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AMICO Members Meeting

September 21-22,1998
Los Angeles County Museum of Art


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1. Monday, September 21, 1998, Morning Session

    1.1 Welcome
    1.2 Introductions
    1.3 Status Report
    1.4 Members Web Site at
    1.5 Public Web Site and Thumbnail Catalog at
    1.6 Editorial Tools
    1.7 RLG Delivery of The AMICO Library at
    1.8 Report on Licensing Workshop

2. Monday, September 21, 1998: Afternoon Session

    2.1 Rights Committee Breakout Report
    2.2 Technical Operations Committee Breakout Report

3. Tuesday September 22: Morning Session

    3.1 Report on the CIMI Dublin Core Metadata Project
    3.2 Users and Uses of The AMICO Library
    3.3 University Testbed Focus Group Meeting
    3.4 Annual AMICO Meeting
    3.5 K-12 and Public Library License Development
    3.6 Record Withdrawal Procedures

4. TO DO list for 1998/99

5. Thanks

Appendix I. Attendance

Appendix II. Process Evaluation Form - DRAFT

1. Monday, September 21, 1998, Morning Session

1.1 Welcome
Jennifer Trant, Executive Director of AMICO, welcomed members and thanked Graham Beale, Director of LACMA and his staff for hosting the meeting.

1.2 Introductions
All in attendance introduced themselves and their departments; see the attached list of meeting attendees (Appendix I). The west coast location provided an opportunity for broad representation from both SFMOMA and LACMA. Many different departments in museums were represented, including computer services, education, curatorial, new media, publishing, and photographic services.

1.3 Status Report
David Bearman and Jennifer Trant reported on the status of AMICO. In introducing activities to date they noted that a considerable amount of their time in the June-September period was devoted to getting AMICO Membership Agreements, Library Museum Agreements and Library University Agreements signed.

  • Library Contributions. All members were congratulated for their work in assembling and delivering The AMICO Library on time. RLG has now made the Library available to both AMICO Members and University Testbed participants. Their application was launched on schedule.

  • Staffing. AMICO staffing will be decided at the Executive Committee meeting in New York on September 28. David and Jennifer have been interviewing, and will ask the Executive Committee to approve hiring, a Member/Client Services coordinator. In addition, they will propose that AMICO name Brad Dietrich, who has been working for A&MI on AMICO technical matters, as AMICO Technical Director on October 1. In the summer, with approval from the Executive Committee, Jennifer has accepted the title "Executive Director" and David the title "Director, Strategy and Research" to explain their roles in a number of grant proposals AMICO has submitted. Their formal relationship to AMICO remains that of contractors. With Executive Committee approval, Jennifer will be appointed Executive Director for the next eighteen months, at which time the position will be recruited. Bearman will continue to serve as Director, Strategy and Research on a part time, consulting basis for the next 18 months.

  • Membership. Membership was opened in July. Three new members (the Library of Congress, The Frick Collection (including the Art Reference Library), and the Whitney Museum of American Art, have been announced. Other members are expected to join in September and to participate in building the 1999 AMICO Library. A Press Release was distributed to those in attendance, and also will be distributed at the Museum Computer Network Meeting.

    ACTION: Members are encouraged to invite their colleagues to join the consortium, and to refer interested parties to David and Jennifer for further information.

    1.4 Members Web Site at
    The work of AMICO continues to be carried out by its committees, largely meeting in cyberspace, thanks to the Art Museum Network's hosting of our password protected members' web site. All records of discussions, drafts of documents, and decisions are posted to the AMICO members web site. The members Web Site continues to expand in content and is (again) in need of a cleanup, as our agenda progresses and we accomplish many of the tasks we have set ourselves.

    The committee pages and committee discussions were reviewed and demonstrated. People can subscribe, or unsubscribe, themselves at the bottom of the page of each Hypernews discussion. Several aspects of the site were highlighted, including the monthly reports filed by A&MI and Michael Shapiro on their work for AMICO, that can be found on the Executive Committee page.

