June 2012 Vol.9 No. 3
Home for Images, The newsletter of the VRA
Wednesday, April 17
VRAF Legacy Lecture: Todd Carter, Tagasauris
Summary by Heidi Eyestone (Carleton College)
Todd Carter began his presentation using the Magnum Photo archive as an example of an image collection with a data and information challenge. Magnum had its archives digitized and adds current images into their digital collection, however many of these images have very little data about them. He then discussed the wider problem of images and video being added to the internet at a very rapid pace quoting statistics from Google and Facebook including that video will soon be 75% of all traffic on the internet. The pace of digital media creation far outpaces the creation of data about these files. It is the information about these images that adds value to a collection of digital images.
He then discussed the history of linked open data and the semantic web. Projects that began linked open data were the DBpedia project (www.dbpedia.org), a data project based on Wikipedia, Freebase (www.freebase.com) and the GeoNames project (www.geonames.org). From these and other efforts, over 1 billion RDF triples were made and the semantic web has been growing rapidly since. The main idea for linking in the semantic web is not based on keywords but on the concept of “entities”, objects that have been related by context and connection. He showed a video that explained this concept (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJfrNo3Z-DU) from Metaweb, a company created by Danny Hills, that was recently purchased by Google. Carter also showed the BBC website which mines data from the linked open data cloud for generating information-rich pages about sports and wildlife making their sites themselves APIs, Typing RDF at the end of the page gets you a “blast of machine readable data.”
Mr. Carter then moved on to discussing the history and application of crowdsourcing. He listed an 18th-century French project for plotting planetary and moon positions and the Gertrude Blanch WPA-era project in which math tables were created using lesser educated individuals to perform simple repetitive tasks to compile data. He shared recent micro labor projects done in the internet age including the Emoji Dick project (www.emojidick.com), the Sheep Market (www.thesheepmarket.com), Recaptcha (www.google.com/recaptcha) and Wikipedia. These efforts focused the debate about crowdsourcing, sharing information and utilizing human productivity.
He then introduced Tagasauris and how it helps its customers with adding data to their resources. Like Alan Turing looked to computers for intelligence and Henry Ford utilized labor through small tasks, Tagasauris strives to utilize human and machine processes and intelligence to build up data about objects using sixteen interconnected micro tasks which create their product platform and workflows. He referred back to the work Tagasauris did for the Magnum Photo collection showing how they used human taggers to disambiguate terms, provide three terms per image (with the computer running comparisons to other taggers and looking for bad tagging). He showed Tagasauris sometimes intentionally inserts bad data or “noise” like comic book characters to create a confusion matrix to make sure taggers are assessing for quality and accuracy. As you syndicate tasks, you have to assess the quality of the work. Sometimes taggers are asked to vote from a narrow taxonomy or only required to do binary assessments, like day or night. He showed how they assess faces in photos and even have taggers distinguish between emotions. For the Magnum Photo project Tagasauris found taggers from social networks like Facebook, asking those that “liked” the collection to join the effort. Magnum taggers wanted recognition and a leader board posted on the Magnum site for the work they accomplished. Depending on the work taggers do, the work can range from unpaid to pay-by-image system.
In summary, Tagasauris added 30,000 concepts not represented in Magnum’s ontology to their digital archive and were able to re-launch with better vertical searching. Faceted browsing is also now available by category, continent, color and photo style. A Google search of their collection currently nets 224,000 assets. Google will continue to crawl through Magnum’s over 600,000 assets. Magnum even recovered lost data, the example being reconnecting photos from the movie American Graffiti. They were also able to identify the photos in which there is no model release required, enabling them to monetize this part of their collection as stock photography. The cost for Magnum for new production every year was $250,000, now using Tagasauris, the cost is $12,000 and as a result they are doing better than Corbis and other photograph vendors.
Questions to Mr. Carter included whether people like us could become taggers. He said they prefer people who have a vested interest in individual projects. He was asked if they recruit taggers and indicated they seek only volunteers so they do not become recruiters. He was also asked about finding quality taggers. His answer was that people seem to self-select and are not required to supply data about something they do not know. Another questioner asked about the ethics of having volunteers or those who are paid marginal rates for tagging. He indicated that some people are paid for doing the work, but the key is to deploy quality sensitive dynamic pricing where the best people rise to the top and stay motivated; he added that this labor market is just developing and does not yet have a model. A question was asked about efforts to tag collections of artworks. In response he stated that Tagasauris is just beginning to be involved in tagging art but that he knew of the Steve Project (www.steve.museum) and Europeana (www.europeana.eu/).
