13.0537 lit & Internet; for-profit heritage; business model

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 14:17:32 CUT

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                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 537.
          Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

      [1] From: Roy Johnson <Roy@mantex.co.uk> (9)
            From: Chris Ann Matteo <chrisann@walrus.com> (2)
            Subject: (Fwd) Literature and the Internet (fwd)
            From: Howard Gaskill <p.h.gaskill@cwcom.net> ( )
            Subject: (Fwd) Literature and the Internet

      [2] From: "David L. Green" <david@ninch.org> (46)
            Subject: FATHOM.COM: A New For-Profit Cultural Heritage Venture
                    Announced by US & UK Partners

      [3] From: Kathlin Smith <ksmith@clir.org> (15)
            From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> (10)
            Subject: CLIR REPORT: Managing Cultural Assets from a Business

            Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 15:11:08 +0100
            From: Roy Johnson <Roy@mantex.co.uk>
            Subject: Literature and the Internet

            For those who might be interested, we have just posted
            a review of a new book on literature and the Internet.

            Stephanie Browner, Stephen Pulsford, and Richard Sears,
            'Literature and the Internet: A Guide for Students,
            Teachers, and Scholars', London/New York: Garland,
            2000, pp.191, ISBN 0815334532


            Dr Roy Johnson    |  MANTEX Information Design            
            roy@mantex.co.uk  |  http://www.mantex.co.uk

    --[2]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 13:52:47 -0700 From: "David L. Green" <david@ninch.org> Subject: FATHOM.COM: A New For-Profit Cultural Heritage Venture Announced by US & UK Partners

    NINCH ANNOUNCEMENT News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources from across the Community April 8, 2000

    FATHOM.COM: A New For-Profit Collaborative Venture Announced by US & UK Partners "The premier site for knowledge and education on the web" http://www.fathom.com/pressreleases/04032000.html

    Following up on the notice last week about the ambitions of Questia, is this announcement from six transatlantic nonprofit educational and cultural institutions about a new for-profit venture to distribute educational materials to business and individual users.

    David Green ===========


    Founding Partners: Columbia University, The London School of Economics and Political Science, Cambridge University Press, The British Library, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, and The New York Public Library

    NEW YORK AND LONDON, April 3, 2000 -- Six of the world's leading educational and cultural institutions announced today that they will create Fathom, a new company formed to launch the premier site for knowledge and education on the web. Fathom will present the best public content and courses of universities, libraries, and museums on a wide variety of professional, cultural, and academic subjects. The consortium's website, Fathom.com, will introduce the first home for authenticated knowledge on the Internet, serving a worldwide audience of business and individual users.

    Much of Fathom's content has never been available outside of the participating institutions. Founding partners who will make their educational and cultural resources available through Fathom include Columbia University, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Cambridge University Press, the British Library, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, and The New York Public Library. Other institutions are expected to join the consortium. During the year-long development of Fathom, partners have invested invaluable intellectual assets and substantial financial resources. An experienced Internet team, headed up by President and CEO Ann Kirschner, Ph.D., manages the business, overseen by a distinguished board of directors of international business executives and by an Academic Council of leading scholars and researchers.

    "Today, most initiatives by educational institutions are focused on courses," she continued. "Courses are important, and courses for distance learning will be one of the offerings provided by some partners through Fathom. But learning is not limited to the classroom, and the many other types of content provided through Fathom will provide a more complete and accessible context for knowledge. We believe that Fathom will define the transformation of the online learning category into a broader interactive knowledge marketplace," Dr. Kirschner said. Fathom will include a comprehensive directory of related online courses offered by universities and cultural institutions, plus textbooks and other academic titles, specialized periodicals, individual articles and other publications, CD-ROMs, academic travel, and learning resources. Users will access online courses through Fathom, with tuition fees, accreditation, and admission policies set at the discretion of the offering university or cultural institution.

