About the Catalogue

Users of the Digital Catalogue are asked to review the following notes about the contents and presentation of the entries.

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Work numbers

Goldsworthy numbers his ephemeral works sequentially, usually doing so as he organises the slides and transparencies once they have been processed and returned. That numbering is noted on the physical slides in the Slide Cabinet Index. The Digital Catalogue is the only other record of the first ten years of that sequence.

For the purposes of the Digital Catalogue, the work numbers are formalised as follows: 1976_001, 1976_002, and so. They appear beneath of the thumbnails, and at the top of each entry page.

Users will note that there are 'gaps' in the numerical sequences of some of the years. These reflect gaps that exist in the Slide Cabinet Index, where slides that Goldsworthy has occasionally loaned from the Cabinet or used for printing have not been returned. Goldsworthy and Dr. Fiske succeeded in re-instating a number of the missing works, either by finding the removed item or by locating another available image of the work. Some 'gaps' remain, however, where the missing slide was the only record of a particular work.

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Work titles

Goldsworthy only titles his ephemeral sculptures when publishing them, or printing and framing them for exhibition. Thus, a significant percentage of sculptures recorded in Goldsworthy's Slide Cabinet Index have not been formally titled by the artist.

Where a sculpture has been printed as a photowork for exhibition, or published in one of Goldsworthy's texts, and therefore has been titled by Goldsworthy, these are used in the Catalogue entry. Occasionally, there are variations in how a work is titled from publication to publication, and the cataloguer notes these in the Bibliography section.

Goldsworthy's titles are descriptive in character: they typically include reference to the type of material used and incidental details of the work's making or form, which is followed by place, and then by date.

For those sculptures not formally titled by Goldsworthy, the cataloguers have provided provisional titles, according to specifications determined with Goldsworthy.

The presentation of the provisional work titles follow Goldsworthy's title format:

[short description]
[place: location/county]
[date: day/month/year]

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For the most part, where a work entry features a caption, it comprises a section of text transcribed from Goldsworthy's Sketchbook Diaries (August 1980 onwards). Where Goldsworthy recorded a work in his early Sketchbook Diaries, it is referenced and transcribed in the Digital Catalogue. The cataloguers indexed his Sketchbook Diaries 1-15, providing a comprehensive list of the ephemeral sculptures that he documented therein, and pairing photographic image and text for the first time.

As far as possible, the inclusion of diary texts in the Digital Catalogue observes Goldsworthy's own formatting of the diary entries. Goldsworthy's diaries frequently include drawings, around which text is disposed, usually taking the form of short, pithy statements that often have the feel of verse. The intention was to convey the particularities of Goldsworthy's notation as much as possible.

Other caption entries include quotes from texts, or broadcasts, or short interviews. These are referenced accordingly.

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Dates and locations

Goldsworthy's Sketchbook Diaries are mostly dated, and this allowed the cataloguers to date a large proportion of the sculptures made from August 1980 onwards. Occasionally, these dates conflict with dates given in publications, or the ordering of works in the Slide Cabinet Index, and those disparities are noted in the bibliographic section.

Goldsworthy notes location by the following formula: [place/city/town/village], [county/country]. An example would be Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales or Rouen, France. The cataloguing has observed this convention. However, note that the cataloguer has simplified some of the county names given by Goldsworthy, for example 'West Yorkshire' or 'North Yorkshire' are given as just 'Yorkshire.' Goldsworthy himself used all of the above when titling works made in Leeds, Ilkley, Bentham, and so forth.

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The Bibliography section notes where Goldsworthy has included illustrations of a given work in one of his publications, or has documented it in one of his Sketchbook Diaries. These are given in chronological order, noting where the illustration is colour or black & white, and page number.

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Note on condition of slides

On the whole, an appraisal of the condition of the slides and transparencies from 1976-1986 was fairly positive. From 1988 onwards, Goldsworthy has done his best to store his slide collection in as stable a set of conditions as possible, and has minimised handling. However, some of the slides, particularly a number of slides from 1978 and 1979, were found to be dirty, with deposits (dirt, hair, mould etc) on the surface of the film. Others have suffered from handling, showing scratches or other damage, or from fading.

It was decided with Goldsworthy that the slides would be scanned in their found condition, with no digital 'cleaning up'. Thus, the Digital Catalogue does in effect become a record of the condition of the early part of Goldsworthy's archive in 2003-2004.

The majority of Goldsworthy's early slides are still in their original cardboard mounts, which shed fibres on to the film surface. Those that were selected for scanning, as well as a large percentage of the slides housed in Slide Cabinet Index in glass mounts (some fifteen years old), were re-housed in fresh mounts.