Archives & Museum Informatics








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October 7, 2014 2:55 PM

J. Trant. "Framing the Picture: Standards for Imaging Systems", ICHIM/MCN, San Diego, CA, Oct.1995.

7. Notes

Note: Links to the MESL project site are no longer active, as this site is no longer maintained.
This paper builds on arguments first developed by the author in "The Getty AHIP Imaging Initiative: A Status Report" Electronic Imaging and the Visual Arts, EVA, London, England, July 28, 1995.
See for example Developments in International Museum and Cultural Heritage Information Standards. A joint project of the Getty Art History Information Program and the International Documentation Committee of the International Council of Museums, The J. Paul Getty Trust, 1993, available online at ; Standards for Archival Description, A Handbook, Society of American Archivists, 1994; David Bearman and John Perkins, CIMI Standards Framework for the Computer Interchange of Museum Information, Museum Computer Network, 1993; Marilyn Courtot, Document Imaging Standards Development: How, Why and For Whom? Association for Information and Image Management, 1992; and Perspectives on ... Information Technology Standards , Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Special Issue, Vol. 43, no. 8, (September 1992).
Revision 1.17, dated 94/08/01, accessible on-line at usenet/standards-faq/faq.html
For an institutional perspective on the standards-making process, see Alan Seal. "Standards and Local Practice: The Experience of the Victoria and Albert Museum." Computers and the History of Art, Vol. 5, Part 1, 1995, pp. 17-24.
See John Strand. "High Art, High Tech: The National Gallery of Art's New Micro Gallery", Museum News, Vol. 74, no. 4, July/August 1995, pp. 35-39.
Accessible on-line at
Accessible on-line at
Microsoft Art Gallery. The Collection of the National Gallery, London. Microsoft Corporation, 1993.
With Open Eyes: Images from the Art Institute of Chicago. Voyageur Company, 1995.
A review of activities can be found in the proceedings of the Electronic Imaging and the Visual Arts (EVA) Conferences, 1993-1995 and the Hypermedia and Interactivity in Museums (ICHIM) Conferences, 1991, 1993, 1995. See also Jennifer Duran. "Developments in Electronic Image Databases for Art History," VRA Bulletin, Vol. 21, no. 4 (Winter 1994), 15-23.
This outline is drawn from the schema presented in Howard Besser and Jennifer Trant, Introduction to Imaging: Issues in constructing an image database, Getty Art History Information Program, 1995. Also accessible on-line at
Anthony Hamber, "The VASARI Project" Computers and the History of Art, 1:1, (1991) 3-19, and Kirk Martinez, "High Resolution Digital Imaging of Paintings: The VASARI Project." Microcomputers for Information Management 8:4 (December 1991), 227-283.
Hervé Derrien, "MARC, A New Methodology for Art Reproduction in Colour" EVA '93.
Such as those developed by Leaf and Kodak/Nikon (product information available on-line at
See for example, Frank Lloyd Wright: Presentation Drawings and Conceptual Sketches, Oxford University Press: 1994.
Peter Robinson, The Digitization of Primary Textual Sources. Office for Humanities Communication Publications, Number 4, 1993.
Robinson, The Digitization of Primary Textual Sources, 1993. "24-bit colour images are becoming the standars for computer presentation of colour.... It may be that the emerging agreement on 24-bit colour images as adequate s illusory, and that new generations of computer hardware will go beyond this" For example 32 or 36 bit output now possible from some capture devices. p. 29.
Kirk Martinez and Anthony Hamber, "Towards a colorimetric digital image archive for the visual arts"Electronic Imaging Applications in Graphic Arts, SPIE Vol. 1073, 1989, 114-121.
Martinez and Hamber, 118.
Martinez and Hamber, "Colorimetric digital image archive" 1989, 121.
Recommended Practice for Quality Control of Image Scanners (ANSI/AIIM MS50-199x - an update of ANSI/AIIM MS44-1988).
A useful model for image capture guidelines can be found in Anne R. Kenney and Stephen Chapman, Tutorial: Digital Resolution Requirements for Replacing Text-Based Materials: Methods for Benchmarking Image Quality, Commission on Preservation and Access, April 1995.
Helene E. Roberts, "Second Hand Images: The Role of Surrogates in Artistic and Cultural Exchange." Visual Resources, Vol. 9, no. 4, 1993, 335-346.
