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Data harvesting

Interest in sharing collections information and images has increased in recent years. Collaboration between museums, libraries, and archives is explored in a recent report by OCLC. Possibilities include digital initiatives that can be advanced by the application of cataloging and imaging standards: Zorich, Diane, Günter Waibel and Ricky Erway, Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums (Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Programs and Research, 2008), www.oclc.org/programs/publications/reports/2008-05.pdf . Published online at: www.oclc.org/programs/reports/2008-05.pdf. However, the process of exporting records from disparate systems and merging records that lack consistency remains challenging. OCLC, the international library service and research organization, OCLC: (External Link) . was awarded a grant in early 2008 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to address this challenge. Partnering with seven art museums, OCLC Programs and Research created a “low-barrier/no-cost batch export capability out of the collections management system used by the participating museums, Gallery Systems TMS, Gallery Systems: (External Link) . as well as a test of data exchange processes using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).” OCLC news release: (External Link) . After the initial work with Gallery Systems’ TMS software, focus will shift to other vendors and museums with custom-built, in-house systems. OCLC collected data for analysis from the participating museums and released the software suite under a fee-free license in May 2009. OCLC news release: http://www.oclc.org/us/en/news/releases/200932.htm.

Difficulty in preparing images


Ever since digital cameras were first employed in museums, professionals have debated the merits and costs of rapid image capture for photographic documentation versus time-consuming studio photography that produces carefully lit, color-calibrated, high-resolution files. Today most museums do a combination of both, but the gold standard for direct digital capture remains an image that supplies an accurate, fine arts­–printed reproduction. The question is how to define and ensure imaging quality and delivery standards.

Imaging guidelines

Fortunately, imaging and publishing professionals from more than twenty museums have recently formed ImageMuse, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to defining guidelines for the creation and use of digital files for reproduction.” They are working with Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines (UPDIG), Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines: (External Link) . an ad-hoc industry consortium of nonprofit associations dedicated to promoting worldwide standards in the commercial application of digital imaging. In addition to defining best practices for digital capture, ImageMuse and UPDIG seek to demonstrate the economic benefits of implementing standards that apply to fine arts reproduction. ImageMuse: (External Link) .

Ambiguity about the definition of “scholarly publication”

In 1995, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum conducted a survey of museum rights and licensing policies to compare its own fee structure to that of other museums. The results were deemed so useful by the museum community that the Rights and Reproductions (RARIN) and the Registrar’s Committee of the American Association of Museums updated the survey in 2003-2004. 2003-2004 RARIN Rights and Reproductions Survey: (External Link) . Several prevailing practices can be noted by the responses of more than one hundred museums:

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Source:  OpenStax, Art museum images in scholarly publishing. OpenStax CNX. Jul 08, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10728/1.1
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