The Wolanski Foundation Project

What's new

26 December 2004














Cross Currents No 21 December 2004 

A digest of cross sectoral information management events, issues and ideas in organisations, libraries, archives and museums, with special emphasis on arts and the humanities.


ARTS & HUMANITIES Art librarianship | Art libraries and digital images | arts sources | Arts advocacy | Arts & Humanities Data Service initiatives | Australia Council restructure | Australasian Artists Obituary Index | Australian arts | Council of Humanities Arts & Social Sciences | Creativity and innovation | Dictionary of Australian Art Online | Humanities and cyberinfrastructure | Humanities funding | Humanities value | Ozeculture conference 2005 | Performing Arts Special Interest Group | Project Muse | Sheet music site | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy | Visual arts cataloguing 

KNOWLEDGE & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT Collections Council of Australia | Cultural heritage CV Service | Digital divide | Deep Web, Invisible Web | Knowledge-based economy and society | Portals & gateways 

LIBRARIES Competing with the Internet | Future of Libraries and Librarians MUSEUMS Digital images charging models and rights policy in American arts museums OPEN ACCESS Institutional repositories SYSTEMS STANDARDS AND SCHEMES Collection level description |Dublin Core automatic keyword generator | Groupware | Library and learning system interoperability | Standards  


Art librarianship
Wolfgang Freitag and Martha Mahard, in The Indivisibility of Art Librarianship Revisted (Art Libraries Journal vol 29 no 1 2004, pp 3-9), look at the history of ARLIS/NA and its breakaway group, the Visual Resources Association, twenty years after the schism. In projecting future development of the arts information community, they conclude, influenced by Phillip Pacey’s views about a framework accommodating diversification and subdivision within a cohesive whole, that “if we can keep this umbrella of inclusiveness unfurled and still recognise individual exciting future awaits.”

Art libraries and digital images
The Journal of Library Administration, vol. 39 no 2/3 2003, devoted to the theme Digital Images and Art Libraries in the Twenty-First Century, includes the following articles: Architectural Archives: To Web or Not To Web by Susan Koskinen (pp 15-27); Integrating Digital Images into the Art and Art History Curriculum by Sharon P. Pitt, Christina B. Updike, and Miriam E. Guthrie (pp 29-42); Today's Ephemera, Tomorrow's Historical Documentation: Access Options for Artists Files by Terrie L. Wilson and Erika Dowell (pp 43-60); ArtSTOR: A Digital Library for the History of Art by Max Marmor (pp 61-68); The Case for Collaboration: The OhioLINK Digital: Media Center, with an outline of concerns and benefits of a consortial approach, by Charly Bauer and Jane A. Carlin (pp 69-86); Enhancing the Value of Museum Web Sites: Lessons from the Practical Engagement Front by Bradley L. Taylor (pp 107-122); Image Delivery and the Critical Masses by Henry Pisciotta (pp 123-138); and Link It or Lump It: Basic Access Strategies for Digital Art Representation by James L. Murphy (pp 139-160). [Source: New Technologies in Libraries].

Art sources
David Mattison, in a three part series about online visual arts sources, Looking for Good Art, (Searcher September, October, and November/December 2004) examines web resources and image databases, image retrieval, and national collections. Web:

Arts advocacy
Young People and the Arts Australia (YPAA), with funding from the Australia Council, has published A Tool Kit for Arts Advocates: Effective Campaigning on a Shoe String to help arts workers communicate the value of their work to governments, community and the media. The PDF kit is available free of charge from

Arts and Humanities Data Service initiatives
The AHDS Newsletter Spring 2004 edition has an overview of several projects being undertaken by the Arts and Humanities Data Service and Arts and Humanities Research Board. A United Front looks at the launch of the ADHS new cross-search catalogue, which facilitates integrated access the five AHDS subject domains. One Way of Looking at Things outlines the development of a common AHDS subject metadata schema for a number of different subject areas, after consideration of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), RSLP Collection Description Scheme and the Visual Resources Association VRA Core 3.0. The Arts and Humanities Research Board introduces its plans for research and ICT, including an ICT Methods Network and an ICT Awareness and Training Program. Mapping Humanities Computing looks at two new AHDS projects, the Subject Extension Feasibility Study, which seeks to define the nature and scope of future AHDS services based on evidence of user needs and requirements, and the AHDS Methods Database on the use of ICT across all arts and humanities subjects. Web:

Australia Council restructure
The Australia Council has announced plans to restructure the organisation with the aim of ‘putting arts back on the national agenda’. Changes will include elimination of the community cultural development and new media arts boards in favour of integrating those areas with other divisions. A new Key Organisations Division will be established to oversee recurrent grants to small and medium-sized arts companies (based on assessment of their business plans). An Inter-Arts Office will be created to handle hybrid arts and ‘triage’ new media funding applications. 29 senior positions will be restructured under 21 new senior positions. [Source: Sydney Morning Herald 9 December 2004]

Australasian Artists Obituaries Index
The National Gallery of Australia Research Libraries has launched a database listing obituaries of Australasian artists and art professionals from 1990 to date. The database can be accessed via the Library section of the National Gallery site at

Australian arts
Katharine Brisbane, in a recent Currency House newsletter, analyses the state of the arts industry in Australia and suggests ways of addressing some dispiriting facts. Despite apparent growth, a dependency on low-cost labour and shrinking employment opportunities, more creative arts graduates are entering the workforce. There is entrenched employment in institutions. Union influence has waned since the introduction of enterprise bargaining. The arts has become marginalised as a political issue. There is too much rivalry and too little collaboration between arts groups. She calls for a paradigm shift in thinking, more cooperation between small performance groups in the form of shared facilities, shared marketing, bookkeeping and websites. Governments should support innovative ways for developing shared employment services. The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance must make membership more worthwhile and take a leadership role in setting up an arts enterprise employment service. An arts chamber of commerce must be established. Currency House plans to continue stimulating debate on the issue through its publication, Platform Papers. Subjects underway include the problems within the ABC, the cumbersome size of our major institutions, the way the arts have submitted to the market, and the reasons celebrities choose to work abroad. Web:

Council of Humanities Arts & Social Sciences
In 2004, the Department for Education, Science and Training announced triennial funding of $200,000 annually for the Council of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in recognition of “the Howard Government’s commitment to these vital disciplines and their contribution to helping Australians understand who we are and where we have come from." Iain McCalman, President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, launching the Council at the National Press Club in June 2004, called for greater recognition of the humanities, arts and social sciences as an economic force and proposed linkages with industry partners, R&D tax concessions to encourage commercialisation of activities in the sector, and the setting up of Cooperative Research Centres in humanities, arts and social sciences to disseminate ideas to potential users. Web:

Creativity and innovation
The Australian Research Council and the Australia Council for the Arts have signed a memorandum of understanding to advance Australia's ‘research excellence and support innovation and creativity’. The partnership aims to encourage the two agencies to coordinate their activities and advance Australian research in areas of mutual interest. Past areas of mutual interest include the ARC Linkage Program, supporting projects that acquire new knowledge and that involve risk or innovation, and the Synapse Art and Science Strategy, supporting collaborations between artists and scientists. [Source: Arts Hub Australia]

Dictionary of Australian Art Online
The University of New South Wales, in partnership with the University of Sydney, Charles Darwin University, National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales and State Library of New South Wales, has secured $475,000 from the Australian Research Council for the Dictionary of Australian Art Online. The grant will be used to develop a blueprint for the dictionary, based on a conceptual framework by the late Joan Kerr in her Dictionary of Australian Artists. The DAAO will integrate existing online research with new entries continuously generated in scholarly research. [Source: ARLIS/ANZ].

Humanities and cyberinfrastructure
The American Council of Learned Societies has launched a Commission on Cyberinfrastructure and the Humanities to provide an opportunity for libraries and archives to collaborate with scholars in defining the requirements of the new digital infrastructure. Libraries and archives will be asked to redefine their roles, responsibilities and funding strategies focusing on the needs of scholars in the humanities and social sciences. Humanists, social scientists and engineers will define and build this infrastructure to meet the needs of researchers and scholars in all disciplines. The commission will focus on applications like Geographic Information Systems, three-dimensional modelling of built environments, and text mining. Web:

Humanities funding
The Foundation Center has published Foundation Funding for the Humanities: An Overview of Current and Historical Trends (2004). Prepared in cooperation with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, it documents the size and scope of foundation grants for the humanities in the United States between 1992 and 2002 and finds: (1) the bulk of financial support for the humanities, as it has in the past, now comes from relatively small number of foundations; (2) there has been a long-term trend toward support for public programming in the humanities and away from the funding of scholarship in the core disciplines; (3) there is uneven support across the disciplines and within sub-fields of the individual disciplines. The long-term health of the humanities will require an active effort on the part of leaders in the field to educate grant makers about the needs and opportunities presented by the humanities and to encourage them - especially some of the tens of thousands of foundations formed in the last decade - to include the humanities among their giving priorities. Web:

Humanities value
The British Academy has completed a study That Full Complement of Riches on the contribution of the arts, humanities and social sciences to national wealth in the UK. It concludes: (1) more inclusive concepts, language and terminology are essential to overcome outdated, uncritical assumptions by governments on research and innovation projects; (2) productive investment in arts, humanities and social sciences is achieved at a high benefit to cost ratio, but funding bodies and agencies, as well as employers of teachers and researchers in these subjects, need to re-examine the basis on which resources are allocated in order to provide proper support for the arts, humanities and social sciences, particularly with a view to encouraging the development of the new economy and to cultural and social improvement; and (3) representation of the humanities, arts and social sciences is inadequate, weakening the effectiveness of much European, British, regional, and institutional policy-making. Institutional frameworks should be reviewed. Any new bodies or collaborative activities should be initiated with the intention of providing adequate representation of the arts, humanities and social sciences. Web:

Ozeculture conference 2005
Magic, Money and Myth is the name of the fourth Ozeculture conference to be held at at the Byron Community and Cultural Centre, Byron Bay, New South Wales, 7-8 April 2005. The conference, organised by the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, will focus on financing creativity, creative rights, creating future audiences and will showcase related case studies highlighting innovative and creative uses of digital and online technologies.the Web:

Performing Arts Special Interest Group
Museum Australia’s Performing Arts Special Interest Group will hold its 2005 meeting in conjunction with Museum Australia’s conference in Sydney from May 1-4. Presentations on performing arts history and collections and tours of facilities at the Powerhouse Museum and NIDA are planned. [Source: Richard Stone].

Project Muse
Project MUSE, an online collection of scholarly journals in the arts, humanities and social sciences, has announced two new journal collections, Basic Research and Basic Undergraduate, as well as subscription price changes for 2005. The new journal collections are subsets of the Full Collection. The new pricing model replaces deep consortia discounts that were based on volume purchasing, and instead offers “peer-institution-based pricing that combines criteria reflecting relative value and actual usage”. Libraries will continue to have the option of subscribing on a title-by-title basis to any journal. MUSE will continue to offer a consortium flex plan. Project MUSE currently provides online access to more than 270 titles from some 50 publishers to nearly 1,200 subscribing libraries worldwide. Web: [Source: Information Today].

Sheet music site
The Indiana University Digital Library Program has launched the Indiana University Sheet Music website, providing access to metadata and digital images from two sheet music collections in Indiana University Lilly Library. Web:

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), has announced plans for collaboration with the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) and the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) to marshal support for long-term open access to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP). The funding initiative, organised by ICOLC and administered by SOLINET, aims to generate US$3 million over three years from the academic and library community. In addition, Stanford University will try to raise $1.125 million from private donors and corporations in support of the SEP. Much of the library support for SEP is expected to be funneled through library consortia, although individual libraries also are encouraged to participate. Webs: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; International Coalition of Library Consortia; Southeastern Library Network; Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition

Visual arts cataloguing
Following input from members of the Arts Library Society/Australia and New Zealand The National Library of Australia has published Guidelines for the Description of Non-book Resources in Visual Arts Collections in the National Bibliographic Database. The guidelines provide instructions for cataloguing collections and individual ephemera, exhibition catalogues, artists and gallery resources, posters and photographs. Web: [Source: kinetica-l]



Collections Council of Australia
Dr Edward Tweddell has been appointed inaugural chair of the Collections Council of Australia. Other board members are: Ross Gibbs (Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities), Major General Steve Gower (Council of Australian Museum Directors), Anne-Marie Schwirtlich (Council of Australian State Libraries), Dr Gerald Vaughan (Council of Australian Art Museum Directors), Paul Ah Chee Ngala, Professor Larissa Behrendt, Sue Nattrass, Dr Barbera Piscitelli, Robert Sharman, Kay Williams and Kylie Winkworth. The terms of reference for the Council are to: advance the stability and sustainability of the collections sector, through communication, consultation and resolution of common issues; promote understanding among the community, government, other funding bodies, and the media, of the nature of the sector to the areas of economic and social development; sponsor such programs deemed necessary and desirable to further industry development; promote high standards of performance and efficiency throughout the sector, through education, training and development, promote benchmarks and standards for care and management of collections; promote access to and participation in Australian cultural heritage collections; act as a source of consolidated advice for governments on issues facing the collections sector; and investigate sources of independent funding for the sector, and encourage private sector support. [Source: Incite]

Cultural heritage CV service
DigiCULT has introduced the Cultural Heritage Professional CV Access Service to assist in identifying professionals with expertise in applying relevant ICT in the museum, library and archives sector. Web:

Deep Web, invisible Web
According to CNet News 2 Mar 2004, Yahoo has established a Content Acquisition Program in partnership with the Library of Congress, University of California at Los Angeles, National Public Radio, University of Michigan and Project Gutenberg, aimed at increase Yahoo’s ability to tap into the estimated 10 billion to 100 billion documents of the deep Web. The program also has a Site Match component that offers Marketers speedier indexing on Yahoo.

