Twenty-three of the largest
art museums in North America (see appended list) have formed the Art Museum
Image Consortium (www.amn.org/AMICO)
a non-profit organization whose membership is open to institutions with
collections of art. The mission of AMICO is to make a Library of digital
documentation of art available under educational
license. AMICO is assembling a rich intellectual resource not previously
available to the university community. The Library will include textual
information, in both fielded and free-text form and digital images. Some
works will also be accompanied by additional images, audio clips, and
moving images. The AMICO Library will grow over time to represent the
full range of materials in the collections of member institutions.
Both information providers
and users in this sector acknowledge that new economic and social models
are required in order to support the desired uses of digital information
in learning, teaching and research. Particularly where images and multimedia
data are involved, mechanisms for processing requests for rights and
reproductions are inefficient and cumbersome. In consultation with the
academic community, AMICO has developed a license for the use of its
digital Library that supports traditional academic uses and expands
the potential for uses that take advantage of new technology. This license
addresses concerns voiced by academic users to enable "electronic
reserves", remote access, faculty assemblage of specific materials
for student review, and the incorporation of licensed materials into
student projects, portfolios and theses. AMICO will administer this
license on behalf of its members.
Prior to a announcing
the full availability of its digital library, AMICO is launching a one
year test-bed project. We wish both to validate the proposed framework
for the collective licensing of museum digital collections and to evaluate
a means of delivering this content to the higher educational community.
Selected universities will administer AMICO-designed user studies, including
gathering information using specified data collection instruments and
participating in focus groups. It is hoped the university test-bed project
will increase understanding of the ways universities are adopting digital
teaching and reference tools and enable the AMICO member museums to
offer a Library that better meets the needs of its users.
The members of AMICO
invite universities to apply for participation in this test-bed project.
AMICO will use existing distribution channels to deliver access to the
Library during the test-bed phase and beyond. Discussions are currently
underway with the Research Libraries Group to provide distribution support
during the test-bed. During the academic 1998/99, selected universities
will have the opportunity to use the contents of The AMICO Library for
educational purposes and assist AMICO and its distributor in assessing
the best ways of distributing and providing access to the Library for
The test-bed Library
will consist of documentation of over 20,000 works of art. These are
largely two-dimensional Western art, but also include over one thousand
Asian drawings and paintings, one thousand ancient & medieval works,
one thousand decorative objects and sculptures, one thousand 19th and
500 20th century photographs and over one thousand modern and contemporary
works. This Library will be made available to university test-bed participants
at a license fee of $2,500-$5,000 based on size of the university during
the test-bed year. It is anticipated that a roughly equivalent subscription
(access) fee will be charged by RLG. In recognition of their contribution
to the development of the AMICO distribution system, test-bed universities
will receive a 25% reduction in license fees for the academic years
1999/2000 through 2006/2007. Hence, test-bed participants will receive
the equivalent of two years of free licenses.
AMICO member museums
are committed to increasing the size of the Library by 10-20,000 works
per year during this time. AMICO looks forward to continued liaison
with university academic users, and recognizes that ongoing collaboration
is essential to the creation of a rich research resource of lasting
- Evaluate which content
characteristics of The AMICO Library and Services are of most value
to the university community. What represents quality, and to whom,
in this digital resource?
- Test mechanisms for
delivery and integration of The AMICO Library into campus digital
resources. Assess access tools, interchange formats and metadata to
facilitate its use.
- Design strategies
to increase the impact of The AMICO Library. How can AMICO and its
members benefit from on-going dialog with users?
universities will be selected to participate in the test-bed year based
on their interest in and ability to contribute to research which addresses
the objectives of the project. Full methodologies and operational details
of the research to be undertaken will be worked out in consultation
with the participating universities, the AMICO member museums and the
AMICO distributor. A series of planning meetings will be held between
February and May of 1998, at which evaluation programs will be designed,
and plans for their implementation agreed.
to participate in the test-bed studies are asked to directly address
which of the educational evaluation, information delivery, content analysis,
and/or socio-economic questions posed below their involvement would
help to answer, and to identify teams best able to assist in studying
Identify who uses The AMICO Library and why
- What is current practice
in image based research and teaching? Who uses images now?
- What is anticipated
to be better enabled or less well enabled with The AMICO Library?
- What uses are required?
What additional uses are desired? Can degrees of relative benefits
from different kinds of uses be determined?
- Over the course of
the project, who used The AMICO Library for what kinds of purposes?
Determine how The AMICO Library is accessed and used
- How is the resource
discovered? What are the minimum metadata?
- What kind of overview
is needed of the entire resource? What kinds of access are required?
- Is this access provided
in the AMICO data structure as proposed/delivered? Are retrieval requirements
met? What additional data enhancement is required to ensure accessibility?
- Is the content of
The AMICO Library sufficiently consistent to enable use?