    ACTION: It was agreed that historical documents, and discussion threads of only historical interest, would be retired to an archive, linked to the main page of each section.

    1.5 Public Web Site and Thumbnail Catalog at
    As well as maintaining a members' web site, AMICO has a public site, where information about the Consortium is made broadly available. This site includes AMICO Frequently Asked Questions, reports and documents, sample records and the searchable thumbnail. The Thumbnail Catalog was completed under contract by A&MI for AMN, and launched on September 1, 1998. It has since attracted regular comments from users, even though we have not made a general announcement (except to AMICO members) of its availability. [We learned after the meeting that the site had been recognized by the Internet Scout Report weekly issue of September 18].

    ACTION: Members agreed to assess the search facility, compare it to that of the RLG application, and suggest ideas for improvement of each using the comments button on each site. Further work may be done on the interface.

    1.6 Editorial Tools
    Since completing the searchable catalog, Brad Dietrich has focussed on tools to help AMICO members make their contributions to the Library. Tools in final testing stage (some demonstrated to the attendees) include:

  • An online record edit facility that enables members to correct or add to existing records in a web based data entry form

  • A new record creation facility for data entry of new records into an online form (for institutions without collections management systems)

  • A term occurrence reporting facility to allow each institution to see the terms occurring in any field of its contributed records, in order to identify editorial problems

  • A file validation facility to allow those exporting data to AMICO to test it for conformance to the AMICO data specification and receive an immediate report on any problems, field by field.

  • A field parsing report and download facility to allow AMICO members to see the data created by AMICO data parsing routines and to download parsed data fields

  • A contribution download facility that enables an institution to ftp itself the latest version of its AMICO records in AMICO import format (and possibly in some other format)

  • A data matching facility allowing institutions to view the results of matching their records against the GII vocabularies (AAT, ULAN and TGN)

    In discussion, AMICO members expressed their excitement over having tools for submitting, parsing and validating data interactively. It was hoped that this would allow individual institutions to clean up their data for 1998, and avoid some difficulties for 1999.

    ACTION: It was agreed that these tools would be made available, with personal password control for editing, on a link from the members site. We agreed on a mid-October target date to have these tools ready to use.

    1.7 RLG Delivery of The AMICO Library at
    Katherine Martinez, Product Manager for The AMICO Library and other museum data for the Research Libraries Group, demonstrated the RLG application. Each AMICO Member who has signed their Membership Agreement and AMICO Library Museum License, and each Testbed Participant who has signed their AMICO Library University Agreement now has access, either by password, or by IP address security.

    Katharine stressed that the Testbed interface was a work in progress and invited continued comment from members; she pointed out the "Comments" button in the interface that enables members to contact RLG and AMICO directly. AMICO Members thanked RLG for their rapid response on suggestions that have been made to date.

  • In demonstrating the facility, Katherine showed its ease of use and straightforward interface. She emphasized the Options button (settings for each session), the Notebook feature (a place to hold works gathered throughout a session), and the advanced search capabilities created by the "Review" option which allows a user to combine a number of prior searches to a highly sophisticated search result.

  • Katherine was asked about RLG's plans for the "product" and noted that while RLG was not approaching individual museums, it did hope to add to the overall content available next year by adding large collections, such as those offered by European photo libraries, to the RLG image base products. AMICO would continue to be identified as the source of all information coming from The AMICO Library.

    1.8 Report on Licensing Workshop
    Rachel Allen of the National Museum of American Art reported on the seminar "Selling/Acquiring Electronic Information: A Dialog about Best Practices", sponsored by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, and held September 17, 1998 in Washington, DC. Alternatively presenting "rights sellers" and "rights buyers" perspectives, the meeting highlighted the need for a consistent approach to licensing digital information, and stressed the difficulties that librarians have managing many different licenses with different terms. Rachel's detailed notes are available on the AMICO Members' Web site at

    Highlights included Nancy Gibbs, Acting Head Acquisitions, N.C. State University Libraries, who pointed out that electronic acquisition is much more complex than book acquisitions; licensing involves more departments, such as systems, legal, networking, training, all of which must partner for a successful acquisition and implementation. Sarah Sully, Intellectual Property Licensing Attorney, for JSTOR (an online journals project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) recommended keeping licenses simple, really clarifying what is essential and removing the rest, and eschewing legalese (see the JSTOR license at Sully noted that the International Association of Library Consortia has developed a set of usage statistics that JSTOR reports.