Digital divide
Michael Gurstein, in Effective Use: A Community Informatics Strategy Beyond the Digital Divide (First Monday, vol 8 no 12 December 2003), looks at the huge industry that has been created to respond to the perceived social malady, the ‘Digital Divide’. He examines the concepts and strategies underlying the notion of the Digital Divide and concludes that it is little more than a marketing campaign for Internet service providers. He presents an alternative approach — that of ‘effective use’ — drawn from community informatics theory which recognises that the Internet is not simply a source of information, but also a fundamental tool in the new digital economy. Technology must be used in an effective way to respond to real crises in health care, education, economic development, and resource degradation. For these issues to be successfully addressed through the use of ICTs, attention will need to be paid not simply to access but also to an entire range of support for effective use. Web:

Knowledge based economy and society
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Web products on measures of a knowledge-based economy and society have been updated with a new working paper on the measurement of human capital stocks. Web:

Portals & gateways
International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control Vol 33, 2004 has Australian Subject Gateways, the Successes and the Challenges by Janine Schmidt and others (pp. 4-8), which provides an overview of subject gateway development in Australia, challenges of interoperability, coordination and sustainability, and overarching questions being considered by gateway coordinators. Metadata Schemas for Subject Gateways by Lynne C. Howarth (pp. 8-12) analyses challenges and future trends regarding the use of metadata schemas in subject gateways. And Bohdana Stoklasova provides a Short Survey of Subject Gateway Activity (pp 12-14).

The Journal of Library Administration vol 39no 4 2003, includes For Whom Is the Library an Anchor? Observations on Library Portals by James Michalko(pp 5-17); Portals, Access, and Research Libraries by Mary E. Jackson (pp 57-63); Selectors, Subject Knowledge, and Digital Collections by Edward Shreeves (pp 65-78); Are We All Global Librarians Now? by Alice Prochaska (pp.79-88); The Recombinant Library: Portals and People by Lorcan Dempsey (pp 103-136) and If We Build It, Will They Come? Library Users in a Digital World by Lizabeth A. Wilson (pp 19-28). [Source: New Technologies in Libraries]


Competing with the Internet
In Ariadne Issue 40 July 2004, Grant Young reviews Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet, edited by Marylaine Block (Information Today, 2003). The books proposes solutions for the following unintended consequences or negative side effects: loss of control by librarians over the selection process, the decline of the book, lack of good reference skills by library users, lack of good information technology skills by library staff or a clinging their old ways, the cost of new Internet technologies and attendant accessibility legal issues. Web:

Future of Libraries and Librarians
The Council on Library and Information Resources’s Access in the Future Tense (Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, April 2004) examines key factors shaping the information environment in which libraries operate and how these factors will affect stewardship of the cultural and intellectual resources vital to education and research. It suggests that libraries must break down the institutional silos of libraries and museums, repurpose learning materials, and develop systems that support customised learning experiences and portals that will enable learners to locate the resources. The library must change from a collection-centred to a learning-centred resource, and staff must serve as partners in information creation and use, including redesign teaching materials and research consultation. Web:
British Library chief executive, Lynne Brindley, in Powering the World’s Knowledge, (Research Information Jan/Feb 2004), says that the traditional roles of library and information professionals are still valid, but they must be re-interpreted in the changing environment. Understanding the needs of users is critical. New skills and competencies must be developed to meet these needs as they evolve. In meeting these challenges the British Library has introduced a “market-facing” approach to ensure they it aligns its services with the needs of five groups – researchers, businesses, library and information sector, learners and the general public. The Library has been restructured to support this strategy. A head of marketing has been appointed to each group. New services such as electronic delivery of information to desktops, developed in partnership with Adobe and Relais International, are being introduced. Web:

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is conducting a two-year research study on the future of librarians in the workforce. The project will entail analysing current and projected US library workforce data and assessing the likely demand and opportunities for librarians over the next decade. Additional issues to be addressed include what skills librarians will need to meet evolving demand and the capabilities of current graduate programs to meet those needs. The final report will make recommendations on strategies for recruiting, training and retaining future librarians. Web:


Digital images charging models and & rights policy in American art museums.
Simon Tanner, in Reproduction Charging Models & Rights Policy for Digital Images in American Art Museums, a Mellon Foundation report, explores the cost and policy models adapted by US arts museums in arriving at pricing structures for delivering imaging and rights services and examines new market realities and opportunities cultural institutions. Museums do not carry out image creation or rights and reproduction activity because of their profitability. The primary driving factors for providing these services are to serve the public and educational institutions, to promote the museum and its collections, and to serve publishers and commercial picture use. The largest revenue earners were those museums where money was assigned directly back to the service department to offset or recouped against costs. The disconnect between the imaging and rights services and the museum's core audience means they do not receive the credit they deserve for enabling the wide dissemination, retailing and publication of the collection. The lack of business planning and clear cost accounting for the actual cost of service provision is undermining museum efforts. Most museums are setting pricing on the perceived market rate rather than with reference to the cost of actual service provision. There is a demonstrable commitment gap towards the rights function in some museums. Recommendations include: a review by museums of their priorities in providing imaging and rights services; centralisation of rights service function; development of the rights function as a full time position rather than as an adjunct to other functions; assigning revenue back to the department responsible for making the revenue possible; establishment of prices with reference to the actual cost of service as suggested by the report pricing model. Web:


Institutional repositories
Susan Gibbons’ Establishing an Institutional Repository (Library Technology Reports Vol 40 no 4 July-August 2004) provides a summary of institutional repository benefits, potential uses, features, costs and software options. Web:


Collection-level description
Ann Chapman and Bridget Robinson, in Collection-level Description: Thinking Globally before Acting Locally (Ariadne Issue 40 July 2004), writes on the work of the UK Collection Description Focus. The Focus aimed to improve co-ordination of work on collection description methods, schemas and tools and ensure consistency and compatibility of approaches across projects, disciplines, institutions and sectors. Progress is illustrated by three projects: Tap into Bath, Cornucopia and the Information Environment Service Registry. Web:

Dublin Core automatic keyword generator
The new version of Dublin Core Services/Describe this (0.2 beta) incorporates an automatic generator of keywords from a dictionary of 5300 words in 11 different languages. The system applies analytic algorithms to find the best terms that better describe a given resource. The new terms generated are added to the ones already included in the document, although these are marked visually to avoid confusions with the terms proposed by the own authors.  Other features include: a new list of metadata types and variants; a new parser to recognise and extract the metadata for the Creative Commons licences; an improved RDF converter; application of Web standards to all the documents generated (XML, XHTML and RDF) to include the elements that indicate the type of document (DOCTYPE) and language marks; an HTML documents parser now capable of recognising metadata placed in other tags than traditional tags like META, concretely the LINK tag and the comments embedded in the body of the text. Web:

Daniel Chudnov and others, in Towards Library Groupware with Personalised Link Routing (Ariadne Issue 40 30 July 2004), describe a groupware framework for integrating access to diverse information resources and distributed personal collection development. They conclude: When faced with the difficulties involved in integrating link resolvers, federated search engines, courseware servers, and other contemporary systems, the library community has solved one set of problems related to collection development and navigation. At the same time, they have amplified the integration problem by investing in their own incompatible resources with their own administration and navigation nightmares. If they can be successful in delivering a second-generation user front-end to these disparate services and resources that successfully integrates with how users move through and manage information in 2004, they will have taken a significant step toward a vision of integrated groupware. The idea of 'library groupware' suggests a change in library services and philosophy, but helping users manage information across their diverse personal collections and information communities remains true to the core mission of libraries. Web The theme is also considered by Chudnov in his Library Groupware for Bibliographic Lifecycle Management at

Library and learning system interoperability
Neal McLean and Clifford Lynch, in Interoperability between Library Information Services and Learning Environments – Bridging the Gaps (Burlington, MA: IMS Global Learning Consortium and the Coalition for Networked Information, 10 May 2004), touch on potential interactions between information environments and learning environments, emphasising work that needs to be done in relation to standards and architectural modelling or interfaces in order to permit these two worlds to co-exist and co-evolve more productively. Web:

A Dozen Primers on Standards (Computers in Libraries vol 24 no 2 February 2004) provides an overview of current information standards, including ARK, DOI, METS, MODS, NCIP, OAI-PMH, ONIX, OpenURL, RDF, RSS, Shibboleth, and SRW/SRU. Web:

This issue of Cross Currents compiled by Paul Bentley


The Wolanski Foundation would be grateful for feedback on the scope, format and content of this bulletin..


 About us |  What's new |  Site map | Searching  | Managing  | Learning  |  LibraryResearch 

  Contact us | Home  

© 2004 The Wolanski Foundation Project 

 Email web manager.  URL:

Page last updated: 26 December 2004