>> I am writing a brief article on METS for RLG, and have been asked by the
>> editorial board "who is using METS and why?"  Good question.  If you don't
>> mind revealing yourselves to a wider world, can you send me an email with a
>> sentence or two about how you will or might use METS?


Hope this is also not too late for your article - and perhaps this will
serve as an introduction to the larger METS list and other users of our
exploration of METS for museums, moving image, and the arts. A summary of
our project is below. Thanks!

Richard Rinehart
Digital Media Director, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
Instructor, Department of Art Practice
University of California, Berkeley

Access to Alternative Art Forms --- This project will use technology to
increase access to art collections, specifically types of works which
represent artistic diversity and are currently under-represented in museum
online access projects. These include collections of performance art,
artist books, installations, audio/video works, Asian scroll paintings, and
digital art. The collaborative project will develop standards for
presenting such works in an online environment and disseminate findings of
this model project for the arts community through journal articles,
website, and professional conferences.

There are currently projects in which museums or museum consortia provide
un-precedented access to art collections via the Internet. These projects
are successfully providing access to standard art forms such as: paintings,
prints, photographs, and to a lesser extent, sculpture. These art forms
demand a fairly simple mode of access online; a label description next to a
thumbnail image of the work. A larger size image is provided by clicking.
However, these projects rarely if ever provide access to alternative art
forms because additional difficult challenges must be answered. How does a
museum provide access to every page of an artist book in a way that is easy
to navigate online and understand as a book? How does one include text
transcriptions of each page image to allow searching and access for the
blind? How does one represent all the components of an installation or
performance so that each can be searched, then brought together for viewing
on a web page as one work? How can one present an Asian scroll painting so
that each section is detailed enough for research, yet allows the viewer to
'scroll' through the entire work online? How can film archives provide
access to video which viewers can search scene by scene? How can one retain
the part-to-whole relationship of complex works in an online environment?

Most importantly, how does a museum do all this cost-effectively and
scaleable across institutions so that the same method can be applied by
partners in museum consortia projects to all art forms? Answering these
questions will help provide scholars and the public access to art in all
media from museums around the nation, representing the diversity of
artistic practice and resulting in richer scholarship and enjoyment.

BAM has experience as managing museum for the consortia "Museums & the
Online Archive of California" in which BAM provided access to every page
and text transcriptions of 60 artist books by conceptual artist Theresa
Cha, using a combination of linked standards: EAD (descriptive data) ->
MOA2 (digital object structural data) -> TEI (page transcripts). In this
proposed 2-year project also, BAM will work collaboratively, building on
existing standards and practice. METS hopes to answer many of the above
questions for complex digital library collections. BAM will explore the
possibility of extending the METS standard to museum and art collections.
BAM will deliver the entire Theresa Cha Conceptual Art Archive (artist
books, video, audio, performance) and the Marshall Collection of Chinese
hand-scrolls on the BAM website.