Curriculum vitae, view on

Bright Young Librarians Interview on The Fine Books Blog


(Experimentations and proof of concept)

Subject Access for Special Collections - Focus group studies investigate options for providing better subject, theme, genre, and keyword access in the library catalog for special collections patrons

Artists' Books Thesaurus & the Visual Vocabulary plug-in - TemaTres instance to manage the ARLIS/NA Book Arts SIG Artists' Books Thesaurus (work in progress)

Book Artists Unbound - Uses XML (EAC-CPF), XSLT, jQuery, CSS, and HTML. Explores EAC-CPF as an alternative to the MARC Authority format for providing contextual information about book artists and their working relationships to persons, organizations, facilities, techniques, and concepts

Search the FLP Incunabula Collection - Uses MySQL, PHP, CSS, and HTML to allow users to search data imported from an Excel spreadsheet

Finding Aid Shopping Cart - Uses javascript, PHP, CSS, and HTML to build "shopping cart" features on top of an EAD-encoded finding aid container list

U.Miami Special Collections - Cataloger's Library Guide
Includes content re-purposed from the following:

Social Networking for UM Special Collections - Uses javascript, PHP, HTML, CSS, and various widgets to offer an Instagram gallery and Tumblr feed

Visualize the Jackie Gleason Collection - Uses subject data export in csv format and the Tagul web service to create a (Flash) hyperlinked word cloud

Mobile Site for Browsing Special Collections - Designed for iPhone (customized iWebkit). Includes collection info, curated saved searches, and connections with social networking apps

Recently cataloged (rare/unique) materials - University of Miami Libraries. Styles an RSS feed from a account


[Invited] Allison Jai O'Dell, "Dropping the Document Model: Breaking Information Elements out of Bibliographic Surrogate Records," Library Linked Data (Chicago: ALCTS Monographs, circa 2015).

[Invited] Allison Jai O'Dell, "RDA and the Description of Zines: Metadata Needs for Alternative Publications," Journal of Library Metadata (circa 2014).

[Forthcoming] Allison Jai O'Dell, "Book Artists Unbound: Furnishing Access to Creator Metadata with EAC-CPF," Art Documentation 33, no. 2 (Fall 2014).

Allison O'Dell, "Turn Your Finding Aid into a Shopping Cart," Archival Practice 1, no. 1 (2014). [Online]

Allison O'Dell, An Examination of the Metadata Captured about Artifacts of Bookbinding by United States Research Libraries. Master's thesis (Washington, DC: Corcoran College of Art and Design, 2013). Retrievable from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (Accession order no. 10171).


Studying the Book Arts in the 21st Century: Using Linked Data to Enhance Knowledge and Context. Short paper given at the RBMS Pre-conference, June 2014, Las Vegas, NV. [Slides]

The Description and Categorization of Sewing Structures in Historical Bindings with Textile Terminology. Paper given at the "Texts and Textiles" Conference, Centre for Material Texts, 12 September 2012, Cambridge, England.

Book Arts for the Book Historian: Learning the History of Printing in the 21st Century. Paper given at the 2010 APHA Conference, "Learning to Print, Teaching to Print: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives," 15-17 October 2010, Washington, DC. [Program]

Book Cloth and Book Aesthetics in the Work of Sarah Wyman Whitman. Paper given at "Useful and Beautiful: The Transatlantic Arts of William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites," 7-9 October 2010, University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Delaware Art Museum. [Program]

Seamless Marketing: The Impact of the Web on Special Collections Patronage, a Case Study from the Carmelitana Collection. Short paper given at the RBMS Pre-conference, 19 June, 2009, Charlottesville, VA.


Cataloger 3.0: Competencies and Education for the BIBFRAME Catalog. Presentation given at the CaMMS Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group meeting at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, 27 June 2014, Las Vegas, NV. [Slides]

Exploring EAC-CPF with the Remixing Archival Metadata Project (RAMP). Co-presentation with Mairelys Lemus-Rojas given at the Society of Florida Archivists Annual Meeting, 8 May 2014, Orlando, FL. [Program] [Slides]

Book Artists Unbound: an EAC-CPF-based Discovery Tool for Contextualization of Creators. Presentation given at the LITA/ALCTS MARC Formats Transition Interest Group, ALA Midwinter Meeting, 25 January 2014, Philadelphia, PA. [About]

Beyond EAD: Tools for Creating and Editing EAC-CPF Records and 'Remixing' Archival Metadata. Webinar co-presented with Timothy A. Thompson and Ethan Gruber, OCLC Research, 9 January 2014. [About] [Recording]

Using simpleCart.js to Build a Finding Aid Shopping Cart. Presentation given at Archivists Being Awesome (micropresentation format of the Delaware Valley Archivists Group), 8 May 2013, Philadelphia, PA. [Summary and slides]

Converting to RDA: from what? An Exploration of RDA Training that Does Not Assume Knowledge of AACR2. Presentation given at the ALA Cataloging Norms Interest Group Annual Meeting, 23 June 2012, Anaheim, CA. [Notes and slides (PDF)]

Curating in Context: Representing Cultural Significance in Library Exhibitions. Session Moderator at the 2012 Art Libraries Society of North America Annual Conference, "Colouring Outside the Lines," 31 March 2012, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Collections Processing: Innovations in Student Involvement. Panel presentation given at the 2010 RBMS Preconference, June, 2010, Philadelphia, PA. [Program]

