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Academic Image Cooperative. Description

In January, DLF convened a meeting to explore ways of using digital libraries to enhance the quality of art history teaching and research in the nation's colleges and universities. (For the minutes of this meeting see results.) Art history faculty, visual resources librarians, and representatives of the College Art Association participated in the meeting.

As a result of the meeting, participants are now proceeding with the development of prototype mechanism, called an image exchange. The facility would enable scholars in the field to share with others images, to which they own the rights, of works referenced in the major art history textbooks. Since March, participants in the projects have opened discussions of the development of the image exchange through formal presentations at the CNI spring meeting and a Visual Resources Association regional meeting, and through a variety of informal presentations with interested organizations such as AMICO and art history publishers. In addition, DLF contracted with Robert Baron, an independent art historian and consultant with expertise in information technology and intellectual property matters, to serve as project manager.

The Image Exchange organizing group met at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on May 22-23 to design and to begin constructing the prototype system. (For the report of this meeting see results.) With the help of CMU computer scientists, the group settled on a comprehensive set of features for the Exchange. It is now at work developing a set of these features, including a concordance of images in key art and architectural history textbooks, to comprise the prototype Image Exchange.

Details of funding models for the Exchange are being fleshed out, a planning grant proposal for approximately $100,000 is being prepared to cover costs of the prototype development, and a generic grant proposal is being outlined to support the full development of the Exchange.

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