenues of inquiry that may be productive. The ARC is not responsible for the content of pages outside our site. 

Displaying and printing results: Results are displayed ten to a page. You can print only one page of results at a time. To print a single citation from a page that includes others, highlight that citation and print using the "Print selection" option. If this causes errors in the format of the print-out, do a search that will return only the citation you wish to print, and simply print the page.