Efficient Cataloging Workflow with a View Towards Research. Presentation given at the Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Collections Program Symposium, 29 March, 2010, Washington, DC. [Agenda]

Undergraduate Student Involvement in Cataloging Special Collections: Insights from the Goucher College Mapping Special Collections Team. Poster co-presented with Cynthia Ogden and Cassie Brand at the Bridging the Spectrum 2010 Symposium, 29 January, 2010, Washington, DC. [Program]

'It wasn't old when we bought it': Techniques and Tips for Expanding Catalog Records with Elements of Descriptive Bibliography. Presentation given at the ALA Catalog Management Interest Group Meeting, 16 January, 2010, Boston, MA. [Program] [PowerPoint]

Past Meets Future: Innovative Techniques for Uncovering Special Collections at the Goucher College Athenaeum. Panel presentation given at the Technical Services Division of the Maryland Library Association meeting, 13 January, 2010, Baltimore, MD. [PowerPoint]

Image and Video Sharing on the Web: Applications for Teaching and Learning. Presentation given at the 2009 Goucher Information Technology Conference, 28 May, 2009, Baltimore, MD.

The Information Product: Converting Library Holdings and Expertise into Revenue, a Case Study from the AARP Research Information Center. Poster presented at Bridging the Spectrum: A Symposium on Scholarship and Practice in Library and Information Science, 30 January, 2009, Washington, DC.


Allison O'Dell, "Review of 'Viewpoints: Theoretical Perspectives on Irish Visual Texts'," ARLIS/NA Reviews (May/June 2013). [Online]


Allison Jai O'Dell


UMiami Special Collections Cataloging Finds - Brings together subject guides, subject indexes, visualizations, feeds from social networking media, and recently cataloged materials

Publishers' Cloth Bindings in the James Wilson Bright Collection - An index of different features of, trends in, and technologies used to create 19th and early 20th century cloth bindings. Each term is presented as a link to catalog records within the Bright Collection.


University of Miami Library Catalog: Updates & Tips for Using, Fall 2013

Descriptive Cataloging for Special Collections: University of Miami Libraries Special Collections Department, Book & Graphic Resources, May 2014

Descriptive Cataloging for Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries from Allison Jai O'Dell


Editorial responsibilities:
Yale University and New England Archivists
Peer Reviewer, Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies, 2014 - Present

Art Libraries Society of North America
Peer Reviewer, Art Documentation, 2013 - Present

Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (ACRL/ALA):
Bibliographic Standards Committee, 2014 - 2016
(Controlled Vocabularies review, 2012 - Present)
Publications and Communications Committee, 2014 - 2016
(Web Team, 2013 - Present)
Task Force Committee on Core Competencies in Special Collections Librarianship, 2013 - 2015
Membership & Professional Development Committee, RBMS Mentor, 2014 - 2015

Art Libraries Society / North America:
Editor, Artists' Books Thesaurus, 2012 - Present
Delaware Valley Chapter, President, 2013; Vice President / President Elect, 2012

Potomac Technical Processing Librarians:
Board Member, 2010 – 2011

Girl Develop It Miami:
Chapter Co-Founder and Leader, 2013 - Present

Rare Book School, University of Virginia:
Scholarship Committee Member, 2014 - 2017

University of Miami Libraries:
Resource Description Coordination Group, Chair, 2013 - 2014
Faculty Orientation Committee, Chair, 2013 - 2014
Web Archiving and E-Records Pilot Group, Member, 2013 - 2014
Electronic Records and Web Archiving Committee, Member, 2014 - Present

Outreach: Social Media & Blogs

University of Miami Special Collections Cataloger on Tumblr - A visual approach to quirky, fun, and curious collection finds (Active 2013 - Present)

FLP Rare Book Dept. Cataloging on Twitter - Includes updates on the project to catalog several collections in the Free Library of Philadelphia's Rare Book Dept. (Active 2011 - 2013)

FLP Rare Book Dept. Cataloging on Pinterest - Images of finds from the collections. (Active 2011 - 2013)

The Barnes Journal - Contribution on cover designs and designers represented by the Rare Book Collection

Mapping Special Collections for Research and Teaching at Goucher College - Updates and insights from the project team. (Active 2009 - 2010)

Allison's Resources & Tips: from the CUA Information Desk - Aimed at acquainting students with research and libraries in the Washington, DC area. (Active 2008-2009)

Policy documents

Cataloging Wiki of the FLP Rare Book Department - This space serves as a respository for cataloging policies and training tools used by the Free Library of Philadelphia's Rare Book Department.

Cataloging Tools: Goucher College Special Collections & Archives - (LibGuide) - These resources were developed and/or compiled as a part of the project "Mapping Special Collections for Research and Teaching at Goucher College." They are intended to assist in undertaking a similar cataloging project involving strong student participation.

Guidelines for Describing Web Collections - For use with the DublinCore element set in ArchiveIt, includes Collection-level and Document-level best practices. Developed for the University of Miami Libraries.

Special Collections Cataloging & Metadata Librarian
University of Miami Libraries
2013 - Present

Cataloging Consultant,
Rare Book Department
Free Library of Philadelphia
2011 - 2013

Special Collections and Horticulture Librarian
The Barnes Foundation
2010 - 2011

Special Collections Cataloger
Goucher College
2009 - 2010

Catalog Librarian
The Carmelitana Collection
2008 - 2009