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AMICO Users & Uses Committee

AMICO Use & Users and Technical Committees meeting
April 26, 1998

Notes kindly taken for us by Ricky Erway of RLG, and barely edited before we slipped off to vacation. D&J
RE notes: "These notes were not taken with the intent to serve as minutes and will need to be supplemented to fully represent topics of interest to members"
Maxwell Anderson AGO
Leo Ballante SFMOMA
Mary Anne Ballantyne AGO
David Bearman A&MI
Benoit Bissonette MACM
Sarah Borruso SFMOMA
Susan Chun Asia Society
Ricky Erway RLG
Andrew Eskind GEH
Dakin Hart FAMSF
Doug Hiwiller CMA
Karen McKenzie AGO
Randall Packer SJMA
Liana Radvak AGO
Jane Rhodes AGO
Peter Samis SFMOMA
Tammy Sopinsky MIA
Scott Sayre MIA
Stephanie Stebich CMA
Jennifer Trant A&MI
Peter Walch DMCC

General update topics covered in joint session:

Organizational Update
Incorporation - AMICO will be incorporated as a not-for-profit in DC in June and will no longer be affiliated with AAMD. The executive committee will elected by the board when it meets again in June. The board expects that member dues and outside funding will support the organization. License fees will grow as the Library and user base grows; member fees will remain the same.

AMICO Membership
New AMICO members - Membership will now extend beyond the AAMD membership. The Library of Congress is joining with 16K records to contribute the first year. The Frick, some additional Canadian members, and some European members are anticipated. New members will not exceed about 12 and emphasis will be placed on their technical ability to participate. Bob Bergman (Cleveland Museum of Art) is head of membership committee. Goals are image-ready candidates and broad representation. New members will sign on in June and can access the testbed, even though their data will not be available until after the testbed year.

Rights Committee Meeting
Michael Shapiro, AMICO General Counsel, led a meeting on Rights earlier in the week. He briefed attendees on the incorporation process. The rights committee reviewed the draft of the member contract and discussed artist rights strategy - looking for a standard letter with which to approach them. Will vet with rights holders. Some discussion about offering artists compensation that they would then be encouraged to donate to AMICO. Next task will be the university license and in the future, a K-12/public library license framework

Fund Raising
Foundations want visible proof-of-concept and confidence that membership will grow. They are leery of more imaging/demonstration projects. The public web site will serve as proof-of-concept. Canadian funding will be more likely with additional Canadian members. The Mellon discussion is ongoing; should know by June. Packard discussions are underway. More PR about AMICO and sharing of AMICO documentation will help in fundraising. The Delmas Foundation has provided $10K for NSF/DLI2-planning purposes (more below).

Grant Proposals
All pending grant proposals focus on use of The AMICO Library (not operational support for AMICO).

  • TIIAP - Arizona State Library is proposing to deliver the Library to regional K-12 and public libraries. The project would begin in October 98 with a limited release and larger-scale in 1999-2000. See their proposal at:
  • IMLS - Indiana University Purdue is proposing a leadership grant project to deliver the Library to the greater Indianapolis area (schools, museums, and public libraries). They have already conducted a focus group and results will be posted soon for AMICO members.
  • NSF/DLI2 - AMICO will propose a demonstration project for a large-scale university investigation. A meeting of a subset of members and testbed users will be held in late May. The proposal is due July 15. Steve Griffin and Michael Lesk actively sought an AMICO proposal and gave some guidance to D&J. They don't want proposals for projects where they know how it will turn out and be used. They want surprises and discoveries along the way. The AMICO Library content and research topics have also been offered to NSF for others' DLI2 proposals.

MDLC has incorporated as a not-for-profit with a board consisting of museum directors and academics. There may be a for-profit licensing arm. They have 20 participants in the planning process (none actually signed on as members until after that is complete). All are US Cultural/Art repositories (only overlap w/ AMICO members is LC and Harvard, sort of). They are seeking $750K to support their planning period of 7-9 months. They will likely submit an IMLS proposal. The MDLC agenda is now very complementary to AMICO's:
Participants AAM members International membership
Content 19th C Americana Fine arts
Selection MDLC requests content Museums decide what to submit
Economic Model Large philanthropic pool
Reimburse participation
Payment for scanning
Proceeds to museums
Museums pay dues
Museums pay for own costs
No revenue to members
Product Value-added objects
Authored products
Raw, but rich data
No AMICO authoring
Technology CORBA objects
Intended as distributed
Standard formats
Many ways to make available
Designed as central delivery
Licensing model Exclusive
No license fee for 3 yrs
Actively licensing

MDLC will add value to MOA, LC and National Archives initiatives and create software tools. They are targeting K-12 and universities.

Public Website
AMN's site,, will be up by Labor Day. [D&J have issued an RFP for others.] AMN will provide the proposed functionality to AMICO members for feedback, followed by a period of review to get input for the site.