Session: Embedded Metadata in Cultural Image Collections and Beyond
Summary by Meghan Musolff (University of Michigan)
Sheryl Frisch, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Gregory Reser, University of California, San Diego
Joshua Lynn, Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Heidi Raatz, Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Steve Tatum, Virginia Tech
The session began with Sheryl Frisch’s (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) presentation titled “Embedded Metadata in Culture Image Collections and Beyond: Embedding Metadata in Image Files at CalPoly, San Luis Obispo.” Frisch reiterated the importance of embedding metadata as it can lead to increased user discovery of image assets. She then went on to detail the workflow evolution of embedding metadata in her image files. Currently, Frisch is using a customized version of the VRA XMP Info Panel to embedded metadata. Future plans at CalPoly include building a feature to link source information to Google Books and to local library resources.
The second presentation of the session was by Gregory Reser (University of California, San Diego). Titled “Embedded Metadata and the do-it-yourselfer,” Reser imparted a DIY approach to embedded metadata and discussed his work with CalPoly’s Visual Collection to solve a local issue with capturing creator information. To address the creator needs of CalPoly, he used a number of different standards to flesh out the creator field: FOAF, VRA Core 4, and CDWA Lite. In a similar fashion, Reser worked to incorporate ICONCLASS records into CalPoly’s customized panel as well. He hopes that future work will incorporate other vocabularies, such as those of the Getty Research Institute and Library of Congress.
The third presentation of the afternoon was by Joshua Lynn and Heidi Raatz (both of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts) and was titled “Cover Your Assets (with Both Hands): The Role of Embedded Metadata in Visual Resources Production Workflows.” Lynn and Raatz described the embedded metadata workflow at MIA and how their use of embedded metadata impacts various departments of the museum, including the content management system (TMS), publishing, rights management, licensing, marketing, and social media. The presenters reiterated the importance of embedded metadata in providing instant access to images, as well as a back-up plan in case of database disaster.
The session ended with a presentation by Steve Tatum (Virginia Tech) titled “Mobile Cataloging.” In the past, people relied on field notes to identify images from research trips. The same is true now, but researchers can use new technologies to capture the same information present in field notes when photographing in the field. Tatum described cataloging with an iPad and/or iPhone and walked session attendees through the steps of cataloging in the field to final steps to complete when one returns to the office. Numerous applications (Evernote, FotoNote, iTunes) were mentioned to aid in the capture of metadata when shooting in the field.
Session: Emerging New Roles for VR Professionals: Research into and beyond the Arts
Summary by Rosalyn Scott (ProQuest)
Stephanie Beene, Lewis and Clark College
Victoria Brown, University of Oxford, UK
Catherine Worrall, University College Falmouth, UK
Jodie Double, University of Leeds, UK
The ‘Emerging New Roles for VR Professionals’ session presented the recent experiences of four Visual Resources workers amidst the sector’s current changing landscape. Each speaker outlined new roles that they have taken on, as well as a range of potential new paths involving ideas for collaboration, outreach, collections development, project funding or research. Despite the increasing workloads or economic uncertainty now faced by many VR professionals, the importance of embracing change was recognized, with the speakers noting the positive benefits it can bring in terms of their roles’ diversity and boundaries.
The opening presentation by Stephanie Beene examined ‘How My Job Has Evolved and Strategies for Survival’. Beene outlined the diversity of her current tasks as Visual Resources Coordinator, encompassing managing and training interns, cataloguing, strategic planning, outreach, marketing, VR consultations, research, digitization, liaising with other Arts departments, visual literacy, staffing the reference desk, IT liaison, involvement with the VRA, and working on special projects such as accessCeramics. She outlined that the scope of the VR role was rewritten on her initial hire, and also involved the VRC’s relocation to the Watzek Library, but her core “Librarian roles” have also continued to expand since then. This evolution was forced by various events, such as increased incoming class sizes, budget cuts, restructuring and staff changes, including the leadership of a new Library Director. In particular, Beene emphasized the importance of promotion and outreach within her role, noting projects such as the use of VRC images as screensavers, or displaying senior student artworks both online and in the Library. She closed by highlighting the increased need to collaborate, but also warned that the snowball effect of outreach can result in becoming overstretched.