    Central to Fathom will be a wealth of free content usually only available on university campuses and at leading museums and libraries. This content will include multimedia lectures, seminars, databases, publications, and performances. Working directly with the prominent faculty and curators of these institutions, Fathom will cover a wide range of subjects such as business, law, economics, social sciences, medicine, computer science and technology, the arts, journalism, and physics. Fathom users will explore topics of interest to them professionally and personally. They will have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with the leading experts in their field. Fathom's unique architecture will provide a powerful "search and explore capability" that will allow users to follow their interests, independently or with expert guidance, across the widest possible range of subjects.

    "Fathom reaffirms the founding principles of the Internet," said Dr. Kirschner. "By providing global access to these resources, Fathom holds the promise of knowledge without boundaries and offers a new medium for the exchange of ideas. It points ahead to a future where the acquisition and application of knowledge can be independent of economic status, time constraints, and geographic location. Fathom and its partners are committed to creating a dynamic home for knowledge."

    All Fathom original content will be authenticated, meaning that the knowledge will be attributed to the appropriate educational or cultural institution and its faculty or professional staff. Fathom's standards of academic and editorial integrity will be monitored by the Fathom Academic Council, a panel of selected senior faculty and curators from participating institutions, which will be chaired by Jonathan Cole, Ph.D., Provost and Dean of Faculties, Columbia University.

    Examples of Fathom content currently in development include:

    * An oral history research project that includes 7,000 in-depth personal interviews, conducted over 50 years, with leaders from business, politics, and the arts, including, Frank Lloyd Wright, Dorothy Parker, Nikita Khrushchev, and Jimmy Stewart (from Columbia University);

    * Excerpts from the field journals of a preeminent anthropologist of the 20th century, William Duncan Strong (1899-1962) (from the Smithsonian Institution's National Anthropological Archives at the National Museum of Natural History);

    * An overview of the provocative new science of astrobiology, which brings together molecular life sciences, space exploration, planetary science and the search for extraterrestrials, by astronomer and editor Dr. Simon Mitton (from Cambridge University Press);

    * A talk on "The Weightless Economy," the shift from a world of manufacturing to a world of weightless services, by economist Professor Danny Quah (from the London School of Economics and Political Science);

    * Multimedia presentations that bring to life treasured objects, from the Magna Carta to the Lindisfarne Gospels (from the British Library);

    * A collection of over 54,000 photographic views of New York City that mark the development of the city, its architectural achievements, transportation system, and ethnic and cultural diversity (from The New York Public Library).

    Developed by top universities, Fathom will be the leading online destination for high-quality knowledge and education, a rapidly growing marketplace.

    Significant growth in online education is expected over the next few years. According to IDC, the size of the U.S. market for distance learning is already $2 billion and is projected to be $6 billion in 2002 and $9 billion by 2003, a growing component of the $750 billion higher education market in the U.S. alone. Enrollment in online programs is expected to increase at an annual rate of 30-35 percent.

    "The fit between the Fathom business model, the vast intellectual capital of the founding partners, and the talented management team in place at Fathom is exactly what you want to see when forging a vibrant new space on the Internet," said Michael M. Crow, Ph.D., Columbia University Executive Vice Provost. "We see an enormous need developing for this new interactive knowledge category. Fathom will meet that need with a combination of the technology we have developed and the best possible content provided by our distinguished partners."

    In addition to Dr. Crow and Dr. Kirschner, Fathom's international board of directors will include former chairman of Goldman Sachs Stephen Friedman, commissioner of the National Basketball Association David Stern, chairman of Enterprise LSE and former director of Shell International Keith Mackrell, and chairman and CEO of MBNA Corporation Alfred Lerner.

    "Fathom embraces the principles upon which the great learning institutions of the world were founded-to create a community where ideas flourish, to stimulate intellectual curiosity, and to aid in professional development. Fathom will harness the power of the Internet to enhance the learning experience while upholding the highest professional and scholarly standards," Dr. Kirschner said.

