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Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Accession 18-205

Smithsonian American Art Museum. Research and Scholars Center

Professional Activities Files, 1994-2005

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Smithsonian American Art Museum. Research and Scholars Center
Title: Professional Activities Files
Dates: 1994-2005
Quantity: 2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
Collection: Accession 18-205
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

This accession consists of correspondence, grant requests, agendas and meeting notes, press releases, reports and publicity pertaining to NMAA's [now known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)] participation in the national Museum Educational Site Licensing Project. Also included are materials related to the formation of AMICO and the NMAA's participation in that project. These materials were created and maintained by Rachel M. Allen, Chief, Office of Research and Scholars Center, National Museum of American Art, who served as the museum's MESL project coordinator and its AMICO project coordinator and board member. For related AMICO materials please see the Smithsonian Institution Archives Accession 05-192: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Office of the Director, Associations, Committees and Councils Records, 1989-2004; Accession 06-287: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Office of the Deputy Director, Subject Files, FY 2003; and Accession 08-052: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Office of the Deputy Director, Subject Files, FY 2004.

Historical Note

The Research and Scholars Center had its origin in the Office of Research and Professional Training, created by Director Joshua Charles Taylor in 1979, to embrace the Intern Program and the Fellows Program of the National Museum of American Art (NMAA). About 1983 the office was split, with the Intern Program passing to the Museum Programs Division and the Fellows Program transferring to the Museum Resources Division as the Office of Research Support. In 1989 Director Elizabeth Broun reunited the two offices as the Research and Scholars Center, with Rachel M. Allen as Acting Chief, 1989, and Chief, 1990-2001. As head of the Research and Scholars Center, Allen served as the museums project coordinator on a variety of outside projects and collaborations, including work with the Museum Education Site Licensing Project (MESL) and the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO).

The stated purpose of the MESL was "to explore and promote the educational benefits of digital access to museum collections through campus networks maintained by academic institutions in order to help promote the development of computer-based learning tools for the study of art and culture."

MESL was designed to explore ways to make museum images and related information available in an online environment for educational purposes. Organizational planning for the project began in early 1994 supported by the Getty Art History Information Program (AHIP) and MUSE Educational Media. An initial call for participation went out in September 1994. From among 80 applicants, seven museums and seven universities were selected as participants, with AHIP and MUSE Educational Media serving as project managers. The project covered two academic years: 1995-1996 and 1996-1997. The project concluded in the summer of 1997, with a final report published in 1998.

AMICO was "a non-profit corporation formed by North American Art Museums to provide educational access to and delivery of cultural heritage information by creating, maintaining, and licensing a collective digital library of images and documentation of works in their collections."

Early in 1997, the AAMD (Association of Art Museum Directors) invited its members to send representatives to an organizational meeting for what would become AMICO. AMICO was officially organized in October 1997, as a program of the Association of Art Museum Directors Educational Foundations, Inc., and the AMICO Board was constituted. In 1998, AMICO was separately incorporated as an independent, not-for-profit organization, ending its direct connection to the AAMD.

Built on the success of the Museum Educational Site Licensing Project (MESL), AMICO was designed to provide high quality images and information documenting the largest art museum collections in North America available for licensed educational use on campus networks. AMICO operated from 1997 to 2005. AMICO members made a library of digital multimedia documentation of more than 50,000 works of art available under subscription to educational institutions.

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Descriptive Entry

This accession consists of correspondence, grant requests, agendas and meeting notes, press releases, reports and publicity pertaining to NMAA's [now known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)] participation in the national Museum Educational Site Licensing Project. Also included are materials related to the formation of AMICO and the NMAA's participation in that project. These materials were created and maintained by Rachel M. Allen, Chief, Office of Research and Scholars Center, National Museum of American Art, who served as the museum's MESL project coordinator and its AMICO project coordinator and board member.

For related AMICO materials please see the Smithsonian Institution Archives Accession 05-192: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Office of the Director, Associations, Committees and Councils Records, 1989-2004; Accession 06-287: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Office of the Deputy Director, Subject Files, FY 2003; and Accession 08-052: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Office of the Deputy Director, Subject Files, FY 2004.