The second presentation by Vicky Brown focused on how she has adapted her role in the context of Oxford University. Brown stated that her role as Visual Resources Curator extends into the image-using community across Oxford, not just the History of Art department. Brown outlined her involvement with teaching and training, such as promoting subscription databases or running classes for students across a variety of disciplines, with many of her efforts driven by the need to ensure central funding of databases. Brown also focuses on making new connections and teaching in new spaces, which extends to working externally, such as a training-to-train session with the University of Cambridge. She is also involved with hosting local content, such as developing a relationship with the Ashmolean Museum to acquire new collections material or working with Modern Art Oxford to source exhibition images. Also oversees the capturing of audio recordings of lectures and ensures text resources are provided via PDFs uploaded onto the virtual learning environment. Brown discussed the VRC’s website ‘WebLearn’, which went live in 2010, noting awards that it has won. The site has created a public face for the VRC, helping them to achieve greater visibility within the university. Also mentioned her work on un-catalogued archives located within Oxford University, such as the William Cohn Collection, and seeking funding for these projects. Additionally, Brown collaborates on groups such as Digital.Humanities@Oxford, ACADI and CHART, with this involvement resulting in other projects such as surveying VR professionals on how visual resources are used, contributing towards attempts to change UK copyright laws, and conference presentations. Concluded by stating that VR professionals all have to adapt and take on new roles, build new local content and preserve remaining analogue collections, and do so by working across all sectors of their institutions and also externally.
Catherine Worrall supplied the third presentation and began by outlining various changes in her role as Image Collections Coordinator. She emphasized the importance of collection development and its reliance on working with figures such as course tutors, students, photographers, library staff, artists and archivists. She is involved in ‘The Image Space’ project, a database showcasing work by local Cornwall artists/designers and from student degree shows at Falmouth. Worrall noted that it requires collaboration to develop these collections, such as students supplying details of their work. In particular, she highlighted the example of the Tom Cross archive, which was digitized and added to the collection. Also discussed her involvement with the ‘Look Here!’ VADS project, which provides digital images for learning and teaching in the creative arts. Additionally, Worrall helps with the development of the Library’s web pages, necessitating collaboration with the university’s academic liaison team and art department to develop the site. The website acts as a point of contact for students, providing information on various topics, and includes features such as ‘The Image Space’, subscription databases, online resources, copyright, referencing and citation, and collaboration through the Academic Liaison team. Worrall also provides information skills sessions for new students and offers essay/dissertation/project support, as well as 1-to-1 sessions for academic staff. Worrall discussed future plans, such as continued collaboration with archives and artists, focusing on adding local exhibitions, supporting more of the university’s courses, and promoting ‘The Image Space’ on the library website for presentations and lectures. Vicki concluded by stating that, due to the recent increase in university fees in the UK, expectations will become even higher of course content.
The final presentation by Jodie Double was entitled ‘Moving with the Changing Landscape: VR Professionals as Agents of Change’. Double highlighted the need to move with the times due to the current state of technological or economic change, but believes that VR professionals are used to change, embracing new technology, multitasking and gaining new skillsets. Double outlined her own career path, noting that budget cuts in 2008 led to her moving from the University of Minnesota to now working as Digital Library and Repositories Manager at the University of Leeds. As part of her role, she manages three repositories: White Rose Research Online, White Rose eTheses Online, and Leeds Digital Collections. Also works on digital access and digitization projects, as well as offering a digitization service and copyright advisory service. Jodie outlined her involvement in various projects with other universities and organizations in the UK, such as LIFE-SHARE, RePosit, AQuA and SPRUCE. Double noted that VR professional created digital libraries before it was fashionable and are used to adapting. Stated that technological changes mean that collection content can now go everywhere, and that databases no longer stand alone, but information is mixed and mashed. She emphasized the importance of participating in institutional change, as well as selling the idea of preservation and research, with collections being used as research tools.
