ARTstor (in collaboration with 14 colleges, universities, and museums) will be conducting a test during the Fall of 2003. During the test period, users at these institutions will have access to the ARTstor content and tools for their educational and scholarly work; institutional staff will work closely with ARTstor staff on assessment of how well ARTstor serves various user needs. During the testing period, ARTstor will also be engaged in expanding its operational capacity so that it will be prepared to work with a larger number of institutions in 2004.

Key areas ARTstor will explore with its test partners include:

Technology Issues

  • Evaluating the functionality and usability of the ARTstor interface(s)
  • Exploring the various ways in which ARTstor can help institutions to support the creation and management of image groups for use on course websites or electronic course reserves
  • Examining solutions for “interoperating” with institutional image management systems, learning management courseware, and other digital resources
  • Identifying different institutional contexts for authorizing and authenticating users
  • Understanding and managing network performance issues

Users and Uses

  • Understanding how ARTstor will be used by different segments of the community
  • Exploring how ARTstor can partner with institutions to promote broad use of this new resource, in pedagogy as well as in individual research
  • Identifying potential barriers to adoption of the ARTstor service
  • Evaluating the training and support needs of different types of users, and understanding how institutions are likely to address these needs
  • Assessing image and metadata quality standards for various users and uses
  • Assessing and improving user awareness and understanding of the terms and conditions of use

Collections
It should be noted that any feedback gathered in this area will influence longer term planning, since content development is a complex, ongoing process.

  • Gathering feedback on the content and presentation of the charter collections
  • Identifying promising areas for collection development that will address the needs of a broad range of users
  • Understanding how ARTstor collections complement local image collections, both analog and digital

This test represents only one aspect of ARTstor’s dialogue with the community. In order to become a truly community-wide resource, ARTstor staff will continue to engage in conversations with a range of individuals and institutions in an ongoing basis to learn more about the issues outlined above, as well as other issues surrounding the building, disseminating, and usage of image collections. Indeed, through this test ARTstor hopes to learn how best to gather this sort of feedback routinely, in order to assure that such assessment and learning develops as a core element of the ARTstor service.

Test Participants

The following institutions will be participating in the Fall 2003 test. These institutions were selected based on their ability to provide a diverse range of perspectives on the key issues identified above.

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Harvard University
  • Hunter College (City University of New York)
  • James Madison University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • National Gallery of Art
  • New York University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Princeton University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Smith College
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Williams College/Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute*

*The staff and faculty at Williams College and The Clark Art Institute deserve special thanks for their participation in an early pilot ARTstor project in the Fall of 2002.