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Blog Category: Collection release

April 12, 2004

ARTstor Announces Availability Of Digital Image Resource

Initiative Sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Serve Educational and Cultural Communities

April 12, 2004. ARTstor, a non-profit initiative founded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announces the availability of its Digital Library to non-profit educational and cultural institutions in the United States starting this summer.

The ARTstor Digital Library is comprised of digital images and related data; the tools to make active use of those images; and an online environment intended to balance the interests of users with those of content providers. ARTstor’s “Charter Collection” will contain approximately 300,000 digital images of visual material from different cultures and disciplines, and it seeks to offer sufficient breadth and depth to support a wide range of non-commercial educational and scholarly activities. The Charter Collection is anticipated to grow to half a million images by the summer of 2006.

ARTstor was established with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching and learning in the arts and associated fields. James Shulman, the Executive Director of ARTstor, noted that “The impact of digitization on teaching and scholarship becomes increasingly clear every day. ARTstor is working with museums, colleges, universities, libraries, archives and others around the world in an effort to ensure that these dramatic changes happen in thoughtful ways. We are excited by the chance to play a role in a community-wide effort that represents many aspects of the world’s collective cultural heritage.”

According to Neil L. Rudenstine, ARTstor’s chairman and president emeritus of Harvard University, “The growing need for an accessible source of digital images has become a significant problem at many educational institutions that are using limited resources to build and sustain their own image archives. ARTstor hopes to help address this need by working with institutions to build a digital collection capable of both system-wide growth and expansion at individual institutions, so that participants will have significantly more material for educational and scholarly uses.”

The Charter Collection is meant to serve as a campus-wide resource that is focused on, but not limited to, the arts. It documents artistic and historical traditions across many time-periods and cultures and has been derived from several source collections that are themselves the product of collaborations with libraries, museums, photographic archives, publishers, slide libraries, and individual scholars. Source collections include:

The Image Gallery: A collection of 200,000 images of world art and culture corresponding to the contents of a university slide library, constructed in response to college teaching needs. Since the images have been cataloged with subject headings, they will be useful both to those in the arts and in many other fields;

The Carnegie Arts of the United States
: A widely used collection of images documenting aspects of the history of American art, architecture, visual and material culture;

The Huntington Archive of Asian Art: A broad photographic overview of the art of Asia from 3000 B.C. through the present;

The Illustrated Bartsch: A collection derived from the art reference publication of the same name, containing images and data related to more than 50,000 old master European prints from the 15th to 19th Centuries;

The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive
: High resolution images of wall paintings and sculpture from the Buddhist cave shrines in Dunhuang, China, along with related objects and art from the caves that are now in museums and libraries in Europe and the United States; and

The MoMA Architecture and Design Collection
: A comprehensive collection of high resolution images representing the holdings of the Department of Architecture and Design of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

ARTstor has developed software tools that will allow users at participating institutions to use its Charter Collection without the need for any other software. Users will be able to view and analyze images through features such as zooming and panning. They will be able to save groups of images for personal or group uses, as well as for use in lectures and other presentation, either online or off-line.

Participation fees for ARTstor’s Charter Collection are listed now at Participating in ARTstor. Thirty-five test institutions have had access to the software and image repository during the past academic year, including: the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard University, Hunter College, James Madison University, Johns Hopkins University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, Smith College, University of California at San Diego, Williams College and the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute.

As William G. Bowen, the President of the Mellon Foundation, noted: “The fit between new technology and visual images is an unusually promising one. The ability to combine – and make active use of – images, data, texts and other materials offers the opportunity to bring about a substantial and exciting transformation in art-related teaching, learning, and research.”

For more information about participating in ARTstor, please see the Participation Info section of the ARTstor website.

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April 2, 2004

Collaborative Agreement Reached Between the National Anthropological Archives (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution) and ARTstor

The National Anthropological Archives (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution) and ARTstor announced today that they had reached an agreement to collaborate on the distribution through ARTstor of approximately 12,000 high quality digital images of Native American art and culture from the NAA collections.

The collaboration will focus on two of the NAA’s most important archival collections, which it has already digitized at high resolution for preservation and access reasons: an archive of ca. 2,000 Plains Indian ledger drawings and a collection of ca. 10,000 historic photographs of Native American subjects (portraits, scenes, etc.), made from glass plate negatives collected by or produced under the auspices of the Smithsonian’s Bureau of American Ethnology beginning in the late 19th century. Plains Indian ledger drawings, mostly produced in the middle to late decades of the 19th century, represent an important indigenous artistic tradition of great and increasing interest to art historians and other scholars. These drawings on paper, often done on the pages of ruled ledger books acquired through trade, continue a long tradition of painting on buffalo hides and other available media.

The BAE photographic collections, supported by extensive documentation, are a foundation for our visual knowledge of the American Indian past. They were critical in shaping perceptions of Native Americans in the last quarter of the 19th century and thereafter and they constitute an unparalleled visual record of historic Native American art and culture. The approximately 10,000 historic photographs to be distributed through this collaboration range from studio portraits of individual Native Americans to tribal scenes, documenting treaty councils, official expeditions of exploration, and early anthropological and archeological inquiry in America. All major tribal groups are represented, many having been photographed during formal meetings of tribal delegations with members of Congress. These two landmark archives will greatly enrich ARTstor’s value to a wide audience in the history of art and beyond.

Under the agreement, ARTstor is supporting the post-processing of these 12,000 already digitized high-resolution images for inclusion in the ARTstor Library, a database of digital images of art and cataloging data that is being assembled for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes. ARTstor is also supporting a variety of related cataloging activities that will enhance the value of these materials to scholars. The National Anthropological Archives will also retain a set of the processed digital images, and will continue to make these images available in lower resolutions through the Smithsonian Institution’s online public access catalog (SIRIS).

In reaching this agreement, Robert Leopold, Archives and Collections Information Manager at the National Anthropological Archives, and James Shulman, Executive Director of ARTstor, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make these important scholarly resources more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. “The National Anthropological Archives is delighted to make its existing high-resolution digital images available in a secure, online environment that promotes the use of authentic, well-documented historical images for research, lectures and classroom presentations,” commented Leopold.

The National Anthropological Archives collects and preserves historical and contemporary anthropological materials that document the world’s cultures and the history of anthropology.

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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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