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Art Museum Image Consortium
Minutes of the
Board Meeting
January 27, 1998
Los Angeles, California

A scheduled meeting of the Board the Art Museum Image Consortium was held on January 27, 1998 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Mirimar Sheraton Hotel, Los Angeles, California.

In Attendance
Chair: Harry S. Parker III (chair), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Director
Members: Art Gallery of Ontario, Maxwell Anderson, Director
Asia Society Galleries, Vishakha Desai, Director
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Terry Pitts, Director
Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Susan Taylor, Director
George Eastman House, Roger Bruce for Tony Bannon, Director
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Peter Bodell for Graham Beal, Director
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Scott Sayre for Evan Maurer, Director
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal: Marcel Brisebois, Director
Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, Pierre Théberge, Director
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Hugh Davies, Director
National Gallery of Canada, Shirley Thomson, Director
San Jose Museum of Art: Josi Callan, Director
Walker Art Center, David Galligan for Kathy Halbreich, Director
Staff: Association of Art Museum Directors: Mimi Gaudieri and Anita DeFanis
Archives & Museum Informatics: David Bearman and Jennifer Trant

1. Status Report

Harry S. Parker II, Chairman of the Board, called the meeting to order, and welcomed members to the first full meeting of the AMICO Board. Members were congratulated on the work that they and their staffs had completed in the planning phase of AMICO and in its first few months of operation. He reminded members that AMICO is a precedent setting achievement in many ways, and congratulated them for their willingness to collaborate to make museum multimedia documentation available for educational purposes. He noted that The AMICO Library would very quickly become the largest digital library of art documentation anywhere.

Parker reported on the actions of the AMICO ad hoc Executive Committee, since its first meeting in October of 1997. These included:

  • contracting Archives & Museum Informatics to mange the start-up of the Consortium, following their successful facilitation of the planning process
  • appointing Michael Shapiro (former General Counsel to the NEH) as General Counsel, AMICO
  • establishing goals for AMICO Library growth (250,000 works within five years)
  • setting targets for membership growth (100 members, internationally, within five years)
  • determining financial needs and budgets

2. Five Year Plan

The summary Five Year Plan for the growth and development of AMICO was introduced by David Bearman and Jennifer Trant of Archives & Museum Informatics. AMICO's activities will begin with a focus on the higher educational community. Subsequently, we will add programs related to the Primary and Secondary Education and to the Public Libraries. See the attached AMICO 5 Year Plan.

The Executive Committee recommended that the Board adopt the Five Year plan. The Plan was adopted.

3. Formalizing AMICO's Organization

3.1 Working Committees
On the suggestion of the Chair, and Executive Committee it was agreed by all present that sub-committees of the Board were necessary to facilitate the operation of AMICO. These will include:

The Executive Committee: Membership of the ac hoc committee was congratulated for their work, and appointed to continue. The Executive Committee is chaired by Harry S. Parker, Chairman of AMICO. Its members include: Maxwell. L. Anderson, Vishakha Desai, Hugh Davies, Malcolm Rogers and Shirley Thomson.

The Membership Committee: It was suggested that Robert Bergman, Director, Cleveland Museum of Art, (absent) be approached to become Chair of the Membership Committee. This committee will be responsible for identifying new members for AMICO, establishing an application process and reviewing applications. They will make decisions on applications, on behalf of the Board.

It was agreed that the Membership Committee should encourage Membership from Institutions beyond AAMD. It was also agreed that membership targets should allow for sustainable growth, which did not overburden the consortium with new members. Provision should be made for Associate Membership, to allow institutions to learn from AMICO and prepare their data, without having to meet significant commitment to contribute large numbers of works to the Library.

The Development Committee: Maxwell Anderson accepted the Chair of the Development Committee. This committee will be responsible for identifying sources for support of AMICO activities, and for the review of funding applications prepared by AMICO staff.

In addition, the Chairman of the Board should have the authority to sign contracts and make commitments on behalf of the Consortium.

3.2 Incorporation of AMICO
It was agreed that separate incorporation of AMICO as a not-for-profit with 501 (c)-3 IRS registration was preferable to continued operation under the AAMD Educational Foundation Inc. The Chairman was asked to give General Counsel instructions to pursue incorporation, if possible before the next Board Meeting.

3.3 Membership Agreement and By Laws
Once AMICO is incorporated, members will be asked to sign a Membership Agreement, that outlines the responsibilities and benefits of membership. This agreement, along with by-laws of the new corporation, govern AMICO's activities.

4. Finances

The Board reviewed the overall budgets and financial requirements, as presented by the Executive Committee. Funding needs are outlined in the attached finding proposal that was presented to the Mellon Foundation during preliminary discussions in November 1997. See the attached draft document: AMICO, Educational Access to Digital Art Documentation: A Preliminary Proposal to the Mellon Foundation.

The Executive Committee also assured the Board that they had made plans to ensure that AMICO would not cause AAMD to have a negative cash flow.