    David and Jennifer concurred with these points, noting that they had spent a considerable amount of time both on the telephone and in writing with AMICO Members' Counsels and with Counsels for the participants in the University Testbed Project. A simplified AMICO Library University Agreement is going to be essential to the success of the public launch of the Library.

  • 2. Monday, September 21, 1998: Afternoon Session
    The afternoon session was devoted to breakouts of the Technology and Rights Committees. Each group met for approximately two hours, to discuss separate agendas.

    2.1 Rights Committee Breakout Report
    The Rights Issues discussed by the Committee, and reported to the group as a whole at the end of the day, included:

  • Decision - the AMICO members will share texts of letters they are using to obtain rights from artists. AMICO Executive Director Jennifer Trant will collect and review these and propose common language to be included in future requests. Such a letter could include a "multiple-choice' option, that included both AMICO restricted access use and Member use on Web sites.

  • Decision the AMICO Artists' FAQ will be distributed along with letters requesting permission to use works in The AMICO Library. This will build recognition of the project in the minds of artists. If other uses were requested in the same letter, then FAQs for those uses would have to be developed by the Member. The FAQ is available for download on the AMICO Members' web site at

  • Decision - AMICO will produce a list of contemporary/copyrighted works in the current Library, by October 16. Members will review lists of artists who have given permission to AMICO Members to include their works in 1998 by October 31, and propose lists of those they would like to approach for the 1999 Library. With this analyses in hand, it will be possible to coordinate strategies for requesting rights, and possibly streamline them. It may be possible, for example for a member to approach a rights holder speaking on behalf of all AMICO members. It may also be easier for other members to approach an artist who has already granted permission to one AMICO member.

  • Discussions among AMICO members need to resolve a wide range of policy issues before AMICO approaches artists rights organizations. Issues include whether to approach artists for rights to controlled educational access (AMICO) at the same time as public web access and whether to pay for access when license fees are being charged. For example, there are differing policies in place in AMICO Member institutions about the compensation of artists for educational and commercial uses. This issue will be discussed further by the Executive Committee at its meeting September 28, 1998. AMICO should explore possible venues for sharing information with artists and artists rights organizations.

  • AMICO members will need to anticipate the kinds of further rights requests that The AMICO Library will generate. For example, we can assume that scholars are going to want to request permission for scholarly publication of works from the Library. AMICO members could consider streamlining this kind of request, through, for example, a common on-line form, that went to each Member for processing. The Rights Links in each members records are also critical to facilitating reproduction requests. Members are asked to verify their links, and ensure that they point to a helpful source of information for the end user (some still point to a generic home page for the member).

  • Some members do not have good information policies in effect for staff and others using licensed electronic resources. The ACLS model policy was discussed (available online at and it was noted that it covered a broad range of issues. Jennifer suggested that Michael Shapiro might run a workshop for AMICO members on developing information policies. This was welcomed, and it was concluded that AMICO members could benefit from model policies and help applying them, in a venue such as a workshop.

    2.2 Technical Operations Committee Breakout Report
    Issues discussed by the Committee, and reported to the group as a whole at the end of the day, included:

  • Decision - the current Data Specification, distributed at the meeting and dated September 1998, will be the format governing submissions for 1999.

  • It would be valuable to AMICO members if Collections Management Systems could create an AMICO output report which enabled members using commercial collections systems to send their data, correctly formatted, to AMICO in a single command.

    ACTION: David and Jennifer will approach the vendors; members were encouraged to follow up by asking their vendors for this function also. Vendors will be approached at MCN and by mail. At this time, they are not being requested to provide AMICO input capabilities (taking a files from AMICO back into their system), but members who are customers of these vendors were encouraged to ask for that as well if they felt it was useful.