Questions at the end of the session addressed issues such as whether VR roles are shifting more towards librarianship, how VR sessions for students are promoted, if VR staff are increasingly being called upon to teach History of Art classes, and how much time is now spent on technology as opposed to content creation, as well as ideas for self-promotion within an institution. Vicky Brown closed the session by asking for final suggestions. These ranged from recommendations on not taking work home and refusing unwanted additional tasks, to advocating for yourself and not staying late at work just for the sake of it. It was also noted that it is not only a Library Science background that is useful for a VR career and other areas, such as educational technology, are also beneficial.PowerPoint: http://www.slideshare.net/VisResAssoc/vra-2012-emerging-new-roles-moving-with-the-changing-landscape
Thursday, April 18
Session: Engaging New Technologies
PowerPoint presentations only
Session: Archival Collections/Case Studies
Summary by Beth Wodnick (Princeton University)
Trevor Alvord, James Madison University
Claire Dienes, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Shalimar Fojas White, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
This Case Studies Session started with Trevor Alvord, the Head of Special Collections at James Madison University, giving a brief history of James Madison University and the Shenandoah Valley National Park as it relates to the oral history project on which he presented. His presentation, “Delivering oral histories,” focused on the Shenandoah National Park Oral History Collection which, according to the project’s website, “consists of 135 interviews of people who were living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia prior to the creation of the Shenandoah National Park. Most of the interviewees resided on land that was claimed by eminent domain by the commonwealth of Virginia and subsequently turned over to the US government in the 1930s.”
The recordings were taken many years after the residents were forced from their land, but there were still obstacles in digitally preserving and presenting these histories in an online format. The recordings were donated to JMU by the Department of the Interior. The donation included with it 90 release forms for the 135 oral histories. Because of Virginia law, the histories with no release form could not be made available to the public until 20 years after the interviewee’s death. This meant that Trevor and his team had to document and prove the dates of death of all of the 45 histories that did not come with a signed release. Once the deaths were documented and the 20 years had passed, then JMU had the legal right to allow access to the recording. Some recordings are still unreleased, awaiting the 20 year time to expire.
Another challenge came in the fact that these are oral histories and came with little or no visual content. This can make it difficult to create a dynamic and interesting website, but also poses a challenge in how best to incorporate the images that do exist with the proper audio recording. A collection website was built and MDID was used to properly link the visual imagery, audio recordings and written transcripts. MDID was also used to restrict access to that information that is not allowed to be accessed at this time, but may be available in the future.
Rich cataloging was provided for each history using full names and locations, when available. In the future, the hope is to be able to geo-place the location names to a map. The transcripts are also keyword searchable. The website is still a work in progress, but has been well publicized by James Madison University and local newspapers and has attracted attention from many local people hoping to learn more about their family history.
The next speaker was Claire Dienes from the Digital Media Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her talk, titled “The Metropolitan Museum of Art Special Exhibition Galleries Views 1970-2004: an assessment and preservation initiative” discussed the museum’s strategy for digitizing a large collection of color 35mm photography documenting special exhibition gallery views at the Met from 1970-2004.
Claire described in detail the Scope and Goals of the digitization project, including plans for full cataloguing of each image, making the collection available through ARTstor and other online platforms including the museum’s website, and preserving the original film collection.
The Met had many in-house tasks related to the digitization. They had to select which slides would be digitized, preserve those slides before scanning, inventory the slides, catalogue them and eventually archive them. A third party was responsible for the actual digitization of the images, in both JPG and TIF formats, resulting in 50-60MB archival files. The third party was also responsible for quality-checking, including cropping and tonally adjusting the images.
Because the original slide collection is so large, parameters for digitization had to be established. Claire explained that they chose 1970 as the earliest year because that is when color photography of exhibitions started, and 2004 as the last year because that is when digital images consistently overtook film photography. It was also decided that only 5,000 images would be digitized. Setting these two parameters meant that only a fraction of the available material would be represented. However, within these guidelines, there needed to be representation across all 17 curatorial departments in the museum and equal representation across the designated timeframe (1970-2004). It was also established that gallery views that had already been digitized would not be re-digitized as part of this project.
When choosing individual images to be digitized, Claire and her team had to establish that the Museum owned the copyright to the image, that the image was what they considered a “gallery view”, that no two images were near duplicates and that there were no recognizable people in the image. They also chose to exclude images from exhibitions that may have copyright issues, including those whose titles include the names of living artists or artists with particularly active estates, and exhibitions of private collections.