5. Licenses

Bearman and Trant briefed the Board on the three licenses that will have to be written, based on the framework documents that have been developed during the planning process.

Michael Shapiro, General Counsel, AMICO, will be asked to draft a License to AMICO, a License to Universities and a License to Museums. Since one of the benefits of AMICO Membership is access to the complete AMICO Library, all AMICO Members will be asked to sign the License to Museums.

Drafts will be circulated to AMICO the AMICO Rights Committee for comment, prior to the distribution of final drafts for signature. These documents must be in place before the University Testbed begins on July 1, 1998.

Board Members questioned the difference between AMICO and the other licensing collectives that are in existence or are in the planning stage. Discussion reaffirmed AMICO's uniqueness in its focus on art as the subject matter of its digital library, its desire to have international members and content, its museum-led governance, its desire to work with 20th century artists to ensure the inclusion of contemporary material, and its educational, non-commercial, not-for-profit goals.

6. 1998 Plans: University Testbed Project (1998-1999)

The University Testbed Project was introduced by Bearman and Trant. Its goal is to bring together representative higher-education academic users to address a number of research questions that AMICO shares with academic users of digital libraries. The preliminary answers to these questions will help us understand how to create a Library for broad distribution in the fall of 1999, and provide guidance in its future development. Our basic goal is to understand who needs what kinds of museum multimedia documentation for which purposes, and to assess should it be delivered and what tools will enable its use.

Selection of Testbed Participants
A Call for Participation in the University Testbed Project was issued in the fall of 1997. The AMICO Users and Uses Committee reviewed all the proposals and presented its recommendations to the AMICO Board. See attached: University Testbed Proposals: Review and Recommendations.

The Executive Committee recommended that the User and Uses Committee's recommendations be accepted, with one exception. It was felt that Harvard University should be contacted to clarify faculty involvement, and if a satisfactory response was given, they should be included as well.

Acting on these recommendations, the Board accepted the following universities as participants in the testbed. In recognition of their commitment, they will each receive a discount of 25% on the AMICO license fees for the 8 years subsequent to the Testbed (amounting to 2 years of free license).

Testbed Participants:

    Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
    California State University (San Jose State and CSU Long Beach), CA
    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
    Columbia University, New York, NY
    Herron School of Art, Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN
    Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    University of Illinois ( Urbana Champaign and Chicago)
    University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
    University of Texas, at Austin, Austin, TX
    University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    (including Scarborough and Mississauga campuses)
    Washington University in St. Louis, MO
    Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

In addition, the Board asked Archives & Museum Informatics to return to Harvard University, Cambridge, MA to request further clarification regarding aspects of their proposal, and to offer Harvard acceptance if concerns about faculty involvement were satisfied.

Archives & Museum Informatics were also asked to open negotiations with the California Digital Library and the OhioLINK consortium about becoming Distributors of The AMICO Library for their respective communities.

Testbed Schedule
The overall schedule for the construction of the AMICO Testbed Library was reviewed. See the Attached Data Collation and Validation Schedule. The Executive Committee stressed the importance of meeting these milestones, and it was agreed that all members of the Consortium must be aware of and committed to meeting the deadlines in this schedule.

7. Other Business

Agreement with the Research Libraries Group (RLG)
RLG has agreed to be AMICO's Distributor to the higher education community during the University Testbed and for at least two years following. To do this, they will make a significant investment of their own funds to develop the required software and interface. This will be an enhancement of their existing Eureka system that makes RLG textual data available over the WWW now. In recognition of this investment, the contract negotiated with RLG contains significant penalties should AMICO fail to deliver the Library as scheduled.

The international nature of both AMICO's current and planned membership was reaffirmed, along with a commitment to access to data in a multi-lingual environment.

Bridgeman Art Library
A proposal from the Bridgeman Art Library, outlining a possible collaborative relationship, was brought forward from the Executive Committee. It was noted that this seemed out of scope for AMICO as the Bridgeman Art Library is a commercial picture licensing agency. Should it been seen by Board Members to be worthwhile pursuing, this question can be discussed at the next meeting.

AMICO Web Support from the Art Museum Network
Maxwell Anderson circulated a report [appended] outlining the support that the Art Gallery of Ontario has offered to AMICO through the Art Museum Network. All of AMICO's network services, including web page hosting and updating are provided by AGO through AMN. Having this support has been critical for AMICO, and has enabled us to operate within tight time-frames throughout the startup period.

The Board thanked Maxwell Anderson and the Art Gallery of Ontario for this support and welcomed the continued involvement of AMN in providing AMICO network services

Review of Commitments
AMICO's schedule and commitments for the University Testbed were summarized and reviewed. It was moved by Max Anderson, seconded by Susan Taylor that "The Board has reviewed the commitment required and feels it is a reasonable objective". The motion was carried unanimously.

Next Meeting
It was agreed that the next meeting of the AMICO Board will take place in Worcester, MA, in conjunction with the spring AAMD meeting.

8. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m..

Prepared by Archives & Museum Informatics
May 26, 1998

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