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AMICO Annual Members Meeting 2001
Final Report


Technical Committee Meeting Report

  1. Character Sets

    In earlier meetings, the Technical Committee decided that contributions to The AMICO LibraryTM would be made in the ISO-8859-1 (LATIN) character set. It appears that some Members may not be sending their contributions in the ISO-8859-1 format. As a result, special characters, such as accented characters, are not appearing correctly in The AMICO Library. Members asked about possible solutions, and suggested appending a test record to each submission that includes a series of special characters to help identify which character set each member was using.

    ACTION:

    • AMICO is analyzing member submissions to determine which Members have data that is affected by these issues.
    • AMICO will contact Members as specific problems are identified.

  2. Multimedia Metadata Formats

    Members were reminded that all multimedia files contributed to The AMICO Library must have accompanying metadata records. These include Antenna Audio Files - for which AMICO will create metadata records when the files are sampled.

    AMICO procedures for validating multimedia files and metadata were briefly explained to the Members.

    ACTION:

    • The revision of the CMS will contain procedures to automate validation of certain kinds of multimedia.
    • Sample multimedia metadata records will be included on the AMICO Members web site.

  3. IMLS Grant Proposal

    AMICO's IMLS grant proposal was briefly discussed (the full text of the proposal is available at http://members.amico.org/docs/grants/IMLS2001.pdf). The training materials that we will develop if the grant is successful will help all AMICO Members create quality digital content.

    ACTION:

    • AMICO will hear from IMLS on the status of the grant in the fall. NOT FUNDED
    • Technical Committee Members will be asked to provide input on their processes to form part of the training materials.

  4. Technology Survey
  5. In general discussion, AMICO Members had expressed an interest in knowing more about the technological infrastructures and staffing at other Member institutions. It was agreed that this would also provide useful background for the IMLS project. AMICO staff present agreed that such a survey would be useful when discussing technical problems with Members.

    ACTION:

    • A draft of the survey will be posted to the Technical Committee mailing list for comment by July 15.
    • A survey will be available for all Members to complete by July 31.
    • Responses will be made available to all Members by September 1.

  6. i4i Briefing

    Michel Vulpe, Chief Technology Officer of i4i (Infrastructures for Information http://www.i4i.com) presented the E-Learning tools i4i is developing in conjunction with AMICO to enhance delivery of The AMICO Library. i4i is using XML-based tools that plug into Windows Explorer and Microsoft Word. An Internet Explorer (web-based) search tool will also be available.

    Michel discussed the technical details of this application with the committee. Members asked both technical and functional questions about how the i4i application worked, and how it could interact with their own data. They expressed a requirement for tools, which were cross-platform if possible, and felt the need for a browser interface to The AMICO Library as well. The group discussed the availability of Virtual PC as possible solution for Macintosh users.

    Members also expressed interest in being able to experiment with these tools and in exploring how the i4i tool could be used to assist their museum's educational departments.

    ACTION:

    • Beta releases of the i4i tools will be available for download from the Members Web Site. Development halted by i4i

  7. XML

    A sample DTD for AMICO Library Catalog Records was distributed. A short discussion of XML, its benefits, and problems followed.

    Questions raised included the relation between the AMICO DTD and the CIMI Museum Interchange Protocol, and how XML might help with member's export problems. Several Members requested copies of their data in XML format.

    ACTION:

    • AMICO staff is collaborating with CIMI on the definition of common practices for their DTDs.
    • AMICO will work with Members to provide them with XML upon request.
    • An XML interchange format will be explored as a method of streamlining the contribution process.

  8. Contribution Management System http://update.amico.org

    7a. Overview of AMICO's processing of Contributions

    Members had asked for further details regarding what AMICO does when it receives their AMICO Library contributions. An overall process document was distributed to the Members in attendance for their review (online at: http://members.amico.org/comm/tech/CMS.overview.html).

    ACTION:

    7b. Search functions

    Some Members have been using the AMICO public thumbnail catalog to check their records, because they do not have an easy way to find specific works in the CMS without having the AID on hand. Member suggested integrating some of the same search functionality into the CMS.

    ACTION:

    • Adding content searches to the CMS will be part of the upcoming CMS redesign. Members will be able to search by Creator Name and Keyword. These searches will only reference works from one's own member institution.
    • A keyword index will be added to the CMS database.

  9. Harvesting Protocols

    Harvesting protocols, such as those outlined in the Open Archives Initiative*, were discussed as a possible new to build The AMICO Library.

    ACTION:

    • Without a standard harvesting protocol this strategy would seem premature. Discussion will be resumed when a standard harvesting protocol has been developed.

    * See http://www.openarchives.org

  10. Returning Data to Members

    Tools are now available for Members to retrieve some information about their AMICO Library Contributions from the contribution management site. The "Contribution Download" section now supports Member-requested downloading of tab delimited text files listing the works contributed to The AMICO Library by AMICO Identified (AID) / DC.Resource.Identifier (XID), AMICO Library Year (ALY / XLY), and AMICO Deletion Flag (DEL/XDL). These reports can be requested for all records, or only invalid records. A request was made by the AMICO staff for other reports Members might be interested in downloading. Members responded with no concrete needs but expressed interest in the ability to download all of their records in XML Format.

    ACTION:

    • AMICO will investigate a way to enable download of XML versions of their records. Members should use the Technical Committee Discussion List to request further download formats.

  11. Images Online

    AMICO has recently added a new piece of hardware allowing us to keep all TIFF and media files submitted by Members online. The committee discussed the problems and benefits of making these tiffs available for download through the CMS system.

    ACTION:

    • TIFF files will not be linked into CMS. However, these can be made available for download by request.

  12. AMICO Library Update Process

    With the addition of more distributors, the distribution of The AMICO Library is more complicated.
    The schedule for distributing data was reviewed.

    11a. New Contributions

    • The ANNUAL EDITION of The AMICO Library is delivered to Distributors on April 30 of each year. This is the only time that new works are sent out.

    11b. Updates to Existing Contributions

    • Catalog record and metadata record updates are distributed WEEKLY on THURSDAY night.
    • Notification to withdraw records is made WEEKLY on THURSDAY night.
    • Newly linked and replacement image and media files are sent to Distributors quarterly, on June 30, September 30, December 30 and March 30.

    All distributor agreements include requirements for the prompt update of their distributions, but these schedules will not mesh exactly. Members should remember that the Public catalog (http://search.amico.org) is the most up-to-date version of The AMICO Library, updates to the catalog will appear once a week.
  13. Committee Chair

    Doug Hiwiller from the Cleveland Museum of Art agreed to serve as the Chair of the Technical Committee.

 


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