Each image was thoroughly catalogued with four types of metadata: descriptive, technical, source, and rights. This is mostly for in-house use and not all of this information will make it to ARTstor. The project had a two-year timeline and slides were divided into 10 batches of 500 slides with each batch taking about 2 months to complete including selection, cleaning, inventorying, pre-cataloging, cataloging, refiling the slides and updating any paperwork. The project included 15 or so interns and volunteers and would not have run smoothly without their help.
There has also been significant internal outreach to help promote the project including an all-staff meeting presentation and mentions in the staff newsletter which has resulted in the material already being used by museum staff. External outreach will begin once the images are in ARTstor. There are also plans to add the collection to WATSONLINE, and to add born-digital content from 2004-2010 to the collection bringing the views to 10,000 total. This is just the beginning of digitizing the archive!
The third and final speaker of the session was Shalimar Fojas White of the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. Her presentation, titled “The Artamonoff Business: Using Collections Research for Outreach and Strategic Communication”, focused on how one collection of images was used to increase awareness of the ICFA.
When Shalimar started at the ICFA, there were some problems that she felt needed to be addressed. In the collection of over 500,000 items, there was no complete inventory, only a small, specialized audience of users and a lack of resources. In order to address these problems, she came up with a plan to highlight one of the collections. This plan included adding complete metadata to an already digitized set of materials that would appeal to a broad, non-scholarly audience; partnering with a local university to recruit interns to help with the research that would enhance the collection and aid with inventory; and collaborating with scholars, librarians, archivists, and programmers to further project development by creating an online exhibit with open-source software. Once this was complete, the project would be promoted through multiple channels, thus increasing awareness of the ICFA and its other collections.
The collection that was chosen for this project included 500 images taken by Nicholas Artamonoff during his time in Turkey, 1935-1945. Shalimar reached out to George Washington University and connected with an undergrad who served as her intern throughout the project. This connection proved to be invaluable as the intern did a lot of research to find out more about Artamonoff. She found school records, employment records, and other leads that allowed them to piece together his entire life, significantly enriching the collection and creating connections that would later be used to publicize the work that had been done.
Once the images were catalogued, including geolocation data, Omeka, open source software, was used to create a website (http://icfa.doaks.org/collections/artamonoff/). Once the website was complete, promotion of the site began, including creating bookmarks and sending notices to listservs, which led to articles in the Harvard Gazette and a talk at the American Friends of Turkey. The project has brought significantly more attention to the ICFA, both within Dumbarton Oaks and externally. It proved that this idea can work to help bring attention to other collections within ICFA, resulting in increased institutional support. It also resulted in an established internship program with George Washington University and a successful template for future projects.
After Shalimar’s presentation, the floor was opened up to questions. One question was for Shalimar, asking for any advice for “do-it-yourselfers”. Shalimar responded that Ancestry.com and government records are good places to start for research and that Omeka can help to put a website together. The second and last question was for Trevor and asked if the strict Virginia copyright laws (regarding not having a signed release and needing to wait until 20 years after the person’s death) also applied to portraits taken in a public setting. Trevor replied that the law was all-encompassing.
Session: Fair Use Guidelines Q&A Forum
Summary by Molly Tighe (The Mattress Factory)
Allan Kohl, Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Cara Hirsch, ARTstor
Gretchen Wagner, ARTstor
Allan Kohl began the session with an overview of efforts undertaken in the past two decades to provide clarity and guidance on the application of Fair Use, the oft-misunderstood component of the United States Copyright Law that allows for use of copyrighted material for the purpose of “criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.” His discussion included efforts to provide guidance on the application of Fair Use following the unresolved conclusion of the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU) efforts and the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp addressing exact copies of public domain images, both which occurred in 1998.
Of the VRA Intellectual Property Rights Committee projects to provide guidance on Fair Use of images, Allan pointed to the Image Collection Guidelines produced in 1998 (http://www.vraweb.org/resources/ipr/guidelines.html) , the Copy-photography Computator in 2001 (http://www.vraweb.org/resources/ipr/computator/index.html) , and the Digital Image Rights Calculator (http://www.vraweb.org/resources/ipr/dirc/index.html) which was introduced to the College Art Association, the Art Libraries Society, and the VRA in 2006 and released in 2007. Alan also discussed efforts to provide guidance on application of Fair Use and to promote public media in the networked digital environment at the Center for Social Media (http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org).