  • Tools for online editing of AMICO Library contributions will be very helpful. Documentation of the online edit facility, the parsing routines, the data validation routines, and the methods for downloading data from AMICO will be necessary for members to use the newly developed AMICO tools.

    ACTION: This documentation, and individual password controlled access, will be available when these functions are released, in mid-October, 1998.

    ACTION: Members will examine their parsed data and report any systematic parsing routine errors, by October 31.

  • A draft of the Process Evaluation form was discussed. This data collection is intended to help AMICO redesign the data contribution process, if necessary and to allow members to document their experience in the first year so they will know how they went about it before starting the process over again. The draft will be posted for comment. Members agreed that if they had documents describing the workflow involved in AMICO data contributions within their organizations they would share these as part of the process evaluation.

    ACTION: Comment on the draft by October 16. Revise form by October 21. Complete the Process Evaluation by November 15.

  • Questions were raised about XML, RDF, SGML, the Dublin Core, Unicode, and image practices and standards. Each was discussed briefly.

    ACTION: Members agreed to post questions to the Technical Committee discussion where David (and hopefully others) will try to provide detailed answers and lists of links to follow for the latest technical reports.

  • The absence of very many examples of rich multimedia in the library was seen as a barrier to considering how we would want to deliver such more complex packages of data in the future.

    ACTION: Each institution agreed to contribute at least two examples of a package of information consisting of as many different types of data as possible, around a work of art.

  • Issues remain in the "clean-up" of the data already submitted to AMICO. While the online editorial tools will be helpful, there are issues of policy and coordination that need to be addressed.

    ACTION: An Editorial Committee will be created that will develop guidelines and best practices for the application of the AMICO Data Specification. These include developing examples of records with multiple creators, and other kinds of common complexities. Each member will be asked to name a representative by October 31.

  • Decision: Data to be delivered for the 1999/2000 AMICO Library will include all catalog records for works submitted in both 1998 and 1999, as well as new images and metadata records for the new works added to the Library. This resubmission of text records is unlikely to happen every year. However, it seemed most efficient this year, as documentation is being enhanced by all Members and many records will have been changed or updated.

  • Decision New members will make their 1999/2000) Library Contributions by December 31, 1998. Founding Members will make their Contributions by February 28, 1999. In both cases these are the deadline for the submission of all records. Early, and ongoing submissions are encouraged to avoid the "last minute crunch".

  • Decision All members will report the works to be included in their 1999/2000 contribution, categorized by century and contry/continent of origin by October 31.
  • 3. Tuesday September 22: Morning Session
    Tuesday, September 22nd began with a delightful guided tour of the current Picasso exhibit at LACMA (on loan from the Museum of Modern Art).

    3.1 Report on the CIMI Dublin Core Metadata Project
    Robin Dowden of the Walker Art Center reported on the work of the Consortium for the Computer Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI) Dublin Core Metadata Project. AMICO discussed participating in this project directly in the spring, but it was decided that since a number of AMICO Members were also active CIMI members the WAC, the NMAA and the NGC could also represent AMICO. CIMI has been testing the effectiveness of the Dublin Core as a tool to aid the discovery of online museum records.

    CIMI members have now created about 300,000 Dublin Core, from the contributions of 14 institutional participants. Robin will compare the map of the AMICO Data Dictionary to the Dublin Core with the practices that are developing within the CIMI project. She'll report to AMICO members on an ongoing basis, as the project develops its "User's Guide to the Dublin Core for Cultural Heritage." Robin noted that it is likely that DC will be a focus of CIMI activities in the coming year, and that they will be following the work of the main DC group on expressing the Dublin Core in XML/RDF. As David is on the Dublin Core Policy Advisory Committee, he volunteered to keep AMICO members informed of DC developments as well.

