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January 12, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between Hartill Art Associates, Inc., Artstor, and the California Digital Library

Alec Hartill of Hartill Art Associates, Inc., Artstor, and the California Digital Library announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the archiving, digitization and distribution of approximately 20,000 high quality slides, created by both Alec and Marlene Hartill of Hartill Art Associates, Inc. over the past 26 years. The images reproduce architecture and the built environment from antiquity to the present, and include thousands of details of architectural sculpture, mosaics and stained glass. Under the agreement, the California Digital Library has purchased an archival set of the slides, which will be housed at one or more University of California campus libraries and made available for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes. Artstor is digitizing those slides, and the digital images will be incorporated into noncommercial educational resources supported, respectively, by Artstor and the University of California.

In reaching this agreement, Alec Hartill, Artstor, and the California Digital Library expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to preserve this important educational resource and in using digital technologies to make it more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes.

Artstor was created in 2001 as a nonprofit initiative of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is now an independent non-profit that seeks to make available a digital library of art images for noncommercial educational and scholarly uses. Alec Hartill will continue to license and sell sets of his slides and will license the digital images for noncommercial and commercial purposes.

The California Digital Library partners with the 10 UC campuses in a continuing commitment to apply innovative technology to managing scholarly information. Organizationally housed at the UC Office of the President in Oakland, CA, the CDL provides a centralized framework to efficiently share materials held by UC, to provide greater and easier access to digital content, and to join with researchers in developing new tools and innovations for scholarly communication.

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December 1, 2003

Letter from The Chairman & Executive Director

Welcome to ARTstor, an initiative of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
ARTstor’s purpose is to create a large – and indefinitely growing – database of digital images and accompanying scholarly information for use in art history and other humanistic fields of learning, including the related social sciences.

ARTstor will be a not-for-profit organization, and its materials will only be made available for use by not-for-profit educational institutions, such as colleges and universities, museums, libraries, research institutes and similar organizations. The goal is to enhance teaching, scholarship and learning in fields of knowledge that use images and associated scholarly materials for study and research, as well as in lectures, classrooms, conferences and similar settings.

ARTstor’s objective in creating its database is to carefully select “collections” that are intrinsically significant, and that have sufficient breadth, depth and coherence to make them genuinely useful to faculty, curators, students and others.

Over time, ARTstor hopes to build – in collaboration with other institutions – a database that will consist of millions of images and related data. It will include collections from a wide variety of civilizations, time-periods, and media, as well as from different sources, such as museums, archaeological sites, photo-archives, slide collections, and published materials that promise to be unusually helpful as scholarly tools. Users will be able to search across an individual “collection” in the database or across multiple collections, as a single large “library” of materials.

Participation in ARTstor will be through institutional site licenses. Fees will be set according to a sliding-scale based on a number of institutional characteristics. The object is to make participation as broad as possible across a great range of educational institutions, while generating some revenue to offset a share of ARTstor’s considerable operating costs. The ARTstor database will be able to be accessed directly by any individual who is an authenticated member of a participating institution.

ARTstor began as an organization in the early fall of 2001. During the past eighteen months, it has been creating its initial digital collections, addressing technology issues, consulting with members of the museum and academic communities, and preparing for the time – during the academic year 2003-2004 – when materials could be made available for use at educational institutions.

While we hope that these initial collections will be useful from the very start, we also want to underscore a number of important points:

First, even the initial collections will not be complete at the time of release, simply because the process of creating a coherent group of images and data is highly labor-intensive and time-consuming. The entire process – from choosing a project; reaching institutional collaborative agreements; undertaking photography (or digitizing already-existing images); updating catalog information; and guiding the entire production process carefully to ensure quality-control – is complex as well as costly, and it simply cannot be rushed. Consequently, the content and size of the initial database will inevitably be illustrative of what can be achieved over time as new material is added. We hope that, within the next eighteen months, we will have something in the range of 400,000 images and data online. But even that – measured against the infinite universe of art-objects – is obviously only the barest of beginnings.

Second, while ARTstor can do a considerable amount in creating an inter-institutional network, as well as building online collections, it is clear that no single organization can possibly do more than a small fraction of what needs to be accomplished if the national and international community of educational institutions is to be well-served. The hope, therefore, is that the ARTstor database and network can soon begin to function as a public utility that would eventually become a very broad-based co-operative enterprise, with participating institutions contributing digital materials while simultaneously benefiting from the growing database. ARTstor will exercise responsibility for maintaining – and adding significantly to – this database, just as it will maintain the complex systems (and staff) essential to this initiative. But we fully expect that there will come a time when the not-for-profit educational community of museums, colleges, universities and others will essentially “own” and operate the system.

Third, while ARTstor considers its primary purpose to be the creation and provision of digital images and related materials for scholarly and instructional use, it also hopes to do more than “deliver a product.” In fact, because so little is known about the most effective ways to build and use digital collections of this kind, we will need advice, criticism, suggestions – and even some patience! – from participating institutions, so that we can all learn together about users needs, software adaptations, image quality standards, metadata standards, and collection-building. As with any new technology, we expect that any number of mistakes will inevitably be made along the way, and that only a community-wide effort – sharing expertise, experience, and new ideas – can lead to genuinely useful and enriching results.

