Today marks the end of an era as the final iteration of the Monday Table is taken down and shelved.
For innumerable years the Ingalls Library weekly displayed its newly cataloged books before they were sent to the stacks. Previously displayed on a table in the Curator’s Reading Room in the 1958 museum addition and then in its namesake room in the 1983 addition, the Monday Table has been on view in various locations of the current Ingalls Library, most recently in the Reading Room. Circulation staff originally set out the new items on Mondays, thus giving the Monday Table its name. Before each new batch was ready, library staff carefully reviewed the materials for reproductions of the museum’s objects and flagged the ones found, meticulously added the books’ records to the library’s catalog, and labeled each item. Easier methods for discovering new titles and declining use led to the decision to cease the Monday Table. Moving forward materials will be shelved as soon as they are completely processed.
Over the years, parents browsed the recent acquisitions to pass the time while their children attended classes in the museum. Curators, CWRU professors, and other scholars flocked to the new Monday Table and sat for hours poring over it each week. Henry Hawley, originally Curator of Decorative Arts and later Chief Curator, eagerly awaited each week’s new batch and delighted in finding missed reproductions of CMA objects. Flags were provided for patrons wishing to request an item after the Monday Table was due to be checked-in. Often times multiple requests would send a single item to numerous departments within the museum.
The titles displayed on the Monday Table came in a multitude of languages covering a variety of art forms, time periods, geographic areas and beyond. Items on the final Monday Table range from The Psychological Roots of Modernism: Picasso and Jung featuring CMA’s La Vie to Celestial Horses & Long Sleeve Dancers about ancient Chinese tomb sculpture. Each week the Monday Table showcased the library’s efforts to support the museum’s current and future collections, research, exhibitions, publications, and programs through the collection of relevant research resources. Though the library is discontinuing its display of newly circulating books, it will continue to add to its 500,000+ items in its ongoing mission to make the collection one of the best in the nation.
by Stacie Murry and Peter Buettner