    3.2 Users and Uses of The AMICO Library
    Member Use of the Library. Much discussion was directed at how best to encourage the use of The AMICO Library within AMICO institutions. Of particular interest was how each institution was planning to introduce AMICO to staff not previously involved and what kinds of projects they would be encouraging. It was generally agreed that if an academic institution nearby was in the testbed, collaborating with academic users would stimulate museum staff and that some individuals who are particularly likely to find the challenge exciting should be encouraged to use the Library first, and then their experience could be shared with others.

    Members were asked to share their experiences on the Users and Uses Discussion. The possibility of developing a "demonstration script" that provided a generic introduction to AMICO and good examples of searches that retrieve interesting results was discussed. But it became clear quickly that what one group of curators might think was an interesting result would not necessarily be the best search for another group, so instead it was suggested that AMICO contacts should work with their librarians to make searches that could connect well to on-going concerns of the museum staff.

    Some leading questions were proposed, including:

  • Q: Why is The AMICO Library different from a CD?
    A: Searching across collections; high resolution of these images; depth of data; search functionality; no "authored script"

  • Q: How does The AMICO Library differ from searching on the public web?
    A: Searching across collections; high quality of images; ease of searching; complex queries

    Regional groupings of AMICO members were proposed by Peter Walsh to the Users and Uses Committee in the spring. Members agreed to try to meet to work together - in New York City, Minneapolis and possibly in California (statewide). Susan Chun volunteered to organize the first of these meetings, in New York City.

    3.3 University Testbed Focus Group Meeting
    It was agreed that a Users Focus Group meeting should be planned for the CAA/VRA meeting that will be held in Los Angeles in February 1999. AMICO Users and Uses Committee members will work with Jennifer (and possibly RLG) to establish an agenda and define a venue for this meeting.

    In addition, a number of user surveys are underway. These are building on those conducted during the Museum Educational Site Licensing Project (MESL). MESL survey instruments will be adapted to make it possible for AMICO to gather longitudinal data about the use of digital images in university teaching. These are linked to the Users and Uses Committee Page on the Members web site.

    3.4 Annual AMICO Meeting
    After reviewing the responses to polling for dates for a spring AMICO meeting, it became clear that trying to schedule a full AMICO Meeting in conjunction with another meeting is not going to be possible. Specific professions seem to go to each meeting. For example, technical staff were at MCN; curators at CAA; and educators at AAM. One of the benefits of AMICO meeting was bringing together all of these multiple perspectives.

    It was agreed that we would plan an annual full AMICO meeting each year, that would be about 2 days long. At this meeting, changes in direction or goals would be discussed and questions of policy addressed. The AMICO Board will continue to meet in conjunction with AAMD (for ease of scheduling director's time).

    The first annual AMICO meeting will be held the end of May or the beginning of June, in conjunction with the wrap-up of the University Testbed project. One day would be devoted to Testbed issues and reports, and one to AMICO business.

    3.5 K-12 and Public Library License Development
    The strong possibility that Indianapolis University/Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) would receive an IMLS grant was noted (it was since announced that their application was successful). AMICO will be working with this project to develop K-12 and Public Library Licenses for The AMICO Library. The grant proposal is linked to the Documents page on the AMICO web site at

    3.6 Record Withdrawal Procedures
    An online form will be created to enable members to notify AMICO if works have to be withdrawn fm the Library. This will be released with the other online editing tools, in mid-October.

  • 4. TO DO list for 1998/99
    At the end of the meeting the group constructed a To Do list from the actions they had agreed to during the meeting and a schedule of due dates. Included were tasks assigned to the AMICO office and tasks for each AMICO member:

