14.0793 ArtSTOR & Digital Promise projects

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Wed Apr 11 2001 - 04:58:32 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 793.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> (189)
             Subject: ARTSTOR Announced by Mellon Foundation

       [2] From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> (89)
             Subject: "Digital Promise" project: $18 billion proposal

             Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 09:50:46 +0100
             From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
             Subject: ARTSTOR Announced by Mellon Foundation

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community
    April 10, 2001

                   The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Announces ArtSTOR

    [From the Mellon Foundation Website:]
    April 5, 2001

    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced today that it is undertaking a
    significant new initiative by sponsoring the formation of "ArtSTOR," an
    independent not-for-profit organization that will develop, "store," and
    distribute electronically digital images and related scholarly materials
    for the study of art, architecture, and other fields in the
    humanities. The Foundation also announced that Neil L. Rudenstine will
    lead an advisory group that is being established to guide the development
    of the new entity and will chair its board when it is formally
    established. James L. Shulman will serve as executive director of ArtSTOR.

    ArtSTOR's mission will be to provide access to high quality digital images
    and other relevant materials for teachers, students and scholars at
    educational and cultural institutions. The new organization intends to
    develop collections of these digital materials and related information that
    will be broad and deep enough to meet a range of objectives. ArtSTOR also
    aims to reduce costs for participating institutions by eliminating the need
    for each entity or institution to create its own core archive. In
    addition, ArtSTOR will address issues of sustainability. At present, it is
    often difficult for scholars and institutions that develop valuable digital
    archives to maintain them and make them available under appropriate

    In negotiating the numerous legal and technical issues it will encounter as
    it establishes digital collections of images and related materials, ArtSTOR
    will benefit greatly from the leadership of Mr. Rudenstine, who will assume
    the duties of chairman, on a half-time basis, after leaving the presidency
    of Harvard on July 1 of this year.

    Mr. Rudenstine will work with the Mellon Foundation's president, William G.
    Bowen, and with Mr. Shulman to develop criteria for determining ArtSTOR's
    content, the architecture of the database, policies governing intellectual
    property rights, the method for distributing the content to users in the
    educational and cultural worlds, and a business plan ensuring
    sustainability of the project. ArtSTOR is in the process of applying for
    status as an independent 501(c)(3) public charity; in the interim it is
    being developed as a project of the Mellon Foundation.

    "All of us at the Mellon Foundation are simply delighted that President
    Rudenstine has agreed to make such a substantial commitment of his time and
    talent to the development of the ArtSTOR concept," said Mr. Bowen. "Having
    worked closely with Neil Rudenstine over more than 20 years at Princeton
    and at the Mellon Foundation, I know what an extraordinarily insightful and
    effective leader he is. I believe that his knowledge of the humanities and
    of art history, his exceptional organizational skills, and his familiarity
    with leading scholars in the field qualify him superbly to guide the
    development of this new scholarly resource that has such potential to
    enhance and even alter the study of art. He and James Shulman will make a
    highly effective team, and I look forward with keen anticipation to working
    with them."

    In his own statement, Mr. Rudenstine stresses that: "The formation of
    ArtSTOR represents a significant technological advance that will strengthen
    our capacity to study the field of art and many neighboring fields. We all
    recognize that there is no substitute for direct engagement with original
    works of art or for actual archival study. But the special opportunities
    presented by digital technologies constitute the most fundamental
    development in the potential for increased access and flexibility of use
    since the advent of photographic reproduction. Achieving ArtSTOR's
    objectives will take considerable time and resources. It will also depend
    critically upon the advice and collaboration of many individuals and
    organizations whose experience and knowledge will be invaluable. The
    Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is uniquely suited, by its tradition and the
    interests of its founders, to develop this new initiative. It also has, in
    William Bowen, an outstanding president with whom I have worked as a close
    colleague since the late 1960s, and in James Shulman, a person with the
    executive leadership skills that ArtSTOR will need. I am very enthusiastic
    about the prospect ahead."

    One of ArtSTOR's first major projects will be the construction of an image
    "gallery" that will facilitate the teaching of art history courses, both in
    the US and abroad. It is anticipated that scholars and students with
    access to the database via campus networks will be able to use its
    high-quality images and carefully-documented resources to enrich teaching
    and learning. The projected breadth of ArtSTOR's collection of digital
    images is likely to make it useful not only for students and teachers of
    art, but also for those studying history, anthropology, literature, the
    classics, American studies, and other disciplines.

