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How to Contribute to The AMICO Library

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Contribution Process Overview

When should our museum start to plan for our next year's submission?

Each institution needs to identify the works it will provide to AMICO approximately six months before making its contributions. AMICO needs this information to prepare its forward marketing materials and schedule work; AMICO Members need to plan what documentation, photography and resources will be needed or which rights will need to be acquired before they can complete their AMICO Submission. Lists of candidate contributions from each AMICO Member are due to AMICO Production Director by October 1 of each year. Earlier informal review with the AMICO Production Director is strongly encouraged.

How many works does each Member contribute?

Annual contributions vary from Member to Member. Targets are to submit 500 works in your institution's collection each year. Ten works within the submission should be rich records (or Members should provide information to make 10 previously submitted records enhanced with additional multimedia). New Members will be assisted to contribute to their appropriate potential in the first year of membership; a rookie contribution should be at least 20 works. Members are encouraged to contribute more works as the AMICO contribution process becomes institutionalized in their museums.

Are there deadlines throughout the contribution cycle? What are they?

Yes, please see the Contribution deadline schedule.

Is there a diagram which explains the Workflow process?

Yes, see the diagram in the Workflow .PDF file. This provides a visual breakdown of the Workflow process into six steps and identifies the central task required at each step. The six steps are Select, Review, Export, Validate, Enhance, and Distribute. Note that these steps can be iterative ones which might require returning to previous steps before moving on to the next step.

Which parts of the process are owned by Members and which are owned by AMICO?

Members own the first three steps of the contribution process. Your museum must select, review, and export the data for the works in your museum's annual contribution. Also, Members must remove errors from records that they have contributed in order to assist AMICO with the data validation process.

AMICO runs validation routines on all Member-submitted data. Once AMICO receives validated data from Members, the process continues under the ownership of AMICO. AMICO adds enhancements to the data and then provides it to AMICO's distributors.

Are there tools to help us set up our AMICO submissions?

Yes, see the data specification for format guidelines on how to make your contribution. There are also instructions online for formatting records and submitting files.

AMICO has developed a series of tools, known as the Contribution Management System, for contributing, validating and updating records in The AMICO Library. You can log into this system at

Contact AMICO <> if you need an individual user name for this system.

Select Contribution

Does AMICO give guidelines for what to contribute to The AMICO Library?

AMICO has gathered input on desired works from two AMICO Library University subscribers, Princeton University and the University of Alberta. AMICO will continue to query subscriber in order to help provide direction to AMICO Members about contributions.

In the Summer of 2000 AMICO performed a survey of art history textbooks in order to determine works in the "canon" that Members hold in their collections that are either discussed and/or illustrated in textbooks. These contributions can be potentially useful in Art History teaching and end user satisfaction with The AMICO Library.

How should our museum determine what works are good candidates for our annual contribution?

Members should determine likely contributions by reviewing their editorial guidelines (for local documentation standards) and curatorial wish-lists (for works to include in The AMICO Library), determining available digital (or easily digitizable) content, and checking cleared rights and AMICO-cleared rights administered by ARS.

Review Contribution

What groups or departments at my instituiton need to review our proposed contribution list?

Several departments within a Member must review the AMICO contribution list. Curatorial, Rights and Reproductions, Collections Management, Publications/Editorial, and Imaging/Photography departments will all need to participate in the contribution review process.

What tasks do these departments need to perform regarding our list?

Member verifies/corrects content of local Databases

1. Curatorial staff reviews content
2. Registrar/Collections Manager/Editor reviews classification, credit lines, rights
3. Editor/Publications conducts proofing and edits for consistency
4. All corrections from each of these areas are input into local system.

Member reviews images

  • Photography is examined
  • If none/or inadequate, schedule photography
  • If existing digital images are not right size or color space, resize, alter and/or sample from master image file
  • Review and color correction
Member examines other digitized files
  • Antenna files are reviewed for decision whether to include
  • Marked up texts reviewed for DTD or browser consistency
  • Review QuickTime and other multimedia files.
Member confirms correct file naming
  • Verify file names conform to conventions in use at Member institution
  • Verify files have appropriate prefix and suffix
Member clears rights
  • Contact rights holders requesting permission for AMICO use
  • Identify works that are represented by ARS, in appropriate manner.

Export Contribution

What do we need to properly set up our data for export?

Before export your museum's data to AMICO you should have the following:

  • Your list identifying the full set of digital files and records to be sent to AMICO
  • Your map of fields in local Collections Management System to the AMICO Data Dictionary
  • Your documented character set used in the output
  • Your export validation or data transformation routines

What tasks are required to make our data export run smoothly?

To make your Export, you undertake these Activities:

  • Validate mapping of Member's fields to the AMIO Data Dictionary (with AMICO help if requested)
  • Review map to ensure field usage has not changed
  • Review map to make sure AMICO Data Dictionary hasn't changed (AMICO will notify vendors and Members of Data Dictionary changes at least 60 days before data is due.)
  • Member (or its vendors) writes export report to produce data to AMICO specification
    • Identify what manipulation of the data needs to be made on export:
      • Parsing names and creating various forms
      • Creating display fields if they are stored locally in a parsed form
      • Assigning Object Type (OTY) if not stored locally
      • Add AMICO Library Year or export it if record has been sent to AMICO before
  • Member runs export routine, selecting records marked for AMICO Library contribution
    • Review output for proper fielding, presence of delimiters and groups
    • Verify character set (windows ANSI 8859/Latin 1)
  • Member uploads a test number of records
    • Run online validation tools, review reports and act to correct "error" messages
    • Verify image/multimedia linking
  • Member assembles multimedia and image files and writes them to media
    • File renaming (prefixes added)
    • Suffixes verified (check case - e.g. .TIF vs .tif - with Collections Management System usage)
  • Member exports image metadata file (if it is created in-house)
    • Review in same way as Text Record File
  • Member verifies Rights Link and Object Rights Statements

Should we have one person taking care of all these tasks?

Preparing AMICO contributions for export and successfully exporting the data, images, related multimedia files and cataloging records requires IT staff to follow carefully developed routines in a systematic fashion. Experience has shown that if these are well documented, the process will run predictably and smoothly. Allowing a single individual to "just do it" each year is "asking for trouble" in the future.

Once our museum exports our data for our contribution are we done?

Exporting data and validating data are iterative procesess, where records are exported, validation identifies errors, corrections are made and a new file of records is re-exported and re-validated.


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