& Museum Informatics devoted 43 days of consulting to AMICO in January.
This full-time effort revolved around several major deadlines, all achieved:
with the Technical Operations Committee of a technical specification
with the Users Committee, of a decision on University Testbed applications
with the Rights Committee, of the terms of the License to AMICO
of background materials and briefing papers for the Executive Committee
and Board meetings in Los Angeles
of negotiations with the Research Libraries Group on being the Distributor
of The AMICO Library in the testbed year
of an RFP (Request-for-Proposals) for data processing services
we continued discussions with the Mellon Foundation, regarding funding
and submitted an ˝Intention to Submitţ to the Hitachi Foundation. We
recruited a legal advisor (Michael Shapiro) and negotiated an agreement
with him to provide largely pro bono legal assistance over the next
The most critical, and complex task of AMICO═s initial year was to reach
agreement on the specification for data to be provided to AMICO by its
members, and from AMICO to the distributors and end users. We faced
a number of issues that are familiar, if difficult to resolve, in the
world of data interchange and quite a few issues which have never previously
been resolved but required working solutions for AMICO to begin to build
its library. The Technical Operations Committee held on-line discussions
and we conducted research, all of which resulted in a quite complete
specification for catalog records, associated multimedia files and metadata.
A Conference Call was held to review outstanding issues, and the resulting
specifications were finalized and issued.
specifications were shared with the Research Libraries Group and agreed
to by them. They then became the basis for a Request-for-Proposal to
a data processing firm to pre-process the AMICO data and validate its
contents before it is sent to the distributor.
Libraries Group also offered us the first draft of their Product Functional
Specification and showed us the first products of their image derivation
efforts. In both cases, next drafts will be circulated to AMICO members.
Our comments are being taken into consideration and we expect to have
RLG specifications to offer the AMICO members in February.
with RLG, we also worked out a timetable and schedule for delivery of
data in order to meet the University Testbed deadlines. This schedule
was published and all AMICO institutions agreed to it at the January
Board meeting. AS RLG is investigating a significant amount in software
that relies upon the AMICO data contribution, contractual penalties
are associated with our failure to meet these deadlines.
Validation and Enhancement
Discussions with the Getty Information Institute failed to arrive at
a means to check all AMICO data against the Getty Vocabularies and update
terminology in those vocabularies this year. As a result, we have moved
this task off the testbed year plan. Discussions began to do this with
the GII when they are ready in the future.
with Macmillan Ltd. to integrate the Grove Dictionary of Art and The AMICO Library moved forward with a proposal from Grove that was discussed
by the Executive Committee and authorization from the Executive Committee
to continue the discussions. A suggestion from the Mellon Foundation
that we consider integration of JSTOR with The AMICO Library was brought
to the executive Committee which authorized pursuing it in discussions
parsing requirements were included in the RFP for data processing services
and are expected to be included in the final contract.
The Users and Uses Committee reviewed the proposals received in response
to our Call for Participation in the University Testbed Project. The
selection of participants in the project was simplified by the generally
high quality of proposals received. A conference call was held to make
a final assessment, and the recommendations of the committee were sent
to the AMICO Board.
few cases, the proposals we received were both to conduct the kinds
of research in which we expressed interest in our ˝Call for Participationţ
and to conduct research with the aim of becoming an AMICO Distributor.
Feeling these two objectives were different, Archives & Museum Informatics
has drafted a separate Distributor Development Agreement to offer to
potential distributors. It is anticipated that Developers Agreements
will be offered to OhioLink, the California Digital Library, and the
Joint Information Systems Commission of the Higher Education Authority
of the UK.
accepted the recommendations of the Users and Uses Committee and accepted
proposals from approximately 20 universities, holding open the possibility
of an offer to Harvard University to participate if it provided a few
more details not in its initial proposal.
of Offer have been sent. In mid-February, each participating university
will also receive details of the contents of The AMICO Library, an outline
of license terms, functional specifications for the RLG delivery of
the Library, service agreement terms from RLG, and contracts outlining
license and service subscription fees.
Matters: Licenses, By-laws and Membership Agreements
The last of the three licenses required to operate AMICO in its initial
year was reviewed by the Rights Committee in December and January -
the License to AMICO. In addition, discussions with the Executive Committee
and at the Board meeting clarified a number of issues surrounding the
future incorporation of AMICO, its basic modes of operating, and the
terms of a membership agreement. All these documents now need to be
written in legal drafts and provided to members in the coming month
for their signatures.
& Museum Informatics was fortunate to be able to acquire the services
of Michael Shapiro, Esq., who is leaving his position as General Counsel
of the NEH on February 13, 1998, as Counsel to AMICO. Michael will draft
these documents for us and provide other management and legal advice.
Prior to joining NEH, Mr. Shapiro was Director of the George Washington
University graduate program in Museum Administration and the director
of both a State Museum agency and a private museum, and also practiced
privately in the areas of international contract and intellectual property
law. He will bring a broad range of experience and expertise to AMICO.
contract will be offered for Michael Shapiro. Members are required to
sign the relevant licenses and agreements as part of their agreement
to membership in the 1997/98 year.
Raising and Outreach
Archives & Museum Informatics continued its discussions with the
Mellon Foundation in January regarding major funding for AMICO. (The
preliminary proposal was circulated to the Board at its meeting.) We
expect these will lead to another face to face meeting in February and
a preliminary agreement on the prospects of support. In addition, we
sent an ˝Intention to Submitţ to the Hitachi Foundation. We also monitored
the TIAPP and IMLS grant opportunities which have been announced for
this spring and began to line up appropriate players to participate
in the collaborative efforts required under those grants. AMICO members
will need to reply promptly to requests for information to be included
in these funding proposals.
AMICO was a major concern of the Executive Committee. A plan was developed
to assure that the 1998 cash flow would not be negative. A Board Fundraising
Committee and Board Membership Committee were organized and will begin
their work in February.
we completed the construction of an AMICO Advisory Committee, submitted
names to the Executive Committee of AMICO, and reached agreement on
a list of persons to invite to advise AMICO. They are now being invited
by Harry Parker, Chairman of the Board.
AMICO Membership and Fund Raising Committees will begin activities in
authorized the addition of twelve new AMICO members to contribute data
in the next year, and ratified the concept of an associate membership,
that enabled institutions to audit AMICO discussions and receive a license
to the Library before they began contributing to the Library.
and Uses Committee and A&MI will be making presentations at CAA, VRA,
ARLIS, CNI and other professional meetings in the near future. Their
purpose is to begin to get users involved in working with AMICO and
to clarify our goals and objectives. We will also be using upcoming
professional conferences to begin a dialog with the University Testbed
Operations Committee and all technical personnel in AMICO museums are
under very tight deadlines to deliver their data to AMICO in the next
Committee will move on to addressing draft legal documents (licenses,
membership agreements) and to an initial strategy discussion of the
methods to approach artists and their estates. Language will be drafted
for the grant of rights to AMICO (educational uses) by artists and efforts
will be advanced to find ways to collaborate in seeking rights from
individuals whose works have been identified for the first year contributions.
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