Status of Content Delivery and Validation
Some data has been received from everyone. Some from everyone either validates or is close. Some data that validated once is now not validating because the validation routines are improving. All data will be delivered to RLG on April 30. Members can look at the Focus reporting site to follow progress.

Technical Committee Meeting

The Java scripts used for validation are now being used locally by AGO and NMA. Next Focus Consulting will look at content parsing (taking the contents of text fields and separating them into subfields, as in dimension, creator, and dates elements). So far the routines are about 90% successful. The third part of the Focus contract will look at enhancement of Getty authority files. This will be part of the DLI2 project.

There will be no new content in the testbed year. After all the data is delivered on April 30, D&J will negotiate with RLG to see if updating is possible. Otherwise all updating happens once a year, when all the data is re-delivered. Any changes Focus makes to the data need to be returned to the museums so it can be redelivered in that form, otherwise the enhancements will have to be repeated each time. There was some question about all the images being redelivered each time.

Interaction with RLG
Interest in providing RLG input on functionality and interface was expressed. There was some discussion of process and participants. As soon as the preview is available on July 1, RLG will be eager to hear reactions, although what changes they will be able to implement may be limited. The testbed period is intended to take advantage of the input of AMICO members and the university users. RLG will provide a method for online comments and help, an 800 number for the university technical contacts, and will do some logging of activity.

Data Dictionary
There has been an additional field added (data processing) about which we'll be informed. The data dictionary will be stable by April 30 and will shortly thereafter be made available to interested others, with metadata approach, diagram, examples, and a disclaimer. There will also be a mapping of the AMICO approach to others' approaches (CIMI, CDWA, DC, VRA, etc.)

Authenticity Meeting
AMICO is planning an event to talk about document authenticity and the museum community. It would be co-sponsored by other organizations, each inviting 25 people. Day 1 - Identify the requirements of the cultural heritage community, Day 2 - Vendor presentations, Day 3 - Solution consensus. Topics to be included are registration, DOI, watermarking, etc. Planned for fall 98

CIMI's Metadata Testbed
The 8-month testbed project will involve all kinds of museums (including 4 AMICO members) and investigate Dublin Core-related issues (65% education and 35% solution). D&J wanted to know if AMICO members thought AMICO should participate or if having representation by the 4 members was enough. It would require a lot of work on the part of D&J. Either way, AMICO progress will inform and improve CIMI's work. A request for comment on whether AMICO should participate has been posted on the technical committee discussion list at Other Dublin Core News - There has been an RFC issued by the W3C gang that shows Netscape displaying, alongside the browser, Dublin Core data in RDF format using XML. The model uses the mummy work from The AMICO Library. This has been demoed at two conferences and D&J will provide a URL for the PowerPoint presentation and the URL for the live demo when available.

Distributor Development Agreement
Under this initiative, not-for-profit developers would get The AMICO Library content from July 98-July 99 for tool development. They can hold the content for a year. If they develop tools they can license them to other distributors. Some may even barter the tools for the AMICO subscription. AMICO should prepare a wish list of tools that would be useful.

Miscellaneous topics

Internet2 - No way to say yet whether this will be advantageous for AMICO. By the time Internet2 is an option we may be using progressive image delivery and not need the added bandwidth capacity. Delivery of uncompressed TIFF images - These requests will come through the university technical contact person and are not likely to be single image requests. RLG will work out delivery options and pricing at the time of request. Individual end-users will not request TIFFs.

Z39.50 - Columbia and Illinois have both expressed desires to access the Library through a Z39.50 client. [Columbia is using the CIMI profile to build their slide library and Illinois wants to integrate The AMICO Library with other library catalogs and so would want to use the BIB1 profile.] Neither is possible for the testbed year, but may be possible thereafter.

Next Submissions and New members - The Technical Committee will start assembling guidance for future submissions. Tools, processes, and hindsight will make the next go-round easier.

Notes from Use and Users briefing after their meeting
- Worked on PR needs in AMICO public web pages (, including topics for a FAQ list, a calendar, AMICO in the press, a sample from each member. There will be three areas: public, AMICO members, and University testbed participants. AMICO members can see all; university participants cannot see the AMICO area.
- There was a proposal for a buddy system between each university liaison and an AMICO liaison on a geographic basis. [May also use the buddy system for new and founding AMICO members]
- A research agenda for museum use is needed.
- A direction for future content development was proposed: architecture.
- Funding will be needed for a meeting of representatives from all testbed participants and AMICO members.
- Some talk about how AMICO will eventually be staffed: executive director, technical services, and user services.
June 98 Re-up for membership/license
NSF planning meeting
July Preview release
Public website at
September Testbed release
Working meeting at MCN 9-25-98?
November Authenticity meeting
December 31 New member test data to AMICO
February 99 All data to AMICO for validation
CAA meeting in LA
March VRA/ARLIS and Museums on the Web in New Orleans
April 30 New content to RLG
May Testbed wrap-up meeting

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