    "We hope that ArtSTOR will make it easier to teach from images in all sorts
    of classes, not only in art history," Shulman noted. "Moreover, while
    there are very few ways in which technology-or any innovation-can change
    the basic process of solitary scholarship in the humanities, I hope that
    ArtSTOR can introduce some new possibilities. Neil's profound understanding
    of both the work of the scholar and the workings of institutions will add
    so much to our being able to realize ArtSTOR's potential."

    In addition to creating a broadly conceived image gallery, ArtSTOR will
    build and distribute electronically a number of deep scholarly collections,
    including projects sponsored by Mellon as well as by others. For example,
    in an initial pilot project, the Foundation has worked with the Dunhuang
    Research Academy in China, scholars and visual resource experts from
    Northwestern University, and a number of leading libraries and museums
    worldwide to digitize images associated with Buddhist cave grottoes in
    Dunhuang, China and now dispersed throughout the world.

    In creating the "Mellon International Dunhuang Archive," the Foundation has
    learned much about how technology can change the ways in which paintings,
    manuscripts, sculpture, and other objects can best be recorded, accessed,
    presented, and archived. One objective of the Dunhuang project is to
    "re-connect," virtually, the cave paintings with numerous paintings,
    manuscripts, and textiles once at Dunhuang but now dispersed in museums and
    libraries all over the world. The Dunhuang project is an important
    demonstration of one aspect of ArtSTOR's mission: to make accessible that
    which is either difficult to access or (in many cases) entirely inaccessible.

    A second pilot project is underway with the Museum of Modern Art in
    conjunction with LUNA Imaging, Inc. based in Venice, California. The
    digitization of over 6,000 works from the museum's design collection will
    make these holdings available, for the first time and in unprecedented
    ways, combining images of the highest resolution and appropriate text with
    user interfaces and exceptionally flexible search mechanisms. Many of
    these objects, which are of great interest to scholars, are locked away in
    storage and thus not normally available for study.

    The high quality of the Digital Design Collection of MoMA will characterize
    other ArtSTOR collections, in part as the result of an agreement that the
    Mellon Foundation has reached to make wide use of LUNA's Insight software
    which will provide Internet access to collections through its advanced user
    environment for research and teaching. In this and other ways, ArtSTOR
    expects to build upon LUNA's accomplishments and the high standing that the
    company enjoys within the academic and museum communities. Michael Ester,
    president of LUNA Imaging, commented, "ArtSTOR should be able to ensure
    that digital resources are available long-term for academic use while also
    giving the owners of such materials confidence that their interests are
    protected. It has extremely exciting potential as a safe haven repository
    of cultural resources for research and education."

    In working with content providers, the Foundation and ArtSTOR have obtained
    perpetual, non-exclusive rights to aggregate such materials and distribute
    them electronically for educational and scholarly purposes. (The
    Foundation has retained the law firm of Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, PC to
    help address complex intellectual property issues.) These agreements will
    allow ArtSTOR to serve as a dependable repository for providing
    non-commercial access to visual resources. In addition to serving the
    needs of teachers and scholars, one goal of these projects is to support
    the mission of institutions that seek to expand access to their own
    holdings for academic audiences without incurring the financial and
    administrative burdens of distribution.

    The Mellon Foundation has long-standing interests in higher education, the
    humanities, and the arts, and has made numerous grants in these fields. In
    2000, the Foundation awarded grants totaling $220 million, with over 65
    percent of these funds going to institutions of higher education or to
    independent cultural institutions (including museums and research libraries).

    In 1995, the Foundation formed JSTOR, an independent not-for-profit entity
    whose mission is to create a trusted archive of important scholarly
    journals and to extend access to that archive to as many scholars as
    possible. JSTOR currently includes the entire runs of 147 journals, and
    serves over 1,000 institutional subscribers in more than 40
    countries. While the initial capital costs of digitizing the journals in
    JSTOR's database have been supported by grants from Mellon, the Howard
    Hughes Medical Institute, Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, and the Stavros S.
    Niarchos Foundation, the current running costs of updating the database and
    providing access to it are supported by fees paid by participating
    institutions. The lessons learned through the development of JSTOR should
    be of great value in establishing ArtSTOR. Also, the Foundation foresees a
    number of possible points of intersection between JSTOR and ArtSTOR,
    including potential linkages between art history journals and other
    scholarly literature and digitized images in the ArtSTOR database.

