The Digital World of Art History

Edited by Colum Hourihane

Throughout the ninety-five years of its existence, the Index of Christian Art has always paid considerable attention not only to the material it studies but also to the standards it employs. From the very beginning, the Index ensured that it provided the best possible access to the rich holdings in its text and image files and this continues to the present. One of the first directors of the Index, Helen Woodruff (director from 1933 to 1942) published a pioneering monograph on the standards of the Index in 1942 (The Index of Christian art at Princeton university; a handbook by Helen Woodruff, with a foreword by Charles Rufus Morey,[ Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1942]) with the intention that these would be used outside of the archive. Of course it has to be realized that these applied to hardcopy holdings and now that the Index is firmly in the digital world it is a different ball game! Nevertheless, we are at all times concerned that we allow the best access possible and use the best standards available to catalogue works of medieval art in the unique repository that is the Index. As part of our ninety-fifth celebrations in 2012 we decided to devote a study day to these standards and the papers in this electronic book are from that event.

Over time and in hindsight we have been able to gauge the important moments in the history of the Index. One pivotal moment and certainly the most important in living memory was the introduction of computers to the resource and that happened in 1991 when we started to record new works electronically. At that time we were not quite sure of this new medium so we also continued to add to the paper files. Despite the warnings of cyber attacks, we stopped adding to the paper files many years ago and are now firmly working only in a digital world. We have transferred close to half the paper files that were created before 1991 and within the next ten years or so the entire archive will be digital.

Charles Rufus MoreyIf computers were a momentous event, then the Internet was the second most important moment in our recent history as it enabled us to make the resource available to the entire world and this we did-rather tentatively on a trial basis some twelve years ago. This was very much in keeping with the aims of our founder, Charles Rufus Morey (1877-1955) who in advance of computers photocopied and duplicated all the text and image holdings and made them available at four locations throughout the world. These four copies which were based at The Royal Library, Utrecht, The Vatican Library in Rome, Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. and University College, Los Angeles, were the Index’s answer to the Internet! Nowadays, the internet has meant that we are being used as far away as Australia and Japan and throughout most of North America and Europe. It has brought the Index back to the fore of medieval studies and has enabled it to direct research one again as well as supporting it. It now rightly occupies the premier position for the study of medieval art on the web and is unparalleled for the study of iconography.

In the conference which was organized by the Index and held in Princeton on Thursday July 12th 2012, we decided that it was time to look again at how we deliver our research to the public. This was intended to be a refresher class for all of us to see what our colleagues are doing elsewhere and for them to see how we approach our material. The conference aimed to look at policies, procedures and practices for some areas relating to art historical studies and not only the medieval world. We looked at what the ideals are and what are the practicalities. The day was divided into a series of general, encyclopedic papers dealing with issues such as copyright, bibliographic standards, image standards, user approaches etc. as well as specific case studies of art historical projects. We looked at how art historical research is now being undertaken and what the future may hold. It was a forum for all of us to share our experiences and to see how we can build and improve on the existing.

I am particularly grateful to all the speakers for delivering stimulating and focused papers and meeting our deadlines with charm. The event was very popular and in response to many queries we are going to publish the papers electronically on the Index website. The papers have been slightly modified in some case to reflect copyright restrictions especially with regard to images but the textual material and message remains the same as was delivered in Princeton. My thanks to all the speakers for sharing their research.