See also Michael Ester, Draft White Paper on Digital Imaging in the Arts and Humanities, prepared for the Getty Art History Information Program, March 1994. (Copies are available from AHIP.)
Michael Ester. "Image Quality and Viewer Perception." Leonardo , 23 (1990), 51-63.
The ELISE Project has defined three types of image a "browsing image" (120 x 90 pixels), a "working image" at VGA (640x480) or SVGA (800x600 or 1024x768) pixel resolutions and an archive image (> 20 MB, high resolution, kept off-line and used for printing). See Kirsten Black, "ELISE - an on-line image retrieval system", ASLIB Information, July/August 1993, 293-295, and Alan Seal "The Creation of an Electronic Image Bank: PhotoCD at the V&A" Managing Information, January 94, 1:1, 42-44.
For a project profile, see J. Trant. "The Museum Educational Site Licensing Project" Spectra, Winter 1994-95, 19-21, also available online at
/index.htmlpapers/jt.mesl.spectra9502.html .
An interesting summary of the areas of importance identified by different groups involved in the creation of a digital image database can be found in John P. Weise, "Emphasizing Image Quality," School of Information and Library Studies, University of Michigan, 1995. Accessible on-line at Weise identifies the concerns of the Copyright Holder, the Image Creator, the Subject Matter Expert, the End User, and the Archivist.
Standard Recommended Practice, File Format for Storage and Exchange of Images, ANSI/AIIM MS53-1993.
Pamela R. Mason. "Imaging System Components and Standards" in Digital Imaging Technology for Preservation Proceedings from an RLG Symposium, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York March 17-18, 1994, 25-40.
For full details of these and other image file formats see James D. Murray and William Van Ryper, Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1994.
See Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 663-688, and Mason "Imaging System Components and Standards", 31.
Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 309-330.
See michael moncur, "The great GIF Licensing Controversy", last updated January 23, 1995; formerly available at
Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats. 377-383; William B. Pennebaker and Joan L. Mitchell. JPEG, Still Image Data Compression Standard , Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. Consulted at
, current version available at
See The KODAK Photo CD Master Disc, Five Image Resolutions Built In" available on-line at
Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 386.
See Alan Seal "The Creation of an Electronic Image Bank: PhotoCD at the V&A," Managing Information, January 94, 1:1, 42-44.
Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 434-443.
Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 407-410.
ISO/IEC CD 10918-3: 1994 E (94-11-11), Annex F, p. 45. Other activities of the ISO/IEC JTC 29 are outlined be Jean Barda, "Still picture interchange" EVA 95, 1995, 69-76.
See the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 159-172, JPEG Still Image Data Compression Standard and the JPEG FAQ.
Mason, "Imaging System Components and Standards", 1994, 30-31.
See the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 142-148
Mason, "Imaging System Components and Standards", 1994, 33.
For an image-centric discussion of these issues, see Mason, "Imaging System Components and Standards," 1994, 34-36 and Robinson, The Digitization of Primary Textual Sources, 1993, 69-71.
See, for example, Jeff Rothenberg, "Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents" Scientific American, January 1995, 42-47.
For a full outline of these issues, see Clifford A. Lynch, "The Integrity of Digital information: Mechanics and Definitional Issues," Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Vol. 45, no. 10, (December 1994), 737-745. See also the recent work of Peter Graham and David Bearman, regarding the creation of systems for secure information interchange and authentication.
Nancy E. Elkington, ed. Digital Imaging Technology for Preservation , Proceedings from an RLG Symposium held March 17 and 18, 1994, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, Research Libraries Group, Inc., 1994.
A joint project of the Commission on Preservation and Access and the Research Libraries Group. Documents accessible on-line at
Alice Grant, Spectrum, The Documentation Standard for the United Kingdom, Museum Documentation Association, 1994. The concice version is available online at
J. Trant, The Art Information Task Force, Categories for the Description of Works of Art, The Getty Art History Information Program, 1995.