In the meanwhile, please read and ponder, and check back as we update the site over the coming months.

With best regards –

Neil Rudenstine and James Shulman

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July 9, 2003

ARTstor to retain Kris Wetterlund and Scott Sayre

ARTstor has begun actively exploring how and when it can best serve the K-12 community by retaining two consultants to develop a K-12 education plan. The two consultants, Scott Sayre and Kris Wetterlund, bring to the task a combined 25 years of experience in arts education including recent positions with the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO).

Sayre has over twelve years of experience guiding museums in the selection, development and application of educational and business technologies. He speaks internationally on the subject of art museums and technology, and has provided consulting services to a range of museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, High Museum of Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walker Art Center. He was the Director of Media and Technology at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) where he formed the museum’s Interactive Media Group and led the development of a wide range of award-winning projects including the MIA and Walker Art Center’s educational portal “ArtsConnectEd” (, the MIA’s web site (, and wide range of interactive multimedia programs installed in the museum’s galleries. He has a Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota and most recently served as AMICO’s Director of Member Services and US Operations.

Wetterlund has thirteen years of experience as an art museum educator, working in the MIA’s education department and at the Minnesota Museum of American Art as the Director of Education. Wetterlund has developed a number of online art resources and programs, including the MIA’s award-winning Get the Picture: Thinking about Photographs and a two year program to train K-12 teachers in Minnesota to use online art museum resources and technology in the classroom. She received her degree in art education from the University of Minnesota and is certified as a K-12 Minnesota teacher. Wetterlund most recently served as the Director of User Services for AMICO, where she advised educators on integrating AMICO digital art resources in curriculum and teaching.

Starting in July and continuing through early fall, Sayre and Wetterlund will be working on a plan for ARTstor’s approach to K-12 Education that will provide an overview of the K-12 landscape. This plan will investigate a number of opportunities, including whether there is a role for ARTstor in supporting art museums’ educational programs, integrating with art teacher training programs, and collaborating with federal, state and local arts education initiatives. The plan will also make recommendations regarding the types of tools and content that will best serve the needs of K-12 educators and students.

Sayre and Wetterlund will be working closely with ARTstor staff including Nancy Allen, ARTstor’s Director of Museum Relations, who noted the importance of this effort: “We hope that ARTstor can support teaching and learning about art in the K-12 community, but first we need to learn from museum educators and K-12 teachers about their needs and goals. We cannot imagine better partners to help shape our thinking and guide our planning than Kris and Scott with their impressive experience in education and museums.”

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July 5, 2003

Artstor Announces Two New Board Members

The Artstor Board recently approved the appointment of two new members: Anne d’Harnoncourt, The George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Carol A. Mandel, the Dean, Division of Libraries at New York University.

Miss d’Harnoncourt has served as The George D. Widener Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1982 and as both Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum since 1997. During her tenure as Director, she has built a distinguished professional staff and encouraged a sequence of major exhibitions and publications by Museum curators, in addition to overseeing a massive project to reinstall all of the European collections and the recent purchase of a neighboring landmark building to enable future expansion. Prior to her role as Director, Miss d’Harnoncourt served as Curator of Twentieth-Century Art at the Museum from 1972 to 1982. As a specialist in the art of Marcel Duchamp, she organized a major retrospective exhibition in 1973-1974, which also traveled to The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Art Institute of Chicago. While Miss d’Harnoncourt was curator, the Museum made a commitment to build its contemporary collections and acquired important works by Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Katherine Anne Porter, and Frank Stella, among others. Miss d’Harnoncourt has written numerous articles and publications about Duchamp, John Cage and other topics in 20th-century art.

Ms. Mandel has served as the Dean, Division of Libraries at New York University since 1999, where she provides leadership for a system of libraries and special collections, the University Archives, TV and Media Services, Classroom Media Services and the New York University Press. Previously, she served as the Deputy University Librarian at Columbia University. The focus of her professional interests includes digital library development, scholarly publishing, and preservation and bibliographical access. She serves in board or advisory committee capacities for the Digital Library Federation, the Association of Research Libraries, OCLC, and the Research Libraries Group. Ms. Mandel’s recent scholarly articles and presentations have explored the transition of research libraries into digital libraries.

In announcing these appointments, Neil L. Rudenstine – Chair of the Artstor Board – commented: “I want to join with all the members of Artstor’s Board in welcoming Anne d’Harnoncourt and Carol Mandel. Anne is one of the pre-eminent museum Directors in the United States and abroad, and Carol is widely admired for her pioneering work in developing digital and related resources within the context of traditional research library systems. Together, these two distinguished individuals will bring extraordinary talents, experience, and wisdom to the Board’s deliberations, and we appreciate their willingness to devote time and energy to helping shape Artstor’s future.”

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March 19, 2003

ARTstor’s Fall 2003 Testing

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

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.

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