6.0256 Getty Conference: Electronic Information (2/434)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 30 Sep 1992 18:21:31 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 6, No. 0256. Wednesday, 30 Sep 1992.

(1) Date: Tue, 29 Sep 92 12:11 PDT (411 lines)
From: Susan Siegfried <ENQ91SS@UCLAMVS.BITNET>
Subject: press release 1

(2) Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1992 15:44 EDT (23 lines)
From: "Peter Graham, Rutgers U., (908) 932-2741"
Subject: Getty Press Release "1"

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 92 12:11 PDT
From: Susan Siegfried <ENQ91SS@UCLAMVS.BITNET>
Subject: press release 1

Press Information

Date: September 24, 1992

For Release: Immediate

Contact: Philippa Calnan
Director, Public Affairs
Ruth Goldway
Manager, Public Affairs


National Forum on Information Technology Considers
Strategies for Collaboration In the Humanities

Irvine, Calif.--

* Is computer technology a powerful force for
democratizing education, or fundamentally elitist?

* Will classrooms, libraries, and universities as we know
them become obsolete?

* Will the computer industry, university administrators,
scientists, and/or humanists make future decisions about
technology in higher education?

These are among the critical questions to be explored at
"Technology, Scholarship, and the Humanities: The Implications of
Electronic Information," a national forum organized by the Getty Art
History Information Program and the American Council of Learned
Societies, and co-sponsored by the Coalition for Networked Information,
the Council on Library Resources, and The Research Libraries Group.
The conference convenes on Wednesday, September 30, and continues
through Friday, October 2, at the Mabel and Arnold Beckman Center of
the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine,
California. More than 60 scholars, museum directors, information
specialists, librarians, archivists, university administrators, and
leaders of professional organizations and foundations will address
current trends in information technology at a national policy level.

Facing an information explosion occurring at exponential rates, a
30-year low in state and federal support for higher education, and an
information technology system driven by the sciences and the computing
professions, supporters of the humanities are confronted with hard
choices. They recognize that advances in electronic information have
the potential to expand research and teaching opportunities, but may
also result in sharp cuts in current programs, a low priority given to
humanities scholarship, and reduced access to education for lower-
income students.

Conference participants will break into working groups to explore
the future of information technology and the humanities in five
principal areas: intellectual pursuits; academic professional
implications; sociology of knowledge; institutional policies; and
national cooperation and policy-making. They will respond to
challenging and insightful position papers that, among other
suggestions, call for a national system for cooperative collection
development and greater involvement of humanities scholars in key
decision-making bodies. Each group will develop its own
recommendations for future action. In the final plenary sessions
scheduled for October 2, these policy proposals will be considered for
adoption by the assembly.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President of
Brown University, former President of the New York Public Library and
an internationally respected leader in information automation and
liberal arts education. Described by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. as a man
with the "talents of a missionary and a showman," Dr. Gregorian
directed the computerization of one of the largest card catalogs in the
world and a $400 million facilities restoration during his tenure with
the New York Public Library. He currently presides over one of the
nation's most prestigious Ivy League universities and the only one
without a standard "core curriculum."

According to Michael Ester, Director of the Getty Art History
Information Program, and a conference sponsor, "Technology is by no
means a neutral force. The electronic medium can as easily inhibit as
it can vastly extend the reach of research, by the kinds of information
that are automated and by the access and use that are possible. This
conference brings together representatives from major segments of the
academic community--scholars, managers of the information scholars use,
experts in technology, and those responsible for leading institutions
of learning into the next century. Their ability to interpret the
impact of technology, and their specific recommendations for how to
respond collectively to its opportunities and challenges, will offer
valuable guidance for shaping national policies on the future academic