- What kinds of additional
links and references would be valuable?
of user needs for teaching and research use of The AMICO Library and
the systems architectures needed to support them
How can The AMICO Library
best be delivered?
- How are items in
the Library being retrieved, collated, analyzed and re-presented?
- Does the delivery
architecture enable the required uses? If not, why?
- What changes are
required to enable desired uses? What tools are needed and by whom?
- What strategies could
encourage or increase the use of The AMICO Library?
- What are the concrete
requirements for images in different applications?
Who decides to acquire
such a resource and what information do they need?
- Is licensed access
more cost effective and valuable than local content acquisition?
- Is the use of an
existing distributor the most appropriate way to reach academic users?
- What are acceptable
pricing structures? What are appropriate license periods?
- What is the best
way to integrate The AMICO Library with existing campus resources?
- Are there reasons
to store data locally? How could the distribution mechanism facilitate
- How was sound and
motion image content used? Are its distribution requirements different?
Establish if the license
terms proposed by the AMICO Consortium are acceptable
- How can these people
be reached to make them aware of The AMICO Library?
- How are decisions
made to acquire digital resources? How are potential acquisitions
assessed? How can AMICO support the decision-making process?
- Where does the value
in The AMICO Library reside? How can it be enhanced?
- What do decision
makers in The AMICO Library's acquisition value most highly?
- What are appropriate/acceptable
pricing structures or strategies?
- Are there appropriate
ways of 'chunking' the Library to make it more attractive to users?
Design means for user
feedback and dialogue with AMICO members
- Can the terms of
the license be administered within the university context?
- Are the desired uses
enabled by the license?
- Are there required
changes? What are the priorities for these?
- What additional licenses
would the university community like to see offered? for alumni? families?
- Were the public web
site thumbnails and tombstone data used to support the curriculum
development process (enabling faculty to plan to use the Library prior
- Is the public web
site seen as a barrier to future licensing?
Understand user priorities
for content development, and design AMICO strategies to meet these needs
- How can AMICO best
discover, on a on-going basis, what the user community needs?
- How can we encourage
scholarly information flow from users to AMICO member museums?
- What kinds of mechanisms
can we put in place to enable collaboration between academic users
and museum staff in areas of mutual interest?
- What role should
the distributor play in mediating between AMICO and the users of The AMICO Library?
- What role might users
play in an AMICO General Meeting?
- What kinds of support
is essential, or desirable from an AMICO distributor?
- Is The AMICO Library
as useful research resource?
- What are the best
strategies for reaching 'critical mass'?
- What are user priorities
for library development?
- How is depth of documentation
valued in comparison with breadth of coverage?
- Should AMICO be focused
on developing a broader membership base, or in encouraging greater
coverage of the collections of its existing members?
- What multi-media
data content is desirable and useful?
- Is intensive content
development in particular subject or disciplines needed to enable
- How high a priority
is the content of museum collections from outside North America?
Proposals should contain
the following information:
- Institutional Profile
- Project Participants
(include a brief biography, and contact details for each member research
project coordinator and technical or library contact responsible for
providing access to the Library).
- Project Contribution
Explain how your proposed
project team will contribute to answering the questions outlined above
and how involvement in the test-bed is congruent with your local needs
Referencing the stated
Goals and Objectives of the project, outline the expertise of participants,
describe previous, existing and approved projects that are relevant
and/or complementary, document methodologies or tools you could bring
to the project, and state your institutional priorities with respect
to the various research issues.
Proposals to take lead
roles in coordination of parts of the research project are welcome,
especially where they fit into existing funded research.
Existing and proposed
relationships with AMICO member museums will be respected.
A maximum of 20 pages
should be submitted. These should be sent as an .RTF file, attached
to an email sent to Jennifer Trant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Expressions of interest
in participating in the AMICO University Test-bed project are requested
by November 15, 1997. This should be e-mailed to email@example.com
- Full proposals are
due by 5:00 p.m. EST, December 15, 1997.
- Test-bed participants
will be announced by January 31, 1998.
- Albright-Knox Art
Gallery, Buffalo, NY
- Art Gallery of Ontario,
- Art Institute of
Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Asia Society Gallery,
New York, NY
- Center for Creative
Photography, Tucson, AZ
- Cleveland Museum
of Art, Cleveland, OH
- Davis Museum and
Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
- Fine Arts Museum
of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
- George Eastman House,
- J. Paul Getty Museum,
Los Angeles, CA
- Los Angeles County
Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
- Metropolitan Museum
of Art, New York, NY
- Minneapolis Institute
of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
- Museum of Contemporary
Art, San Diego, CA
- Montreal Museum of
Fine Arts, Montréal, Québec
- Musée d'art
contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
- Museum of Fine Arts,
- National Gallery
of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
- National Museum of
American Art, Washington, DC
- Philadelphia Museum
of Art, Philadelphia, PA
- San Francisco Museum
of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
- San Jose Museum of
Art, San Jose, CA
- Walker Art Center,
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