ICOM/CIDOC, International Guidelines for Museum Object Information: The CIDOC Information Categories, June 1995, Edited by a joint project team of the CIDOC Data and Terminology and the CIDOC Data Model Working Groups. Also available online at
Getty Art History Information Program, Art and Architecture Thesaurus , 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 1994.
Kerridwen Harvey and Patricia Young, Data Content Standards: A Directory, Canadian Heritage Information Network, July 1994.
The current chair of the VRA Data Standards Committee is Dustin Weiss, Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Williamstown, MA, USA.
H. Besser and J. Trant. Describing Image Files: The Need for a Technical Standard, Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Meeting, Orlando, Florida, November 30, 1994.
Information and Documentation - Electronic manuscript preparation and markup, ISO 12803, 1994.
Howard Besser. "Visual access to visual images; the UC Berkeley Image Database Project." Library Trends, Vol. 34, no 4, (Spring 1990) 788.
A fuller outline of "Research Topics in Image and Multimedia Retrieval" has been prepared by Donna M. Romer, for a forthcoming discussion AHIP is hosting on the "Research Agenda for Humanities Computing". See the AHIP WWW site
Jane Sledge, "Points of View", International Conference on Hypermedia and Interactivity in Museums, 1995. See also Susanne Ornager, "The Image Database, A Need for Innovative Indexing and Retrieval," Knowledge Organization and Quality Management, Advances in Knowledge Organization, Vol. 4, (1994), 208-216, for a discussion of this issue in a more general context.
Bonnie Hold, Laura Hartwick and Stacey Vetter. "Query By Image Content, The QBIC Project's Applications in the University of California Davis's Art and Art History Departments." Visual Resources Association Bulletin , Vol. 22, no. 2, (Summer 1995), 60-66.
See A.E. Cawkell, A Guide to Image Processing and Picture Management , Gower, 1994, particularly Chapter 7, "Indexing picture collections".
Such as Carolyn Frost's work on the University of Michigan Art History Image Browser. Project Profile accessible on-line at
Richard Jackson, Lindsay MacDonald and Ken Freeman, Computer Generated Color, A Practical Guide to Presentation and Display, Wiley, 1994, 129.
For an accessible outline of the issues involved in rendering colour see Richard Jackson, Lindsay MacDonald and Ken Freeman, Computer Generated Color, A Practical Guide to Presentation and Display, 1994.
Several commercial systems are profiled in Rudolph E. Burger, Color Management Systems, The Colour Resource, 1993.
Some of these capabilities are built into commercially available image browsers. The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia has developed a promising image annotation tool.
MUSE Educational Media. Sample CD-ROM Licensing Agreements for Museums . 1995. Available from Muse Educational Media 1 East 53rd Street, 10th floor, New York, NY, 10022-4201
See for example, Ester Dyson. "Intellectual Value". Wired . July 1995, 137-141, 182-4. Also available online at
Launched by the AHIP Imaging Initiative, in association with MUSE Educational Media, MESL participants include the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at the University of California, Los Angeles; The George Eastman House, Rochester; The Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Library of Congress; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.; and The National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC., American University, Washington, DC.; Columbia University, New York, New York; Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the University of Maryland at College Park; the University of Michigan; and the University of Virginia. Background information on the Museum Educational Site Licensing Project is available by ftp from the Getty Art History Information Program: ftp to , log in as 'anonymous' with your email address as the password. A profile of the project can be found in the publication of the Museum Computer Network: . J. Trant. "The Museum Educational Site Licensing Project." Spectra, Winter 1994-95, 19-21. Also available online at /index.htmlpapers/jt.mesl.spectra9502.html

Informatics: The interdisciplinary study of information content, representation, technology and applications,
and the methods and strategies by which information is used in organizations, networks, cultures and societies.