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AMICO Executive Committee

AMICO Executive Committee
Minutes of the Meeting

June 4, 1998

Massachusetts Room
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Worcester MA
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.


NOTE: The original notes from the meeting were stolen.


In Attendance: Maxwell Anderson (AGO), Bob Bergman (CMA), Hugh Davies (MCASD), Vishakha Desai (Asia Society), Malcolm Rogers (BMFA).

Staff: David Bearman and Jennifer Trant (A&MI), Mimi Gaudieri and Anita DeFanis (AAMD) (AAMD)

Regrets: Shirley Thompson.(ex. NGC)


  1. Call to Order
  2. The meeting was convened by Harry S. Parker at 7:00am.


  3. Adoption of Minutes of December Meeting
  4. A motion to adopt the minutes was moved by Hugh Davies, seconded by Vishakha Desai and approved. Minutes will be circulated by posting them to the AMICO Members’ Web Site.


  5. Legal Issues
    1. Incorporation and Bylaws
    2. The incorporation of AMICO Inc. in Washington DC on June 1 was reported. The By-laws were reviewed. It was agreed that the Bylaws should be recommended for approval by the full board.

    3. Officers for 1998/99
    4. The need for officers, as stipulated in the by-laws, was discussed. Members agreed to nominate a slate of candidates from the existing Executive Committee to the Board:

      Chair: Harry S. Parker

      Vice-Chair: Robert Bergman

      Treasurer: Max Anderson

      Secretary: Malcolm Rogers

      Parker noted that he was unsure how long he would be able to serve but agreed to serve at least through the next full Board meeting of AMICO, which would be his one-year anniversary. The possibility of a full election at that date, when new members will have joined AMICO, was discussed.


    5. Working Committees
    6. The Working Committees established in December were reaffirmed within AMICO’s independently incorporated structure:

      Development, chaired by Maxwell Anderson

      Membership, chaired by Robert Bergman.

      It was agreed that each committee might have members other museum directors. The value of some museum development officers on the Development Committee was discussed, as was the benefit of some museum staff with close links to others in similar professional roles who might be advising potential new members on joining, serving on the Membership Committee. Each chair agreed to solicit, and formally name, members to his committee.

      The Executive Committee agreed to act as a Personnel Committee rather than establishing a separate entity for that purpose.

    7. License Agreements and Membership Agreement

    The formal version of the AMICO Membership Agreement and The AMICO Library Museum Agreement, drafted by Michael Shapiro, were reviewed. The importance of having members sign their Membership Agreement before the end of June, so that RLG can offer The AMICO Library to subscribers was reinforced.

    Max Anderson moved and Robert Bergman seconded a motion that "The Executive Committee recommends that members sign the Membership Agreement and return it to AMICO expeditiously."


  6. Financial Issues
    1. Financial Management and Liability
    2. AMICO will establish its own bank accounts, and contract for liability insurance, both for its activity as a publisher and for the Board. For ease of administration, these accounts will be established in Pittsburgh, with Maxwell Anderson and Harry Parker having signature authority. Signing authority will be delegated to AMICO’s management under defined circumstances, within set budgetary and item limits to be defined in consultation with the Treasurer.

    3. Fundraising Report
    4. A discussion of the financial situation of AMICO reviewed the various fundraising efforts to date. Bearman and Trant reported on the status of the request to the Mellon Foundation for general operational funding. While AMICO’s general request will not go forward at this we have received an invitation to request a $45,000 planning grant (which has been submitted).

      The reactions of Mellon Foundation officers, and their concerns that The AMICO Library might not support advanced scholarship, were noted. To reaffirm the value of the Library, it will be necessary in the future for Directors of AMICO member museums to advocate the value of the Consortium.

      It was also agreed that Executive Committee Members would make direct approaches to foundations and funding programs on behalf of AMICO. Robert Bergman and Vishakha Desai agreed to help Max Anderson in formulating such approaches.

      Other fundraising efforts, including the proposals pending with TIIAP and the IMLS for funding of demonstration projects in Arizona and Indianapolis were discussed.

      The Delmas Foundation awarded AMICO $10,000 to plan an NSF grant. The framework for that grant - a demonstration project with university partners - was discussed.

    5. Review of FY97/98 Budget
    6. The FY97/98 budget was reviewed. A cash report by Mimi Gaudieri was heard: at the time of the meeting, AMICO has about $49,000 in hand which should carry it, at present rates of expenditure, only through September. It was noted that this projection did not consider 1998 income from some its members, had not accounted for any income from new members or licensees, and has not included any income from grants.

      The FY98/99 budget was reviewed, both in its proposed form and in a "worst case" model. It was agreed that AMICO expenditures for the first quarter (through September 30, 1998) should follow the "worst case" model unless substantial new income is received and the Executive Committee revises its plan. The budget will be reviewed at the next AMICO Meeting.