Colum Hourihane
Director, Index of Christian Art

Table of Contents

1. Shaping and Leading Digital Texts: The Future of Art Bibliography Initiative
Carole Ann Fabian
2. Bringing Medieval Stories to Life Digitally: Two Performance Websites
Evelyn (Timmie) Birge Vitz and Marilyn Lawrence
3. The Princeton Digital Humanities Initiative
David Mimno
4. Digital Dexterity: The Morgan's Medieval World at Your Fingertips
Maria Oldal, Elizabeth O'Keefe, and William Voelkle
5. Cause for Celebration? Copyright and Scholarship in the Arts
Gretchen Wagner
6. Hidden Collections become Digital Treasures
Trudy Jacoby
7. Lost and Found: New Realities in Art Historical Research
Gwen David
8. Preserving the present: Current Best Digital Practices
Melitte Buchman
9. The Blue Mountain Project: A Digital Library of the Avant-Garde
Sandra Ludig Brooke
10. The Subject is Iconography
Judith Golden
11. Boundless Information: Bibliography at the Index of Christian Art
Jessica Savage
12. New Partners and New Directions for the Index of Christian Art
Henry Schilb
13. Digital Splendor: The New York Public Library Manuscripts Project at the Index of Christian Art
Beatrice Radden Keefe
14. Resources from the Index of Christian Art outside of the Index Itself
Jon Niola
15. Art Clouds: Reminiscences and Prospects for the Future
Eleanor Fink
 

Biographies

1. Shaping and Leading Digital Texts: The Future of Art Bibliography Initiative
Carole Ann Fabian, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University

Carol Ann Fabian formerly served as Planning, Outreach and Communications Officer for ARTstor. Before that she was Director for Strategic Outreach and User Services at ARTstor. She has had a long and distinguished career in the arts in that she was also Arts & Humanities Librarian at the Architecture & Planning Library at the University of Buffalo, SUNY. She holds a M.L.S. from the University at Buffalo and a B.A. in Fine Art & Art History from the State University of New York at Oswego. She has been director of the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library in Columbia University since 2009.

 

2. Bringing Medieval Stories to Life Digitally: Two Performance Websites
Evelyn (Timmie) Birge Vitz and Marilyn Lawrence, New York University

Evelyn (Timmie) Birge Vitz is Professor of French at New York University, and Affiliated Professor of Comparative Literature, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Religious Studies. She has published widely on medieval literature and culture, with studies on hagiography, liturgy, and the Bible, as well as on poetry and narrative theory. Much of her recent work bears on the performance of medieval narrative; relevant book titles are: Medieval and Early Modern Performance in the Eastern Mediterranean, eds. Arzu Ozturkmen and Evelyn Birge Vitz (Turnhout, Brepols, in press); Performing Medieval Narrative, eds. Evelyn Birge Vitz, Nancy Freeman Regalado, and Marilyn Lawrence (Cambridge, D.S. Brewer, 2005); and Orality and Performance in Early French Romance (Cambridge, D.S. Brewer, 1999). Relevant articles include: ““‘‘The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus’’: Can We Reawaken Performance of this Hagiographical Folktale?”” in Medieval and Early Modern Performance in the Eastern Mediterranean, eds. Ozturkmen and Vitz (in press); ““Theatricality and its Limits: Dialogue and the Art of the Storyteller in the Romances of Chrétien de Troyes,”” in Le Dialogue au Moyen Age, ed. Corinne Denoyelle (Orléans, Paradigme, in press); ““Le Roman de la Rose, Performed in Court,”” in Shaping Courtliness: Essays in Honor of Matilda Tomaryn Bruckner, eds. Daniel E. O'Sullivan and Laurie Shepard (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell & Brewer, in press); “Performing Saintly Lives and Emotions in Medieval French Narrative,”” in The Church and Vernacular Literature in Medieval France, ed. Dorothea Kullman (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2009), pp. 201-213; and ““Tales with Guts: A ‘‘Rasic’’ Esthetic in French Medieval Storytelling,”” TDR [The Drama Review] (52:4, Winter 2008), pp.145-173. She codirects, with Marilyn Lawrence, the two performance websites discussed in this article.