The five distinguished authors of the papers prepared in advance
for the working groups are: Oleg Grabar, Professor, School of
Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, who has
written about "The Intellectual Implications of Electronic
Information"; Carolyn Lougee, Senior Associate Dean of the School of
Humanities and Sciences and Professor of History, Stanford University,
who has addressed "The Professional Implications of Electronic
Information"; Richard Lanham, Professor of English, University of
California, Los Angeles, who has explored "The Implications of
Electronic Information for the Sociology of Knowledge"; William Y.
Arms, Vice President for Computing Services, Carnegie-Mellon
University, who has considered "The Institutional Implications of
Electronic Information"; and Lawrence Dowler, Associate Librarian for
Public Services, Widener Library, Harvard University, who has written
about "The Implications of Electronic Information for National

"This is a moment of crucial opportunity for humanities scholars.
Intellectual movements are tending to eliminate the barriers between
traditional academic disciplines, a development being reinforced by the
fundamental technological transformations that libraries are
undergoing," explains Stanley Katz, President of the American Council
of Learned Societies, and a conference sponsor. "We see both the
potential for increasing interdisciplinary studies and innovative
teaching, and the risks for the liberal arts curriculum and for
scholars and students needing access to information. We hope this
conference will consider national strategies to ensure that the
humanities are represented along with the sciences in the creation of
national technology standards, to provide adequate funding for
humanities scholarship, and to involve scholars in decisions resulting
from the changes technology is making on teaching, tenure, and
knowledge itself."

Later this fall, a brochure announcing the main results of the
conference will be widely distributed to the academic, technological,
and institutional communities addressed through the conference. A
summary and proceedings of the conference and its recommendations will
be published by the conference sponsors in 1993, in both conventional
and electronic form. It is hoped that the document will serve as the
basis of programmatic planning for the future. To request copies of
the brochure and of the summary and proceedings and for additional
information, please contact Susan Siegfried, the Getty Art History
Information Program, 401 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1100, Santa Monica,
CA 90401-1455, (310) 451-6366 or, by fax, (310) 451-5570.
# # #

Note to Editors:

Members of the press who would like to attend the keynote address by
Dr. Gregorian and/or the plenary sessions and workshops are welcome.
To make arrangements please call Ruth Goldway, Public Affairs Manager,
the J. Paul Getty Trust, 401 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica,
California 90401-1455, (310) 451-6471.


Michael Ester
The Getty Art History Information Program
401 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1100
Santa Monica, California 90401-1455
(310) 395-1025
(310) 451-4470 fax
E-Mail ADDRESS internet: enq94me@mvs.oac.ucla.edu
bitnet: enq94me@uclamvs

Stanley Katz
American Council of Learned Societies
228 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017-3398
(212) 697-1505
(212) 949-8058 fax
E-MAIL ADDRESS: snkatz@pucc.princeton.edu

W. David Penniman
Council on Library Resources
1785 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Suite 313
Washington, D.C. 20036-2117
(202) 483-7474
(202) 483-6410 fax
E-MAIL ADDRESS: bitnet: penniman@gwuvm

Paul Evan Peters
Coalition for Networked Information
1527 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 232-2466
(202) 462-7849 fax
E-MAIL ADDRESS: paul@cni.org

John Haeger
Vice President for Programs and Planning
The Research Libraries Group, Inc.
1200 Villa Street
Mountain View, CA 94041-1100
(415) 962-9951
(415) 964-0943 fax
E-MAIL ADDRESS: bl.jwh@rlg.bitnet


The Getty Art History Information Program (AHIP), one of seven
operating programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust, seeks to make art-
historical information more accessible to scholars and researchers
through the use of advanced computer technology. It does so by
promoting common perspectives and standards among international
institutions and organizations on projects in three general areas:
coordinating vocabularies to facilitate consistent data entry and
retrieval; providing bibliographic services; and assembling art
historical databases. AHIP plays a catalytic role in helping to focus
attention on the collective challenges facing the information community
in the coming decade. Among AHIP's projects are the Art and
Architecture Thesaurus, the Bibliography of the History of Art, the
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, the Provenance Index, the
Witt Computer Index, and the Getty Study of Online Searching by


The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a private non-
profit federation of fifty-two national scholarly organizations. The
purpose of the Council, as set forth in its constitution, is "the
advancement of humanistic studies and the maintenance and strengthening
of relations among the national societies devoted to such studies."
Included in the program of the Council are awards to individual
scholars to advance research in the humanities and humanistic aspects
of the social sciences; support for international scholarly research
and exchanges; activities concerned with the identification of present
and future needs of humanistic scholarship, and planning and
development to meet these needs; and organizational functions. In
addition, the Council has fiscal and administrative oversight for the
Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) which administers
the Fulbright program.

