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AMICO Executive Committee

Art Museum Information Consortium (AMICO)
Archives & Museum Informatics:
Activities Report
March 1998


Archives & Museum Informatics devoted 27 days of consulting to AMICO in March. This focused on interactions with members to test their data, work with the data processing contractor (Focus Consulting), developing and submitting proposals for funding, and establishing the legal framework for AMICO with its General Counsel:

    - We completed the RLG negotiations, and initiated several other distributor agreements.
    - We worked with the data processing vendor on development of software tools to validate and parse AMICO member contributions to the Library, and worked with AMICO members to troubleshoot test records submissions.
    - We submitted a several grant proposals and continued to development of others.
    - We attended and spoke at the Visual Resources Association/Art Libraries Society of North America Conferences and expanded the AMICO web site.
    - We drafted language with Michael Shapiro, AMICO's General Counsel, for the AMICO membership agreement, the incorporation of AMICO, the university license and the museum license.
    - We distributed materials to university test bed participants and worked with them on the preplanning of their research projects for 1998-99.

Detailed Report

Distribution Agreements
Harry Parker  amp; Hugh Davies signed the RLG contract. RLG will distribute The AMICO Library from 1998-2001.

The California Digital Library and OhioLINK have agreed to develop systems for distribution of The AMICO Library in 1998/99 and be ready to serve their communities in the 1999/00 academic year. CHIN asked to be involved in the future but was too overwhelmed by other activities to take on AMICO Library distribution software development in the next year.

If the TIIAP and/or IMLS grants are funded (see below) the State Library of Arizona and the University of Indiana will join the list of AMICO Library distributors in 1999-2002.

Data Processing
The data processing routines have been fully developed and have been tested. Most AMICO members have tested some of their data to ensure that it will be correct when submitted. We began developing data parsing routines (to put full text field values into separate searchable fields) are developed and awaiting full testing. Initial success suggests we may be able to provide RLG with searchable terminology in fields that are contributed by members in a variety of different formats.

We continued discussions with the Getty Information Institute about the data validation routines to be developed in May, preliminary to writing detailed specifications for this work. This preliminary study will scope the extent of efforts required to use the GII terminology in searching AMICO data.

Data Delivery
Substantial time this month was again devoted to working with each AMICO member to make ensure that their data was correct. Data for approximately 12,500 works of art were in hand by the end of the month, but much remains to be done to get the remaining 7,500 in during April. Some institutions found the work extremely difficult; a review of methods is planned for April in order to develop guidelines for future new members.

University Testbed Project
An informal meeting was held with 15 participants in the university testbed project who were attending VRA and ARLIS. The group shared their goals for participation in the testbed, and offered suggestions for ways to facilitate communications and share ongoing research.

Introductory Packages were distributed to testbed participants. These included 1) the a list of the 20,000+ works to be in the Library, 2) a functional description of the testbed delivery system from RLG, 3) the framework for the license agreement, 4) a statement of fees and discounts, and 4) a summary of AMICO's Testbed Research Objectives.

We fielded many ongoing questions about AMICO's expectations for university research projects, and the nature of the delivery of The AMICO Library.

Legal Matters
Michael Shapiro finalized the RLG contract which was signed. He drafted a membership agreement and licenses, that we reviewed in detail with him.

The groundwork for incorporating AMICO was laid in a draft incorporation papers. A timetable was established for the independent incorporation of AMICO: drafts will be circulated to the Executive Committee in early April, with a target for final papers filed in Washington D.C. by the end of the month.

Shapiro also attended the ALI-ABA meetings to discuss museum licensing issues with colleagues, and continue discussions with AMICO member counsels about the legal language of the various agreements..

Fund Raising
We continued discussions with the Mellon Foundation and expect to submit a proposal for a June review.

We submitted a proposal to the Delmas Foundation for a small grant to assist us in planning for a Digital Libraries Initiative grant from NSF due in July.

We submitted a TIIAP grant proposal in partnership with Arizona State Library. Funding decisions will be reported in September.

We developed a framework for an IMLS grant proposal in partnership with the Indiana University Library to make The AMICO Library available to K-12, public libraries, museums and others within the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area. We expect a proposal will be submitted for the April 17 deadline. Funding decisions for this grant will also be reported in September.

We attended the Visual Resources Association and Art Libraries Society meetings and presented AMICO at the former. Further improvements were made to the AMICO public web site which was partially redesigned in March. A draft Request-for-Proposals for The AMICO Library public website was developed and is under review.

We agreed to participate, if invited, in a museum community standards setting exercise being led by the Consortium for Computer Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI) on the Dublin Core metadata model. This will involve significant effort, but is a place AMICO can make an important contribution to the community.

We met with staff of the Library of Congress and spoke with staff of the National Gallery of Art. Both institutions are now prepared to join AMICO. We made contacts with numerous other institutions and kept up discussions with others who have previously expressed interest.

We worked with Bob Bergman, Chairman of the membership committee, on planning for a membership drive to be conducted in April and May prior to the June general meeting.

Near Future
April's activities will be focused on the final submission of all members contribution to The AMICO Library.

We will present the University Testbed research and OCLC metadata research on The AMICO Library at the CNI Conference, April 15, 1998.

Meetings of all the AMICO working committees will be held before or/after the Museums and the Web Conference in Toronto, April 22-25, 1998. Michael Shapiro represent AMICO, and present a paper on international legal issues at that conference.

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