Marilyn Lawrence holds a BA from Princeton University (in Comparative Literature, with theater and dance) and a PhD (in French) from New York University, where she is Visiting Scholar in the French Department. Her work focuses on literature and the performing arts in the Middle Ages. Her publications include the books Performing Medieval Narrative (eds. Evelyn Birge Vitz, Nancy Freeman Regalado, and Marilyn Lawrence; Cambridge, D.S. Brewer, 2005) and Recognition: The Poetics of Narrative: Interdisciplinary Studies on Anagnorisis (eds. Philip F. Kennedy and Marilyn Lawrence; New York, Peter Lang, 2009). In addition to numerous scholarly articles and contributions to books on performance, Lawrence has written as a dance critic for Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, and Movement Research Performance Journal. She is cofounder and codirector, with Evelyn (Timmie) Birge Vitz, of the two websites discussed in this article: Performing Medieval Narrative Today: A Video Showcase and Arthurian Legend in Performance. Lawrence is coeditor, with Vitz, of a special issue of The Once and Future Classroom: Resources for Teaching the Middle Ages dedicated to the use of the two websites in teaching (eds. Vitz and Lawrence; forthcoming in fall 2012, http://www.teamsmedieval.org/ofc/). Courses she has taught at NYU include Arthurian Legend, King Arthur from the 12th to the 21st Century, Medieval Minstrels, and Medieval and Renaissance Love Lyric. She is recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at NYU, as well as NYU’'s President’'s Service Award for her Medieval and Renaissance Film Festival. She is currently working on a book on storytelling and dance in medieval French literature.

Vitz and Lawrence present here their websites Performing Medieval Narrative Today: A Video Showcase and Arthurian Legend in Performance.

 

3. The Princeton Digital Humanities Initiative
David Mimno, Princeton University

David Mimno is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University. Before going to University of Massachusetts where he did his graduate work, he worked for an internet auction startup, the NLP group at the University of Sheffield, and a cultural heritage digital library- the Perseus Project. He has a particular interest in historical texts and languages. Amongst his many publications are ‘Computational Historiography: Data Mining in a Century of Classics Journals’ ACM J. of Computing in Cultural Heritage. 5, 1, Article 3 (April 2012), and ‘Mining a digital library for influential authors’, with Andrew McCallum. Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) 2007, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

 

4. Digital Dexterity: The Morgan's Medieval World at Your Fingertips
Maria Oldal, Elizabeth O'Keefe, and William Voelkle, Morgan Library

William M. Voelkle was appointed Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at The Morgan Library & Museum in 1983 and became Department Head in 1999. But he had already begun his career in 1967, as the department’s Assistant Curator. During his years at the Morgan he has overseen all aspects of the collection, and been involved with many important exhibitions: The Spanish Forger (catalog, 1978), The Stavelot Triptych (catalog, 1980), The Bernard H. Breslauer Collection of Manuscript Illuminations (catalog, 1991), and more recently, Apocalypse Then (2007), Illuminating the Medieval Hunt (2008), Pages of Gold (2009), and Treasures of Islamic Manuscript Painting from the Morgan (2011). He has also written numerous articles and books, such as an extensive commentary on the library’s celebrated Farnese Hours (MS M.69), and contributed to commentary volumes for facsimiles of the library’s Berthold Sacramentary (MS M.710), The Morgan Crusader Bible (MS M.638), The Hours of Henry VIII (MS H.8), The Morgan Beatus (MS M.644), The Black Hours (MS M.493), The Livre de la chasse of Gaston Phébus (MS M.1044), Las Huelgas Beatus (MS M.429), and The Hainricus Sacramentary (MS M.711). He is also the project director for the Morgan's collaboration with the Index of Christian Art, with the happy result that some 60,000 images will be added to CORSAIR, the Morgan's online catalog.

Maria Oldal has been Head of Cataloging and Database Maintenance at The Morgan Library & Museum since 1997. In that capacity, she has overseen record creation in CORSAIR, the Morgan's collections catalog, for its illuminated and autograph manuscript collections, art and cultural objects, master drawings and prints, early printed and children's books, and music manuscripts and printed music. She is involved in all data aspects of the museum's collection management activities, such as digitization projects, exhibition planning, tracking movement, and conservation, among others. She has been active in the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and the American Library Association, and has presented papers, conducted workshops, and published on various aspects of cataloging. She was among the reviewers of Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) and delivered presentations at ALA on applying CCO in library cataloging. She is currently the Chair of the Cataloging Advisory Committee of ARLIS/NA.