Organized in 1919 and incorporated in the District of Columbia in
1924, the ACLS was granted a federal charter through the United States
Congress in 1982.


The Coalition for Networked Information was founded in March 1990
to help realize the promise of advanced networks and high performance
computing for information access and delivery. The Coalition was
established by three associations: The Association of Research
Libraries (ARL), CAUSE and EDUCOM. ARL is an association promoting
equitable access and effective use of recorded knowledge supporting
teaching, research, and scholarship. CAUSE and EDUCOM are dedicated to
introducing, using, and managing information technology and related
resources in research in general and higher education. The Coalition
for Networked Information promotes the creation of access to
information resources in networked environments in order to enrich
scholarship and enhance intellectual productivity.

A Task Force of institutions and organizations able and willing to
contribute resources and attention to the mission of the Coalition was
created in 1990 and continues to grow. This Task Force now provides a
common vehicle by which nearly 170 institutions and organizations
pursue a shared vision of information management and how it must change
in the 1990s to meet the social, educational, and economic
opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. Members of the Task
Force include higher education institutions, publishers, network
service providers, computer hardware, software, and systems companies,
library networks and organizations and public and state libraries.


The Council on Library Resources was founded in 1956 with support
from the Ford Foundation to aid in the solution of the problems of
libraries generally, and research libraries particularly, by putting
emerging technologies to use in order to improve operating performance
and expand library services. While continuing its initial
concentration on technological applications in libraries, the Council
has gradually expanded its focus to reflect changing needs and
opportunities in areas such as linking computer systems, making library
management more effective, improving access to library materials,
addressing international concerns, exploring cooperative approaches,
and enhancing the skills of librarians. The Council now derives its
support from a number of foundations in areas consonant with their
program interests. The areas currently receiving attention include
human resources, the economics of information services, infrastructure,
and access and processing.


The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RLG) is a not-for-profit
membership corporation of more than 120 universities, archives,
historical societies, museums, and other institutions devoted to
improving access to information that supports research and learning.
RLG owns and operates RLIN(R) (the Research Libraries Information
Network) to serve the research and information management needs of both
its members and nonmember institutions and individuals worldwide.

RLG'S objectives for the 1990s include:

* to support cooperative solutions among research libraries,
archives, museums, and related repositories;

* to create an information delivery service capable of putting
catalog, index, abstract, full-text, and image information
directly into the hands of scholars and students;

* to manage coordinated preservation projects that extend
models developed for the preservation of brittle paper
materials to photographs and electronic media;

* to develop a local computer system serving archives, museums,
and related repositories, linked to an increasingly
comprehensive database of primary cultural and scientific
information; and

* to facilitate the most effective access to information

RLG membership is open to any nonprofit institution with an
educational, cultural, or scientific mission.

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------36----
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1992 15:44 EDT
From: "Peter Graham, Rutgers U., (908) 932-2741" <GRAHAM@ZODIAC.BITNET>
Subject: Getty Press Release "1"

This is not the first time that the Getty has arranged or announced a
conference on a significant topic with little or no lead time. The private
nature of the conference, though attended by apparently useful groups and
people, combined with the timing of the announcment (inviting "coverage" at
a press meeting to be held on the day after the message) transmits a sense
of noblesse oblige which several of the organizations involved, certainly
including the Getty, need to be careful not to project.

The position papers to be distributed sound interesting and we all look
forward to seeing them as announced in the release. It may be the case that
the discussion in the broader community stimulated by these papers might be of
interest to those at the meeting, but they will not have the opportunity to
take advantage of such discussion. The phrase in the release that
policy proposals will be considered for
adoption by the assembly" implies a decision-making mode of a more global
nature than I suspect is intended.

--Peter Graham, Rutgers University