    A scholar of Renaissance literature, with longstanding interests in art and
    architecture, Neil Rudenstine is the author of Sidney's Poetic Development,
    the co-editor (with George S. Rousseau) of English Poetic Satire: Wyatt to
    Byron, and the co-author (with William G. Bowen) of In Pursuit of the
    PhD. A selection of his speeches and writings as president of Harvard is
    soon to be published as Pointing Our Thoughts: Reflections on Harvard and
    Higher Education 1991-2001. Educated at Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard,
    from which he received his PhD in English, he was provost and professor of
    English at Princeton University before serving as executive vice president
    of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He has served as president of Harvard
    University and professor of English and American literature and language
    since 1991.

    In addition to assisting in the oversight of the Mellon Foundation's
    endowment as the Foundation's financial and administrative officer, James
    Shulman has served in research and program-related positions at the Mellon
    Foundation since 1994. He is the co-author (with William G. Bowen) of The
    Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values, the author of The Pale
    Cast of Thought: Hesitation and Decision in the Renaissance Epic, and a
    collaborator on The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of
    Considering Race in College and University Admissions (co-authored by
    William G. Bowen and Derek Bok). Shulman received both his BA and his PhD
    in Renaissance Studies from Yale University.


    NINCH-Announce is an announcement listserv, produced by the National
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             Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 09:52:30 +0100
             From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
             Subject: "Digital Promise" project: $18 billion proposal

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community
    April 10, 2001

           Century Foundation Proposal for Digital Opportunity Investment Trust
                             $18 billion from spectrum auction
                  "An Electronic Land Grant" for the Information Age.

    [From Digital Promise website:]

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Mike Collins

    (202) 383-9700

    Report Calls for an Electronic Land-Grant Act for Our Time

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 5, 2001 - A broad-based coalition of educators,
    library, museum, science and arts officials, and leaders of top information
    technology companies today urged the creation of a "Digital Gift" to the
    nation that would fulfill the broad educational promise of the Internet and
    other digital technologies. The recommendation was made in a new report, "A
    Digital Gift to the Nation," a project of The Century Foundation that was
    sponsored by five major foundations.

    The report by Newton N. Minow and Lawrence K. Grossman likens the proposal
    to the Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862, which set aside public lands to
    create a world-class system of 105 universities across the nation. The
    proposal would create the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT),
    funded with $18 billion from the auction of the publicly owned
    electromagnetic spectrum, today's equivalent of public land - "an
    electronic land grant" for the Information Age.

    "The Trust would serve as a venture capital fund for our nation's nonprofit
    educational and public service institutions," the report said of the Trust,
    which would be administered on the model of the National Science
    Foundation. "It would be dedicated to innovation, experimentation, and
    research in utilizing new telecommunications technologies across the widest
    possible range of public purposes."

    The Trust would spur the development of innovative educational prototypes
    and models through the digital transformation of archives, training
    materials, online courses, civic information, and quality arts and cultural

    "The nooks and crannies of our libraries, museums and other non-profits
    hold cultural and educational treasures, yet these treasures stay locked
    tight," said Grossman, former president of NBC News and the Public
    Broadcasting System (PBS). "A Digital Trust would find innovative ways to
    unlock these treasures for every American. It will make the convergence of
    the Internet, television and other telecommunications technologies better
    than any of them individually."

    Minow, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and PBS,
    added: "The Trust would spur innovative uses of telecommunications and
    information technology for education to make available the marvels of our
    libraries, colleges and museums to every home, school and workplace. It is
    time to dream big dreams about our digital future and the needs of our
    knowledge-based economy."

    Grossman said that the wiring of America is a monumental achievement. "Now
    is the time to connect those wires to content worthy of the technology," he
    added. "We have a window of opportunity to put our remarkable Internet,
    wireless and information technologies to their highest and best use for
    every American."

    Among those endorsing the proposal are James H. Billington, Librarian of
    Congress; Stanley Ikenberry, president of the American Council on
    Education; Sheila P. Burke, undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution;
    Eamon M. Kelly, chair of the National Science Foundation; Henry Kelly,
    president of the Federation of American Scientists; Dr. Robert N. Butler,
    president of the International Longevity Center; Robert Lynch, president of
    Americans for the Arts; and Martn Gmez, executive director of the
    Brooklyn Public Library.

    Executives of information technology companies also endorsed the report,
    including Eric Schmidt, chairman of Novell; Meg Whitman, president and CEO
    of eBay and Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks.

    The Digital Promise Project was supported by the Carnegie Corporation of
    New York, The Century Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight
    Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The Open
    Society Institute. The report and 17 background papers are all available on
    a new Web site, www.digitalpromise.org.

    # # #

    For the Report, see

    For more information about the project contact the Century Foundation at
    212/535-4441 or <mailto:digitalpromise@tcf.org>.
    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 subjects 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:
    See and search back issues of NINCH-ANNOUNCE at


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