Elizabeth O'Keefe has worked at The Morgan Library & Museum for almost twenty-five years, initially as Head of the Reference Collection, and, since 1997, as Director of Collection Information Systems. CORSAIR, the online catalog she helped to develop, broke new ground in the application of library data standards to art objects and manuscripts, and provides a gateway to images and in-depth descriptions of collection objects. Liz has delivered papers on art and image cataloging and database integration at numerous conferences, and serves on several data standards committees, including the U.S. MARC Advisory Committee, the Cataloging Advisory Committee of ARLIS/NA (Art Libraries Society of North America), the Advisory Committee for Cataloging Cultural Objects, and the editorial team for Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Manuscripts) (DCRM-MSS).

 

5. Cause for Celebration? Copyright and Scholarship in the Arts
Gretchen Wagner, ARTstor

Gretchen Wagner is the General Counsel, Secretary, and Vice President of Administration for ARTstor. She is responsible for all legal matters at ARTstor, and oversees the finance, fundraising, human resources, and library relations departments.

Before joining ARTstor, Gretchen was the Assistant General Counsel of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (1999-2002), an associate at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell (1997-1999), and a law clerk for the Eastern District of New York (1996-1997).

She received a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was an editor of the Columbia Law Review. A Harlan Fiske Stone scholar, and the recipient of an award for her contributions to public service. She received her B.A. from Yale University and is a member of the S.D.N.Y., E.D.N.Y., and New York State Bars.

 

6. Hidden Collections become Digital Treasures
Trudy Jacoby, Princeton University

Trudy Buxton Jacoby is Director of the Visual Resources Collection in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Previously, she was at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she served most recently as Head Librarian for Visual and Media Resources. She participated in the development of the IRIS image management software and then partnered with Cornell University to develop the PiCtor image management software now in use at Princeton.

An active member of the Art Libraries Society of North America and the Visual Resources Association, she has held committee and board appointments. She co-chaired the ARLIS/VRA Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and has also served on the board of the VRA Foundation. She was a member of the ARTstor collections advisory group and the ARTstor hosting advisory group.

 

7. Lost and Found: New Realities in Art Historical Research
Gwen David, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Queens College

Gwen David is a Senior Library Associate at the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has worked since 2009. She received an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University in 2008, and a BFA in Art History from Massachusetts College of Art in 2007. She is currently working on a Master's in Library Science at Queens College. Her professional interests include medieval art and architecture, bibliographic instruction, information literacy and digital resources.

 

8. Preserving the present: Current Best Digital Practices
Melitte Buchman, New York University

Melitte Buchman is currently the Digital Content Manager at New York University’s Division of Libraries, where she has been since 2003. She has been involved with digital imaging since 1999 but has been steeped in photography since the age of 10. In her current capacity she is responsible for digital imaging, color management, and preservation video.

She is active in NYU’s Afghanistan Digital Library initiative as well as the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library. She is also part of the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Department where access and preservation of locally held collections are processed. Prior to working at NYU she was at The New York Public Library both in their Digital Library Program and Exhibition Department.

 

9. The Blue Mountain Project: A Digital Library of the Avant-Garde
Sandra Ludig Brooke, Princeton University

Before coming to Princeton in 2007 to direct the Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, Sandy was head of collection development at the Williams College Libraries. She was for many years an editor for the Bibliography of the History of Art, a J. Paul Getty Trust project, and has also done curatorial and museum education work at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Yale Center for British Art.

Sandy holds BA and MA degrees from Northwestern University and Williams College respectively. She did graduate work in art history at Yale University where her principle research was in 18th and 19th century British art. She holds an MLS from the State University of New York at Albany.