    7. Staffing Plans

    A plan to hire staff to support core AMICO functions in Member and Client Services was presented. Based on the adoption of the worst-case budget, it was agreed that staff will be recruited, and recommendations for staffing brought to the next Executive Committee Meeting. Any recruiting would be for one-year contracts, with the caveat "pending funds available", based on the staffing outlined in the worst case scenario. Hiring decisions will be made by the Executive Committee at its next meeting.


  7. Operations
    1. Member Services

Delivering services to AMICO Members is key to the long-term success of the Consortium. Members need to see the benefits of their collaboration. AMCIO needs to make the benefits of membership clear to its members, by:

  • Providing a forum for Museum Educators to work with AMICO Library
  • Developing data enhancement services to meet access requirements discovered in university testbed and federal grant projects
  • Providing technology support
  • Exploring a range of Intellectual Property Rights issues, and developing projects to define common strategies and practices

Along with developing user communities for The AMICO Library, it was agreed that these will be the major functions for its staff in the first year operations.

    1. Library Development
    2. The full Testbed Library, comprised of contributions from all twenty-three AMICO members was delivered to RLG on schedule. The schedule for July 1 release of the preview facility for the university testbed seemed likely to be achieved by RLG. Their plans for release of the full library on August 24 are also on track. Harry Parker congratulated AMICO members on achieving this first and significant goal.

      It was noted that this is only the first stage in the development of a robust resource. Existing members need to be encouraged to maintain or increase their levels of contribution, and to enhance their data. New members are essential to developing breadth and reaching our targets of Library growth.


    3. Public Web Site
    4. Maxwell Anderson reported that a request-for-proposals to develop the searchable public catalog of The AMICO Library has been issued by the Art Museum Network. This catalog, comprised of thumbnail images and brief textual descriptions of all the works in The AMICO Library, will both make it possible for potential subscribers to gain an overview of the Library, and build knowledge of the works in the Library available for commercial licensing. Each work will have a link back to the AMICO member — where their rights and reproductions procedures can be noted. It is hoped that the public thumbnail catalog will be released at the same time as the full university testbed, at the end of the summer.

      The Art Museum Network is also providing other services to AMICO, including hosting the general public information web site, and the much more detailed Members Web Site. The web site continues to be the major interface between AMICO and its members, and between AMICO and the public.

      The Executive Committee thanked Max and AMN for their support of this essential function.


    5. University Testbed
    6. As noted, RLG is making the Library available to 20 campuses as part of a University Testbed, designed to understand the use of museum multimedia documentation in higher education. The AMICO Library University Agreement was distributed in draft to all of the university testbed participants for comment. Final agreements will be sent out for signature this month. These will need to be returned before the formal commencement of the Testbed in July.


    7. Schedules for 1999 Contributions
    8. The following schedule was agreed, and will be taken on to the Board for adoption:

      September 1 10 records due from each new member, as condition of acceptance

      December 31 Full submissions due from all new members

      Founding Members list new contributions

      February 28 Full submissions due from Founding Members

      The full submission date is slightly earlier than 1998, as we expect further data enhancement to take place at AMICO, and this will require more time.

    9. Other licenses

The demonstration projects in Arizona and Indianapolis will provide AMICO with a forum to develop license agreements for K-12 education and for Public Libraries. The Executive Committee reaffirmed the strategy of developing these agreements in close consultation with users of The AMICO Library.


  1. Membership
  2. It was agreed that continued growth in membership is critical to AMICO. Harry Parker reported that he had sent an invitation to join AMICO to all AAMD members, and to all institutions that have enquired about membership. The invitation will also be posted on the AMICO web site.

    The Membership Committee was authorized to review and accept applications for AMICO Membership. A category of Associate Membership was adopted. Associate members are not required to contribute the full compliment of works to The AMICO Library. They also do not receive full voting membership on the AMICO Board.

    Limits on the numbers of new members - approximately 12 in the full member category, without limits on the associate category - were adopted. It was agreed that existing members would be asked to help in additional recruitment, if necessary.


  3. Strategic Issues — FY 98/99
    1. Artists Rights
    2. Obtaining rights to 20th century works of art so that they can be included in The AMICO Library is critical for contemporary arts museum and a major concern of all members. This is an area with one of the greatest potential benefits of joint action. It was acknowledged that it is also a very sensitive matter in which all members need to be involved.

      The Executive Committee and the Board will consider how best to use the resources and position of the Consortium to move forward in this area. Collaborative partnerships may be explored. Addressing this issue will be a priority of the Executive Director in the coming year.

    3. NSF Digital Libraries 2 Grant Proposal

    As noted previously, AMICO will be preparing a proposal to the National Science Foundation for a major demonstration project. We will use the funding provided by the Delmas Foundation to bring together an interdisciplinary team to study the use of museum multimedia in the research process.

    Members of the Executive Committee offered to review the text and budget of the grant, which is due July 15, 1998.


  4. Next Meeting
  5. A meeting was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, September 29, 1998, in New York City, just prior to the AAMD Trustees meeting.


  6. Adjournment

The Executive Committee adjourned at 9:00 am.

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