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American Paintings to 1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of ArtLegacy Catalogues Online

MCN 2015 MinneapolisThursday, November 53:45 4:15Nokomis, Hyatt Regency

Doug Allen ( Crawford ( Pearson ( Sherman (


American Paintings to 1945 (Marquand, 2007, Margaret Conrads, ed.)

2010 grant from The Henry Luce Foundations American Art Renewal Fund$25,000 for digitization

Options for digital presentation consideredPDFInternet Archive ( Background


Last fall (of 2014), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art decided to embark on its first digitization of a legacy publication, American Paintings to 1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.American Paintings to 1945 is the award-winning, comprehensive catalogue of the Museums American paintings collection.It was initially published in print form (which you see here) in 2007.The Museums plan was always to make the information in the catalogues available online in some capacity, but this work was sidetracked by the 2008 economic downturn.In 2010, The Henry Luce Foundation granted $25,000 to complete the work of making the catalogue available online as part of a larger grant to the Museums American Art department.Last fall, a team came together to (finally!) fulfill the objective of digitizing the catalogues. That team included myself; Matt Pearson, then our Head of Imaging Services and now the Head Photographer at the Smithsonians National Museum of African American History and Culture;Stacey Sherman, our Senior Coordinator of Rights & Reproductions;And we were shortly thereafter joined by Doug Allen when he came to the Museum as CIO.The group began its work by weighing options for presenting the digital catalogues, including posting the volumes to as PDFs and partnering with the Internet Archive, which would scan and host the catalogues.Ultimately we decided to begin by partnering with Internet Archive, as their scale and facility with this type of work presented technical and cost advantages that Matt will discuss in greater depth, in particular for a one-off digitization project such as this.While Matt worked with Internet Archive to create a digital copy of the catalogue with high quality reproductionsa process he will also describe in greater detail in a momentThe team corresponded with colleagues in order to determine whether or not we would need to re-obtain the rights to reproduce digitally the images that were originally published in the catalogue. Stacey will describe what we learned in detail shortly. After determining that we would need to re-obtain rights to reproduce the images in the catalogue, we began using JIRA, a work tracking system Stacey will also discuss, to follow each of the images in the catalogue through the permissions process.Ultimately, as you will hear, this project has provided an excellent opportunity for the Museum to explore possible plans for a larger presentation of legacy publications, while developing an understanding of the intermediary work and coordination required to complete these projects.Speaking of completebefore handing off to Matt, I am happy to say that as of this week, our internal work on this project is complete, and the catalogues should be live on Internet Archive next week. Matt


Advantages to Working with Internet ArchiveTechnical advantagesMetadataSearchable with Optical Character Recognition (OCR)Variety of download optionsPage turner applicationIndexing and linked to other collectionsCost advantage$90 for Internet Archive to host titles $90 for Imaging Services to digitize volumes in-houseMaximum total cost of $10,180, including $10,000 for image use rights

[Matt]At the time, the museum did not have resources in-place for hosting and delivering complex objects such as digital booksInternet Archive (IA) provides products and services that, when thoughtfully evaluated, support planning for online publishing and the likeIndexing and robust metadata (mostly library catalog-oriented) also help improve the museums web presence and create more opportunities for participating in and contributing to multi-institutional projectsProbably the most appealing advantage is cost: as the slide shows, hosting and production was very reasonable, which allowed us to really focus on clearing-up image use agreementsBefore I describe the digitization process a little, its worth noting that we did not let the opportunity for a little capacity-building pass us by. In order to manage this particular project, we purchased 11 seats of web-hosted JIRA ticketing system, which Stacey can tell you more about.3

Aggregate permissions files from the 2007 print volume

Consult experts on digital copyright

Image Permissions and Legacy Publications

[Stacey]Thanks Matt. In dealing with the rights component of this project, we first considered whether or not it was necessary to clear additional permissions for the digital version of the catalogue.In consulting the existing permission files for the 2007 print volume, we became concerned that a majority of the agreements restricted use to a North American print run of a certain number of copies.Because of the very defined nature of these agreements, we consulted experts on digital copyright. 4

Copyright Policy & Education Officer at cohort institution regarding rights agreements 10/30/2014:

Generally, it will depend on the particular language of whatever was signed with the copyright holders when permissions were cleared for the print version. Ive seen agreements that were very specific about a print run of a certain number of copies, and Ive also seen agreements that would be broad enough to cover a digital version.As to whether fair use might be an option, that depends on a number of things. The first that comes to mind is the signed agreements again - the right to rely on fair use can be signed away, depending on the wording of the agreement. The second thing to think about is how risk averse your institution is.Understanding Digital Copyright

[Stacey]The most helpful response is shown here. It emphasizes the importance of the wording in the existing agreements; as I said, in our case the language was very specific as to rights granted for a print publication with a specific number of copies printed, so we determined that the right to fair use was potentially signed away and decided to obtain the additional permissionsWe also consulted fair use evaluation tools. They provide helpful tests to analyze whether your project can rely on fair use. The test outcomes slightly favored fair use in this case, but the language in the existing agreements still concerned us to the point where we decided to obtain additional permissions for the digital volume.Decisions as to whether or not to rely on fair use also depend on how risk averse your institution is; ours has a history of being more conservative in this area although we are engaging in a more robust discussion about whether or not to lean more heavily on fair use in the future.


Fair Use Assessment ToolsUniversity of Minnesota Libraries Thinking Through Fair Use:

Fair Use Evaluator:

Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office Fair Use Checklist:

CAA Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts:

[Stacey]Fair Use Assessment Tools6

Software development, help desk, issue trackingEmail alertsTask managementNetwork or cloud-basedVersion controlReportsJIRA Ticketing System

[Stacey]Once we decided to obtain the additional permissions, we realized this major undertaking would benefit from a project management tool that offers all of the functions you see here.My department, Imaging Services, had already been using JIRA (a project and issue tracking product developed by Atlassian) as a ticketing system. It was decided that a separate JIRA project would be created for these permissions because Kate and I would be working cross-departmentally on the project at different times.For this project, we benefitted from attaching all documentationold and newto the tickets. They ultimately contained the 2007 permissions, digital contact information for the rights holders, both then and now, electronic correspondence about the project, and the new 2015 digital permissions. All of this can be exported for output or digital archiving in a variety of formats, saving time and paper. 7

JIRA Ticketing System

[Stacey]Because JIRA allows you to configure tickets in whatever way works best for your project, Kate, Matt, and I all worked on the design of the tickets as far as what fields, status steps, and information was included This is an example of the blank ticket created for each reproduction in the bookKate then entered the object information for all 550 images (wow!) and whatever existing rights information was found in her department records; a lot of work on the front end, but it ended up being more efficient for future review The importance of working out all of the potential status steps became evident as some of them proved redundant and we wished wed added others


JIRA Ticketing System

[Stacey]This is an example of a ticket with the reproduction information completed and the permission in process


JIRA Ticketing System

[Stacey]Here the arrows are pointing to the different status steps that have been designated as part of the workflow process toward completi