Great Project - Congratulations!!!   ...B

At 12:55 PM 8/14/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>Hello everyone,
>I'd like to take this opportunity to announce a new project in which METS
>will be explored for it's potential application to accessing
>non-traditional art forms (description below). I would be interested in
>hearing any simiilar projects, or questions from this group. Thanks!
>Richard Rinehart
>Digital Media Director, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>Instructor, Department of Art Practice
>University of California, Berkeley
>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
>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 lead 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
>the MOA2 standard. In this proposed 2-year project also, BAM will work
>collaboratively, building on existing standards and practice. NEA funds
>would enable BAM to participate in the promising METS project (Metadata
>Encoding & Transmission Standard, successor to MOA2), hosted by the
>Library of Congress with NYU and Harvard libraries as partners. METS hopes
>to answer many of the above questions for complex digital library
>collections. BAM would represent the museum community in this national
>project, extending the METS standard to museum collections. In year 1 BAM
>will attend working meetings to develop the standard and in year 2
>demonstrate the standard in 2 phases. BAM will deliver the entire Theresa
>Cha Conceptual Art Archive (artist books, video, audio, performance) and
>the Ching Yuan Chai Collection of Chinese hand-scrolls on the BAM website
>and then deliver these collections to the Online Archive of California
>consortium project to demonstrate the interoperability of the new standard.
>This project will allow the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (a
>premiere art and film venue in California) and the Franklin Furnace
>Archive (a small long-standing and respected performance arts organization
>in New York) to develop a standard for presenting complex art objects
>online. Rather than develop this standard in a vacuum, BAM and FFA will
>represent the art community working on this standard in the context of the
>national METS project. BAM and FFA will work with other METS partners to
>develop a standard which serves the needs of arts organizations as well as
>libraries, and having 2 arts organizations will ensure that the standard
>does not reflect just the local needs of one arts organization, but can
>apply across arts institutions.
>This project is highly focussed on a discrete and feasible part of the
>larger puzzle of providing comprehensive access to art online, and will
>result in a practical, working solution as well as model for the field.
>That, coupled with the shared expertise of FFA and BAM, will help ensure
>the success of this project, and the resulting benefit to the entire arts
>community. BAM and FFA have worked together productively in the past on
>similar issues of how to electronically catalogue alternative art forms
>and both have relevant expertise to bring this project to a successful
>resolution. Additional information on projects mentioned in this narrative
>Metadata Encoding & Transmission Standard (METS)
>The METS schema is a standard for encoding descriptive, administrative,
>and structural metadata regarding objects within a digital library such as
>archival manuscripts, rare books, and visual works. METS is expressed
>using the XML schema language of the World Wide Web Consortium. The
>standard is maintained in the Network Development and MARC Standards
>Office of the Library of Congress, and is being developed as an initiative
>of the Digital Library Federation. Some of the current main partners of
>METS include: MacKenzie Smith, Digital Library Program Manager, Harvard
>University Library; Jerome McDonough, Digital Library Development Team
>Leader, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, New York University; Morgan Cundiff,
>National Digital Library Program Leader, Library of Congress
>Museums and the Online Archive of California
>MOAC is a consortium of 13 museums providing access to art and museum
>collections together in one place, creating a web resource for students,
>scholars, and the public in California and the world. BAM/PFA is the
>consortium lead museum.

Bernie Hurley
Director of Library Technologies

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