 

10. The Subject is Iconography
Judith Golden, Princeton University

Judith Golden is a reader in the Index of Christian Art. She received her Ph.D from University of Pittsburgh, and specializes in medieval manuscripts.

 

11. Boundless Information: Bibliography at the Index of Christian Art
Jessica Savage, Princeton University

Jessica Savage has been a reader at the Index of Christian Art since January 2010. She received an M.Litt in History of Art and Connoisseurship from the University of Glasgow where she studied at Christie’s Education in London, and a BFA from Pratt Institute in 2006. She is currently studying for a Master’s in Library and Information Science at Rutgers University. She specializes in rare books and medieval manuscripts.

 

12. New Partners and New Directions for the Index of Christian Art
Henry Schilb, Princeton University

Henry Schilb received his Ph.D from Indiana University in 2009. A Byzantinist, he has worked in the Index since March 2012.

 

13. Digital Splendor: The New York Public Library Manuscripts Project at the Index of Christian Art
Beatrice Radden Keefe, Princeton University

Beatrice Radden Keefe received her Ph.D from the Courtauld Institute of Art and is now a reader in the Index of Christian Art.

 

14. Resources from the Index of Christian Art outside of the Index Itself
Jon Niola, Princeton University

Jon Niola is Database Manger and software developer in the Index of Christian art where he has been based for over ten years, and specializes in information architecture and contextual taxonomy.

 

15. Art Clouds: Reminiscences and Prospects for the Future
Eleanor Fink, World Bank Group

Eleanor E. Fink is a Senior Philanthropy Advisor working with the World Bank and International Finance Corporation. She also serves as an Art and Technology Consultant working with the Institute of Information Science (ISI) at University of Southern California. Her career spans the non-profit philanthropic and cultural heritage communities and multi-lateral development. With ISI she is developing art and museum applications based on the linked open data cloud. At the World Bank and International Finance Corporation she provides staff with guidance on how to establish partnerships within the philanthropic community.

Previously she served as the point person at the World Bank for relations with public and private foundations. During her tenure she established several international partnerships and helped launch a World Bank wide community foundation initiative that explores the concept of establishing indigenous foundations in developing countries. She also coordinated the establishment of the Development Gateway Foundation (www.dgfoundation.org) as a 501 c (3). The Foundation’s core mission is to reduce poverty and support sustainable development through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).

Prior to the World Bank she was Director of the J. Paul Getty Trust’s Information Institute (GII) where she led the development of information policies and standards needed to manage and protect cultural assets. She positioned the Getty Information Institute around the concept of universal access to art and images and promoted the concept of “interworkability” within and across arts, humanities, and cultural heritage organizations. She conceived and launched Object ID -- an internationally recognized information standard that protects and helps recover stolen art objects. Object ID is used and endorsed by UNESCO, ICOM, and Interpol, as well as several cultural heritage organizations and museums, national police and insurance agencies. She established Los Angeles Culture Net --- a web based gateway to the arts across the greater Los Angeles area and American Strategy ---a digital gateway to art collections across Federal agencies in Washington, DC. Under her leadership GII also produced the “Getty Vocabularies” essential information standards and vocabulary tools used today by art museums around the world.

Before joining the J. Paul Getty Trust, she was Chief of the Office of Research Support and later Assistant Director at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art where she directed several research projects. She established SOS: Save Outdoor Sculpture, a highly successful national arts program that engages volunteers in recording historical and physical condition information about sculptures located in parks, towns, and cities throughout the United States.

Affiliations
Board of Directors, Iraqi Women’s Fellowship Foundation
Advisory Board, Digital Daya Policy Council, Digital Daya, Dubai, UAE
International Advisory Committee, Aspen Institute‘s Global Initiative on Arts, Culture, and Society
Advisory Council, Princeton University, Department of Art and Archaeology
Editorial Board, Alliance-a Journal on Philanthropy
Member Art Table (organization of women leaders in the arts)
Past President, Visual Resources Association and Museum Computer Network