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Use Restriction

Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2021; Transferring office; 06/14/2018 memorandum, Toda to Hennessey; Contact reference staff for details.

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This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 18-205, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Research and Scholars Center, Professional Activities Files

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Container List

Box 1

Museum Education Site Licensing Project (MESL)

Folder 1 MESL - 1994 - Includes inaugural meeting agenda, press releases, call for participants and applications

Box 1 of 2

Folder 2 MESL - Grants - Includes MESL Funding Proposal submitted to the National Endowment for the Arts, November 1, 1994; and grant application for TIIAP (Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program) federal funds proposal, dated April 20, 1995.

Box 1 of 2

Folder 3 MESL - Meetings #1 - Includes correspondence and records pertaining to Participants Organizational Meeting, February 7-9, 1995, agenda and working group notes; Participants Meeting, June 5-7, 1995; and MESL Management Committee minutes December 4, 1995; and Participants Meeting Report, December 4-6, 1995.

Box 1 of 2

Folder 4 MESL - Meeting, May 1996 - Includes advance agenda, draft cooperative agreements, evaluation and metrics notes, 3/26/1996; and reports from Participants Meeting, May 13-15, 1996 (held at American University, Washington, DC).

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Folder 5 MESL - Meeting, December 1996 - Includes MESL Year II Draft Workplan; Distribution Cost Report, November 20, 1996; agenda and reports from Participants Meeting, December 9-11, 1996 (Santa Monica, California).

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Folder 6 MESL - Meeting, May 1997 - Includes notes from newly formed working group focusing on terms and conditions governing distribution of museum images and information over campus networks; drafts of proposed terms; agenda, notes from Participants Meeting, May 19-21, 1997 (held in Charlottesville, Virginia); and "final" MESL framework for Terms and Conditions.

Box 1 of 2

Folder 7 MESL - "End of Project Survey, July 15, 1997 - Contains Final Report, prepared by Dr. Geraldine Gay, Dr. Deborah Trumbull and Robert Rieger, Interactive Media Group, Department of Communication, Cornell University, July 15, 1997.

Box 1 of 2

Folder 8 MESL - Extensions, 1998-1999 - Includes correspondence from the Getty (February 5, 1997) and from the University of Michigan, from Cornell University and American University, requesting extensions on site license agreements with NMAA to continue use of NMAA content for instruction purposes at their respective universities. Also includes appendices listing which NMAA works are to be included or withdrawn.

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Folder 9 MESL - Content - Correspondence, from 1995, to MESL Content Providers regarding data dictionary content.

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Folder 10 MESL - Data Distribution - NMAA correspondence and checklists from 1995-1996, regarding selection of NMAA images for contribution to MESL.

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Folder 11 MESL - Evaluation, 1996-1997

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Folder 12 MESL - Evaluation - Economic, 1996

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Folder 13 MESL - Evaluation - Museum, 1996

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Folder 14 MESL - Evaluation - University, 1996-1997

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Folder 15 MESL - Evaluation - Faculty, 1996-1997

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Folder 16 MESL - Evaluation - Student, 1997

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Folder 17 MESL - Options Analysis - Includes draft report "Administering Intellectual Property in an Electronic Age: A Study of Issues and Options for Cultural and Educational Organizations," by Diane M. Zorich, consultant, Getty Information Institute, February 2, 1998 (168 pps).