Next, Cara Hirsch discussed how courts have consistently looked to customs and practices within communities when considering applications of Fair Use and the increased awareness of the benefits of establishing formal best practices and establishing codes of use. Cara described particular challenges within the documentary filmmaker’s community of relying on Fair Use and the inability of these content creators to obtain the errors and omissions insurance required for television broadcast when relying on Fair Use. In response to these challenges, the documentary film community worked with legal scholars to draft the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practice in Fair use (http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/best-practices/documentary/documentary-filmmakers-statement-best-practices-fair-use ), a code which has received wide acclaim and addressed the errors and omissions insurance issue. Cara then described best practice for Fair Use guidelines available through the Center for Social Media website, including: The Code of Best Practice for Fair use of Online Video (http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/related-materials/codes/code-best-practices-fair-use-online-video) and the Fair Use for Scholarly Use for Research in Communication (http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/related-materials/codes/code-best-practices-fair-use-scholarly-research-communication) .
Gretchen Wagner began with an overview of the VRA Statement on Fair Use, explaining that the statement applies to use of images, uses within the United States and uses of copyrighted works (not public domain works). She continued that the statement addresses six common use case scenarios relating to teaching, research, and study and that many other uses might also be fair. Contracts are not covered in the statement.
Gretchen discussed the process of crafting the statement as relying heavily on the expertise of the VRA Intellectual Property Rights Committee and VRA membership, as well as a team of preeminent legal experts with a variety of copyright and IP experience. Each of the legal scholars was in complete consensus that the uses described in the statement are fair.
A brief overview of the statement, including the introduction focusing on non-profit, educational nature of uses and the lack of economic impact of uses within the VR community followed along with a discussion of a carve-out expressed for photographer or vendor licensed images. Gretchen described suggestions regarding using terms and conditions of use or limiting the audience as a demonstration of good faith efforts to use works fairly, though the Fair Use statute does not list these as requirements. Next, Gretchen surveyed the first five case studies, noting that terms and conditions of use for images on course websites and non-commercial educational context in regard to adaptations will strengthen Fair Use assertions.
The sixth case study addresses use of images in theses and dissertations and Gretchen discussed the crisis in academic publishing resulting from permissions requirements of academic publishers. Gretchen described the impracticality of publishers requiring students to attain permission for image uses in academic work and the impact of such requirements on scholarship. The statement places the uses of images in theses and dissertations within the context of free speech and Gretchen urged the VR community to take a more practiced stance with online publishers of theses and dissertations. Allan briefly mentioned that the greater academic community recognizes the crisis in publishing and that the College Association Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the VRA statement.
As the floor was opened to questions, a discussion of how the community can push back against the requirements of online publishers regarding theses and dissertations focused on presenting the evidence of scholarly impact to publishers and offering to work with them to attain errors and omissions insurance, help them revise their contracts, or suggesting they enact an online service provider provision. Additional questions focused on content creators, licensing options available to them and the carve-out in the statement for content creators, both individual and organizations. Limited duration licenses and limited geographic licenses were discussed as a impacting of the availability of e-books available for VR collection development and the College Art Associations current investigations into the crisis in art history publishing.
Additional questions addressed uses by undergraduate and faculty, uses on the open web as opposed to on course websites, and uses that could have an economic impact. With several scenarios, Gretchen addressed questions of risk management being determined at an institutional level. A discussion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights followed upon a comparison of varying notions of copyright internationally and the lack of precedent of governing laws when works are published internationally on the Internet followed.
The session closed with a brief discussion of the need for balance among content creators, content users, and academic content publishers and an exhortation to the VR community to share the Fair use Statement with colleagues, counsel, and other stake-holders.
Submitted by Rebecca Moss (University of Minnesota)
VRA Midwest is planning a joint fall meeting with ARLIS Midstates in Madison, Wisconsin September 28-29, 2012. More details will be posted on the VRA listserv as they become available.
