The Penn Museum in Philadelphia, the University of Pennslyvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, recently launched two new digital endeavors for researchers.
The newly revamped Collections Database includes more than 690,000 objects and more than 95,000 images. The database records are robust, with links to related objects and bibliographic citations of where the image has been published.
The Penn Museum also allows users to download data files of its object records under a Creative Commons license. You can download datasets on all objects or by cultural group, including African, American, Asian, Egyptian, European, Historic, Mediterranean, Near Eastern, and Oceanian. The datasets include physical information, its provenance, and materialiaty but not images of the objects and the objects’ publication and exhibition histories.
The Research Map and Timeline provides interactive documentation and information about the museum’s research expeditions and projects since the 1880s. Users can browse projects geographically or chronologically, and the website provides a record of the dates, researchers, and time period studied as well as a brief description of the work done and key discoveries.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York has made nearly 100 exhibition catalogs freely available online as part of a digitized collection called “From the Archives.” Their offering of catalogs includes single-artist exhibitions as well as multi-artist exhibitions about movements or styles, and some stand alone essays published by the museum.
The Guggenheim has made other library resources available digitally in the collection Art Resources from the Mid-20th Century: Digitized Highlights from the Libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana Force. And the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently made a trove of digitized exhibition catalogs available in MetPublications.
The Getty Conservation Institute recently released a new resource called the Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes, which provides a growing collection of in-depth PDF guides of various photographic processes and their variants. The goal of the project is to help researchers and those working with photography collections correctly identify the photographic process of specific prints in their collections so as to make the safest decisions regarding the conservation, exhibition, and storage of the works.
The Atlas currently contains guides to eleven processes, including Albumen, Silver Gelatin, and Photogravure, and combines historic information about the process with information about how artists were using the technique in the darkroom, as well as contemporary conservation science knowledge.
For more information, explore the Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes.
In July, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts launched a new digital collections website in eMuseum, which allows users to view more than 4,000 of the museum’s works online. The museum focuses on “American painting, sculpture, and ceramics; American and European works on paper (16th century and later); and photography.”
To explore the KIA’s 4,200 works on the web, search or browse their Collections website. The website allows users to view an enlarged version of the work and provides basic catalog records.
For more information on eMuseum, visit our previous blog post on the topic, or conduct a federated search on the collections of more than 600 cultural institutions that host their collections in Gallery Systems’ eMuseum software.
The Art Institute of Chicago‘s digital collections database offers a feature called “My Collections” that allows users to do several things:
- Create a user profile and log in
- Search for and select works of art from their web collection
- Create multiple My Collections and choose which one you want to save an image to
- Personalize My Collections by adding descriptive notes
- Share My Collections with others via an emailed link (and people you’ve shared My Collections with will be able to see your notes!)
For more information, read about My Collections or explore the Art Institute’s Online Collections.
The Oriental Institute Museum will begin the Lunchtime Traveler lecture series tomorrow, Thursday, September 5, with a gallery talk on the Khorsabad Court. The talk is led by Karen Wilson, PhD, Research Associate at the Oriental Institute and begins at 12:15 in the Edgar and Deborah Jannotta Mesopotamian Gallery and lasts 45 minutes.
The series will recur on the first Thursday of every month. October’s offering on October 3 at 12:15 pm features Martha T. Roth, Dean of Humanities Division and the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology at the University of Chicago, who will speak about the Hammurabi Stela.
For more information, visit the Oriental Institute’s Events and Programs.
Image: Oriental Institute, Exhibit Area 10, 1931. Archival Photographic Files, University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center, apf2-05453.
Mummies are being imaged with CT scanners and 3D scanning technology to capture the interior as well as the exterior surfaces, colors, and textures of the mummy as well as the cartonnage and sarcophagus. Eventually these images will result in an interactive exhibition. The Guardian describes the project as such:
The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet) in Stockholm, FARO and Autodesk have teamed up in a mummy visualisation project. The collection will be digitised using the latest 3D reality capture techniques and made available to museum visitors through an interactive exhibition experience.
Via The Guardian.
SFMOMA recently launched a new web module, the Rauschenberg Research Project, which presents more than 85 works by the artist along with related contextual and archival materials. SFMOMA holds the premier collection of Rauschenberg’s work, spanning his career from 1949–98, including combines, sculptures, paintings, photographs, prints, and works on paper.
Each artwork record includes robust cataloging data based on up-t0-date research by SFMOMA, multiple views of the object with conservation notes, contextual essays on the object’s creation and life, and ownership, exhibition, and publication histories. There are also links to related archival materials including interview videos, curatorial documents and museum files, and related artworks.
Users have the option to download content from the website, including images that are of suitable size and quality for PowerPoint presentations and PDFs of the work catalog records and the contextual essay, as well as the option to download all available materials in a zipped folder.
The project was developed by SFMOMA in conjunction with the Getty’s Online Scholarly Catalog Initiative and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
For more information and to explore the online collection, check out the Rauschenberg Research Project.
Via ArtDaily and Iris (The Getty).
In June 2013, the Council of Library and Information Resources in conjunction with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation published the report Images of Works of Art in Museum Collections: The Experience of Open Access. The report, written by Kristin Kelly, examined the policies, websites, and procedures of 11 large museums to get determine the state of open access to images.
The report has been added to our web page about Copyright Resources for Academic Publishing, which provides a list of general guides and resources as well as lists repositories that have copyright-free or copyright-lenient policies towards letting users download high quality image files of works of art. We try to keep this web page up-to-date, so if you’re aware of any collections that should be included, please don’t hesitate to let us know!
The eMuseum Network Digital Collections Search contains digital images from the catalogs of many museums, libraries, cultural institutions including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the International Center of Photography, the MFA Boston, MoMA, and more. Best of all the collection of institutions is constantly growing, and there is currently more than 1 million objects available through the search portal.
For more information, check out eMuseum.