Box 1 of 2

Folder 18 MESL - Publicity - Includes photocopies or reprints of the following articles:

Box 1 of 2
"Columbia Making Virtual Art Museum," article in Columbia University Record, March 3, 1995 (Vol. 20, no. 19) (partial article only)
"Library Joins Landmark Art Digitization Project," article in Friendscript Newsletter, University of Illinois Library Friends at Urbana-Champaign, Spring 1995 (Vol. 17, no. 1)
"Library Joins Landmark Art Digitization Project," article by Terry Maher in Partnerships, University of Illinois Library Friends at Urbana-Champaign, Summer 1995 (Vol. I)
"Museum Educational Site Licensing Project," article by Geoffrey Samuels, MUSE Educational Media, in Museum Computer Network's newsletter Spectra, Vol. 23, no. 1 (Fall 1995)
"Collaboration Brings Museum Masterpieces to the Small Screen," article by Janet Chismar in Outlook, the University of Maryland at College Park Faculty and Staff Weekly Newspaper, November 28, 1995 (Vol. 10, no. 12)
"Enabling Educational Use of Museum Digital Materials: The Museum Educational Site Licensing (MESL) Project," article by Jennifer Trant in Art Documentation, Vol. 15, no. 2, 1996
"MESL Brings Museum Images to Universities," article by Lisa Lebowitz, Information Technology Digest, University of Michigan, October 14, 1996 (Vol. 5, no. 8)
And includes conference materials from:
Conference agenda and materials for: "University/Museum Roundtable: The Use of Digital Images in Education," held April 14, 1997, University of Maryland at College Park
Notes from Museum Computer Network conference, Intellectual Property Rights Open Forum, October 1997

Folder 19 MESL - Final Report - Correspondence from November 9, 1998 thanking NMAA for their participation in the project and including two final report publications:

Box 1 of 2
Delivering Digital Images: Cultural Resources for Education. The Museum Educational Site Licensing Project, Vol. 1, edited by Patricia McClung and Christie Stephenson, Los Angeles, California: Getty Information Institute, 1998
Images Online: Perspectives from the Museum Educational Site Licensing Project. The Museum Educational Site Licensing Project, Vol. 2, edited by Patricia McClung and Christie Stephenson, Los Angeles, California: Getty Information Institute, 1998

Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO)

Folder 20 AMICO - Background - Preliminary Meetings (September 1996-March 1997) - Includes Memorandum dated September 11, 1996, from Maxwell L. Anderson (AAMD Liaison for Information Technology), seeking input on draft agreement to participate in the inauguration of an Internet-based site-licensing Art Museum Image Consortium. Also includes emails pertaining to AMICO Summit Meeting planned for March 1997, Los Angeles.

Box 1 of 2

Folder 21 AMICO - 1997 - Contains emails pertaining to Business Planning Framework for AMICO and draft Framework for a License Agreement between AMICO and Contributors.

Box 1 of 2

Folder 23 AMICO - Meeting, June 2-3, 1997, Minneapolis - Contains agenda for June 3-4 meeting, and includes list of participants, and drafts of the following: AMICO Definition of Terms, Business Planning Framework, Agreement Intellectual Property Rights, Framework for License Agreement for the University Educational Use of Museum Digital Content; Standards Framework, Income Redistributions, Categories for Description of Works of Art, and NMAA's summary participation information.

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Folder 24 AMICO - Meeting, July 24-26, 1997, Cleveland - Includes minutes/report from Minneapolis June 1997 meeting, revised draft agreement and framework documents for discussion, list of Cleveland participants, technical schedule, imaging specification guidelines; and draft invite letter from Huge Davies (AAMD President) to museum directors.

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Folder 25 AMICO - Meeting, September 22-23, 1997, Chicago - Includes agenda, draft participation agreement, mission statement, license model, and other documents prepared for September 1997 Founding Members Meeting, Chicago.

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Box 2

Folder 1 AMICO, 1998 - Contents include invite to attend first meeting of the Board in January 1998; technical data specifications; drafts of data dictionary, FAQ booklet and handout; and Members Meeting agenda and handouts from September 21-22, 1998 meeting in Los Angeles, CA; and September 1998 press release.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 2 AMICO - June 1998 Board Meeting - Includes agenda, list of board members, draft membership agreement, and minutes of January 27, 1998 Los Angeles Board Meeting.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 3 AMICO - Membership and Library Agreements, 1998-1999 - Correspondence and signed Membership and Licensing Agreements for NMAA's participation in AMICO (June 16, 1998); and subsequent related correspondence and revisions, with Rachelle Browne, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant General Counsel.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 4 AMICO - RLG Service Agreement (1998) - Includes introductory packet from Research Libraries Group (RLG), serving as the AMICO University Testbed distributor, memorandum and signed agreement with NMAA.