    Who Due Date Task
    AMICO October/ November Work with member museums on strategies for approaching artists who have previously given rights to AMICO members/AMICO or who are likely to be approached on behalf of more than one museum. This strategy to be worked out with the Executive Committee.
    AMICO At MCN Meeting Contact Collections Management system vendors with AMICO Data Specification, and request AMICO output format.
    Members October Contact your collections management system vendor with a written request to implement an AMICO output report.
    AMICO Mid-October Release all the data editing, occurrence listing, data parsing and validating tools developed to help AMICO's contribute and clean up their data, along with documentation.
    AMICO Mid-October Follow up on MCN vendor discussions with written request to collections management system vendors to implement an AMICO output report
    Members By October 16 Comment on Process Evaluation Form draft. Share any documentation of AMICO work-flow at your institution.
    AMICO By October 16 Provide list of all contemporary artists represented in AMICO Testbed Library, in format that makes it easy for each member to review their subset and indicate the extent of the grant of rights (any museum use, only AMICO, limited duration, any work/limited works/one work only, etc.)
    AMICO By October 21 Issue new Process Evaluation Form.
    Members By October 31 Check occurrence lists for each field for their 1998 data and correct inconsistencies and mistakes.
    Members By October 31 Name representative to the Editorial Committee
    Members By October 31 Examine parsed data to report any parsing routine errors that are systematic in their data.
    Members By October 31 Complete list of artists/rights for 1998. Add list of artists for who the museum expects to request rights for its 1999 contribution.
    Members By October 31 Provide AMICO with a list of works to be included in their 1999 contribution, categorized by Century and country/continent of origin.
    Members By November 15 Complete Process Evaluations. Return it to AMICO for analysis
    Members By November 15 Create at least two new very rich records about works of art. These records should exemplify what each institution believes might ultimately be present in a "full" documentation package from that member. It could be "full" by virtue of having a large amount of interpretive text, containing additional educational materials, or including a range of additional multi-media files. The purpose of this is to create a small database of materials of these sorts with which potential distributors can test a wide range of functionalities. These works will be included in the 1999 library (and can be counted towards that contribution).
    New Members By December 31, 1998 Make 1999/2000 contribution to Library
    AMICO/ Members February Users and Uses Committee Focus Group meeting with University Testbed Participants during CAA/VRA in Los Angeles
    Members By February 28, 1999 Make 1999/2000 contribution to Library
    Members/ AMICO 11? March Electronic Information Policy Workshop at Museums and the Web in New Orleans; free to AMICO Members.
    Members/ AMICO April 25 Meeting prior to AAM in Cleveland (Users/Editorial issues as focus?)
    Members/ AMICO/ University Testbed Late May/ Early June Testbed Wrap-up meeting and Annual AMICO Meeting. Dates and location to be announced.

    5. Thanks
    The group expressed its thanks to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, particularly Diana Folsom and Rebecca Lachter, for hosting their meeting, and arranging the tour of the Picasso Exhibition. Ken Hamma was also thanked for arranging parking at the Getty Center for the afternoon of Tuesday, when members went on a self-guided tour.

    Appendix I. Attendance

       Jennifer Trant
       David Bearman

    Asia Society Galleries
       Jim Maza

    Cleveland Museum of Art
       Doug Hiwiller

    J. Paul Getty Museum
       Ken Hamma

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art
       Tom Frick
       Margaret Gray
       Peter Brenner
       Cheryle Robertson
       Del Magpantony
       Rebecca Lachter
       Diana Folsom

    Metropolitan Museum of Art
       Susan Chun

    Minneapolis Institute of Arts
       Tammy Sopinski

    Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
       Charles Castle

    National Gallery of Canada
       Daniel Amadei
       Danielle Rathier

    National Museum of American Art
       Rachel Allen

    Research Libraries Group
       Katharine Martinez

    San Jose Museum of Art
       Kaela Bernal
       Steven Haight

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
       Leo Ballate
       Peter Samis
       Thom Sempere
       Jennifer Small
       Marla Misunal

    Walker Art Center
       Robin Dowden
       David Galligan

    Whitney Museum of American Art
       Debbie Rowe
       Connie Wolfe


    Art Institute of Chicago
       Alan Newman
       Greg Tschann

    Albright Knox Art Gallery
       Michael Benner

    Center for Contemporary Photography
       Terry Pitts

    Art Gallery of Ontario
       Liana Radvak

    Boston Museum of Fine Arts
       Sam Quigley

    The Frick Collection
       Flloyd Sweeting

    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
       Eric Vanasse

    Museums of Fine Art, San Francisco
       Dakin Hart

    Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
       Benoit Bissionette

    Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art
       Bill Weinstein

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