New England Chapter and the Greater New York Chapter Joint Meeting
Submitted by Claire Dienes (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
The New England Chapter and the Greater New York Chapter held a joint spring meeting on Friday, May 11, 2012 at The Bellarmine Museum of Art (BMA) at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. The meeting and program was organized and hosted by Carey Mack Weber, who is a member of both chapters, and a former Chair of the NE Chapter. It was a beautiful day and a great time was had by all. Carey put together a fantastic program that attracted over 50 guests that included a catered breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack as well as the following agenda:
“Visual Resources at Yale: Recent Trends and New Developments”
Presenters: Robert Carlucci, Manager, Visual Resources Collections, Yale University and Carolyn Caizzi, Digital Projects Manager, Yale University Library
“Opening Access to Works in the Public Domain at Yale”
Presenter: Melissa Gold Fournier, Associate Registrar & Manager of Imaging Services, Yale Center for British Art
“Shared Shelf Demonstration”
Presenters: Jenni Rodda, Manager, Digital Media Services and Image Archive, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and Marty Kelly, Visual Resources Librarian, Colby College
Individual chapter business meetings were held along with the following guided tours:
Exhibition Immortality of the Spirit: Chinese Funerary Art from the Han and Tang Dynasties, with Dr. Ive Covaci, Lecturer, Art History Department, Fairfield University
The Samuel Kress Collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Paintings in the permanent collection of the BMA with Museum director, Dr. Jill Deupi
The DiMenna-Nyselius Library with Keith Stetson, Collection Development Librarian
Greater New York Chapter members Jenni Rodda, Manager, Digital Media Services and Image Archive, NYU/Institute of Fine Arts and Trudy Jacoby, Director, Visual Resources Collection, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University will be organizing and participating in a session at the 2013 College Art Association conference (in NYC). The panel tentatively titled "Archaeology Archives: Excavating the Record,” will bring to light important archives associated with archaeological excavations traditionally sponsored by academic institutions. These archives, largely hidden to all but a handful of scholars and usually known primarily by word of mouth, are now being made visible through the use of new technologies and creative collaborations among and within the sponsoring institutions. Speakers will present case studies detailing those collaborations among library, technical services, and digital media staffs that bring important scholarly records to a wider scholarly audience.
Northern California Chapter
Submitted by Abigail Dansiger (Academy of Art University)
The VRA Northern California chapter co-hosted its spring meeting with the ARLIS/NA Northern California chapter at Mills College in Oakland, California on April 27, 2012. After enjoying refreshments and mingling with ARLIS members, we called our business meeting to order. We exchanged ideas about location possibilities for the second joint VRA California chapter’s mini-conference (a.k.a. CaVRACon) for summer 2013, and the possibility of using Go-to-Meeting to hold a virtual meeting with the VRA Southern California chapter this fall. There was also a lively discussion of the benefits of a Northern California chapter membership, which included suggestions for reaching out to both new and lapsed members.
Our group was then treated to a series of wonderful tours around the Mills campus. Rob Borges, a graduate teaching assistant, gave a tour of the Book Arts Press studio space where projects range from letterpress and experimental printmaking to the study of book structures. Hannah Tandeta, Visual Resources Curator at Mills, then gave a tour of the Visual Resources Center, which included a glimpse of the digitization efforts taking place in the slide library. Following a lunch break at the campus dining hall, we received an architectural tour led by Karen Fiene, Campus Architect, which included the lobby and “garden” of the LEED Platinum Natural Science building as well as the beautifully restored concert hall of the 80-year-old Music Building. Our visit to Mills concluded in the Heller Rare Book Room with Janice Braun displaying treasures from the Special Collections, which included contemporary artists books by Mills faculty member Julie Chen, a volume of Chaucer designed by William Morris, and a lovely little gardening book printed in 1638.
Submitted by Katherine Moloney (Amon Carter Museum of American Art)
The Texas chapter had a small but enthusiastic group meeting during the recent conference in Albuquerque. Buoyed by the higher elevation, plans were made for a dramatically different fall meeting to be held in Dallas at Southern Methodist University. Details will be shared with chapter members this summer.
The chapter continues its commitment to the professional development of our members with an unprecedented three stipends awarded this spring. Coupled with the chapter donation to SEI 2012, which will be attended by some of our chapter members, we hope to encourage all VRA members to consider participating in VRA in a variety of ways.