    Columbia University - London School of Economics and Political Science - Cambridge University Press - The British Library - Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History - The New York Public Library

    ============================================================== NINCH-Anounce is an announcement listserv, produced by the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH). The subjects of announcements are not the projects of NINCH, unless otherwise noted; neither does NINCH necessarily endorse the subje cts of announcements. We attempt to credit all re-distributed news and announcements and appreciate reciprocal credit.

    For questions, comments or requests to un-subscribe, contact the editor: <mailto:david@ninch.org> ============================================================== See and search back issues of NINCH-ANNOUNCE at <http://www.cni.org/Hforums/ninch-announce/>. ==============================================================

    --[3]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Mon, 10 Apr 00 15:47:28 -0700 From: Kathlin Smith <ksmith@clir.org>

    Report Describes Risk-Assessment Model for Managing Cultural Assets

    Washington, D.C.-The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), in cooperation with the Library of Congress (LC), has published Managing Cultural Assets from a Business Perspective, by Laura Price, of KPMG LLP, and Abby Smith, of CLIR. The report describes how LC developed and implemented a plan for greater accountability over its collections.

    Libraries acquire their collections to meet the needs of their present and future users. The collections, and the services that make them accessible, are essential to fulfilling the library's mission. Most libraries have focused more on the costs of acquiring and maintaining collections than on their potential as assets that are vital to institutional productivity.

    This report presents a model for the management of library and archival collections that defines collections as core assets and seeks to make them maximally productive while controlling risks to their integrity. The model is not based on the monetary value of library holdings. Instead, it focuses on business risk and proposes a framework of controls to minimize the risks that threaten the viability of those assets. It is not always evident which investments in collection development, preservation, and security will best serve the collections at a given time. With this model, managers can identify priorities for institutional investments in collections and make more compelling budget justifications for necessary resources, because the relationship between the library's assets and its mission work is made explicit to financial decision makers.

    The fact that the language of this model comes from business, and accounting in particular, is indicative of the new environment in which all cultural institutions find themselves-one in which business increasingly sets standards for operations and accountability. To obtain the necessary resources for mission work, library managers must be able to express and justify their needs in terms familiar to financial officers and funding organizations-in terms of business risk.

    The risk-assessment methodology described in the report has its origins in the efforts of the Library of Congress to better manage its finances and strengthen its core business. Developed to be used in a working national library, the methodology is now an integral part of LC's annual audit. However, the fundamental problems that Library staff faced as they developed the first-ever model to "account" for the well-being of heritage assets are the same as those facing any library-public, private, multimedia, or single-format.

    The report was developed with the cooperation of the Library of Congress through a partnership between the Council on Library and Information Resources and KPMG LLP, an international audit and business advisory firm. The Public Services-Assurance Practice of KPMG LLP developed the business risk model for the Library of Congress and co-wrote the report with CLIR.

    Managing Cultural Assets from a Business Perspective is available from the Council on Library and Information Resources for $15 prepaid, including postage and handling. Checks should be made payable to CLIR and mailed to CLIR Publication Orders, 1755 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C., 20036-2124. Credit card orders may be placed by calling CLIR at 202-939-4750, sending a fax to 202-939-4765, or sending e-mail to mailto:info@clir.org. The full text is also available on CLIR's Web site, http://www.clir.org.

    The Council on Library and Information Resources works in partnership with libraries, archives, and other information providers to advocate collaborative approaches to preserving the nation's intellectual heritage and strengthening the many components of its information system. It works to support institutions as they integrate audiovisual and digital resources and services into their well-established, print-based environments. ============================================================== NINCH-Announce is an announcement listserv, produced by the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH). The subjects of announcements are not the projects of NINCH, unless otherwise noted; neither does NINCH necessarily endorse the subj ects of announcements. We attempt to credit all re-distributed news and announcements and appreciate reciprocal credit.

    For questions, comments or requests to un-subscribe, contact the editor: <mailto:david@ninch.org> ============================================================== See and search back issues of NINCH-ANNOUNCE at <http://www.cni.org/Hforums/ninch-announce/>. ==============================================================

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