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AMICO Logo ARCHIVEArt Museum Image Consortium: enabling educational use of museum multimedia
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The AMICO Library User Group Meeting
College Art Association Conference
New York, NY
February 22, 2003


Debby Aframe, Worcester Art Museum
Paula Baxter, New York Public Library
Joan Beaudoin, Bryn Mawr College
Adeane Bregman, Boston College
Suzanne Degler, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Paul Dobbs, Massachusetts College of Art
Paula Epstein, Columbia College Chicago
Paul Glassman, New York School of Interior Design
Christine Hennessey, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Susanne Javorski, Wesleyan University;
Kathleen List, Ringling School of Art and Design
Sue Maberry, Otis College of Art and Design
Dennis McGuire, Columbia College Chicago
Inge Reist, Frick Collection and Library
Carol Rusk, Whitney Museum of American Art
Marilyn Russell, Institute of American Indian Arts
Susana Tejada, Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Carol Terry, Rhode Island School of Design
Deborah Vincelli, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Distributors and AMICO Staff

Ricky Erway, Research Libraries Group
Kris Wetterlund, AMICO User Services

Kris Wetterlund introduced herself as new AMICO User Services Staff. Kris has worked in art museum settings to help K-12 teachers use technology in their classrooms. She said that she was looking forward to building on this experience to create services that would help university and college faculty use The AMICO Library in their classrooms.

The meeting began with round table introductions; each attendee explained how The AMICO Library is currently being used at their institutions. Kris asked what user services could be offered to support the group’s use of The AMICO Library.

Sue Maberry (Otis College) explained that Otis College has implemented a strategic plan to switch from slides to using MDID. Otis can’t find images to move into their system fast enough. There was some question about the size of images at full resolution offered by H.W. Wilson. Otis College requires a minimum resolution of 1000 x 1200 dpi for their system. RLG AMICO subscribers who have signed the long license can request images at the highest resolution available. The next release of The AMICO Library from RLG will be a new interface that will provide real time delivery of highest resolution JPEG images with metadata.

Meeting attendees wondered about future additions to The AMICO Library, and had specific requests for material they needed to teach or to fulfill faculty requirements. Several in the group expressed the desire to see more European museums added as AMICO Members. European members pose different challenges for AMICO, particularly where rights issues are concerned. Each country has its own set of laws and standards that must be navigated. However several discussions are underway and AMICO staff remains hard at work on bringing European members on board. Several art museum representatives explained the difficulties and expense museums face in digitizing images to contribute to The AMICO Library.

Museum curators and art history faculty need comprehensive resources, and many find The AMICO Library doesn’t currently serve the need to have everything in one place. Dennis McGuire (Columbia College Chicago) said that The AMICO Library is being used at his institution for theme-based courses that assign students the job of organizing images around one topic, such as Impressionism.

Paul Glassman (New York School of Interior Design) requested standard indexing such as IBM’s Query by Image Content to allow students in fine arts and studio arts courses to search The AMICO Library based on design queries. Paul cited research on standards for visual searching, including projects at Birbeck College, University of London and the work of Abby Goodrum, formerly at Drexel and now at Syracuse.

Bibliographies and biographies were mentioned as valuable resources to be included in The AMICO Library, and the ability to search these kinds of resources was emphasized by many users. It was also suggested that implementing the VRA Core Categories would enhance search flexibility. Genre and style categories used in art history textbooks included in the metadata would also be of use.

Many in attendance were interested in the differences between distributors of The AMICO Library. Current distributors include RLG, H.W. Wilson, Cartography Associates, VTLS; and OhioLINK and the University of Michigan, distributors serving consortia users in those states. Kris described a paper given at Museums and the Web 2003 that outlines the different features and functions offered by each distributor. The paper, "Addressing Multiple Audiences with Multiple Interfaces to The AMICO Library™," can be found on the AMICO Web site at

Kris announced that AMICO would like to recognize the successes people have had with integrating new technologies into their college programs by offering an award of one ARLIS Conference Registration fee for next year’s conference to an individual who demonstrates innovative use of The AMICO Library at a subscribing institution.

Kris asked the group for feedback on the idea, including how innovative use should be judged. Meeting attendees recommended that a jury be formed that includes museum educators, studio arts faculty, librarians and art history faculty. Also important was representation on the jury of minority group members.
Many recommended that innovative marketing of The AMICO Library on subscribing campuses be included in award considerations. Training or tutorials, and examples of integrating The AMICO Library into a larger system and using The AMICO Library with other systems in an innovative way might also be included.

Presentation of the awards at next year’s ARLIS conference was greeted with enthusiasm. Everyone seemed eager to learn from other examples of marketing, training and integration of The AMICO Library. While ARLIS requires session proposals months before the next conference, a presentation at the convocation, a poster session, or an exhibit booth presentation were all recommended for sharing examples of use of The AMICO Library.

Meeting attendees thanked AMICO for the users meeting, and several hoped it would be continued at next year’s conference. Kris thanked everyone for sharing their experiences with The AMICO Library and promised to share what she’d learned with AMICO Members. Kris encouraged anyone with further ideas about how AMICO can facilitate use of The AMICO Library to contact her at


In June of 2005, the members of the Art Museum Image Consortium voted to dissolve their collaboration. This site remains online for archival reasons.