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Folder 5 AMICO - ARS Agreement - Correspondence (1998-2001) pertaining to AMICO agreement with Artists Rights Society (ARS).

Box 2 of 2

Folder 6: AMICO - 1999 - Includes agenda and board materials sent in advance of January 26, 1999 meeting (La Jolla, California); press releases, RLG Focus newsletter (June 1999, issue 38); and June 1, 1999 report on the AMICO University Testbed Project.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 7 AMICO - Pittsburgh meeting, June 1999 - Includes agenda and program notes from the AMICO University Testbed Research Meeting, June 3-4, 1999 and the concurrent AMICO Members Meeting, June 4-5, 1999, both held at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh). Also includes AMICO Press Release June 1, 1999 regarding agreement with Artists Rights Society, AMICO Users Guides, and one-page "Year in Review AMICO Achievements" chronology (June 1998-May 1999).

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Folder 8 AMICO - 2000 - Includes draft of January 21, 2000 minutes from Phoenix, correspondence with Britannica; the AMICO Annual Members Meeting Report, June 8-10, 2000 (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), and September 27, 2000 press release.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 9 AMICO - Executive Committee, January 2000 - Contents include issue of EnVision (Vol. 15, no. 3; July-September 1999) which has article in AMICO: The Art of Managing Art, pg. 10; agenda and background materials for upcoming AMICO Executive Committee meeting to be held at the Phoenix Museum of Art, January 21, 2000; and AMICO Board Meeting Briefing Package; and Britannica proposal.

Box 2 of 2

Folder 10 AMICO - Executive Committee, New York, New York, October 13, 2000 - Includes agenda and briefing packet for AMICO Executive Committee Meeting, October 13, 2000, New York City. Background materials include draft minutes from Jan 21, 2000 meeting in Phoenix, and "How to AMICO: guides for Members and for Educators and Librarians."

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Folder 11 AMICO - Executive Committee, Houston, January 2001 - Contains AMICO brochure; Briefing Packet for Executive Committee Meeting (for January 25, 2001, Houston, Texas); and Board Briefing Packet (for January 26, 2001, Houston, Texas).

Box 2 of 2

Folder 12 AMICO - 2001 - Includes copy of Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Press Release announcing formation of "ArtSTOR," draft correspondence from Executive Committee Board AMICO to Mellon Foundation; and additional Press Releases announcing various distributors (H. W. Wilson, VTLS, NYLink, (May-November 2001)).

Box 2 of 2

Folder 13 AMICO - Meeting, Ottawa, June 2001 - Contains AMICO brochures, Agenda pamphlet and background materials for upcoming Annual Members Meeting, June 20-22, 2001, Ottawa, Canada.

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Folder 14 AMICO - VAGA Agreement - Correspondence (2001) pertaining to AMICO agreement with Visual Artists and Galleries Association, Inc. (VAGA).

Box 2 of 2

Folder 15 AMICO - 2002 - Includes copies of various Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS) listserv announcements, copy of SAAM's invoice for 2002 dues; and copy of published article: "Educational Use of Museum Multimedia: The AMICO Library" by Jennifer Trant and David Bearman, VRA Bulletin, Vol. 29 (Winter 2002), pgs. 72-86.

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Folder 16 AMICO - 2003 - Includes announcement of proposal to make the content of the AMICO Library available through ARTstor, with the goal of the AMICO Library to cease as June 2004. Also includes notice and agenda for upcoming November 17, 2003 AMICO Board Meeting (Toronto), focused largely on transition and negotiations with ARTstor.

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Folder 17 AMICO - Transition, 2004-2005 - Includes minutes of February 9, 2004 Members Meeting adapting a resolution recommending to the membership that AMICO be dissolved in 2005; correspondence and SAAM's post-AMICO licensing agreements with ARTstor and Archives & Museum Informatics (2005).

Box 2 of 2