The Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) has entered
into a broad collaborative agreement with the Scottish Cultural Resources
Access Network (SCRAN). The two organizations will share knowledge and
expertise in the networked delivery of cultural heritage. SCRAN plans
to add The AMICO LibraryTM to the existing SCRAN services available
to primary and secondary schools throughout the United Kingdom beginning
in the fall of 2001, and may also distribute to Further and/or Higher
Educational institutions and public libraries in the U.K. AMICO and
SCRAN will share specifications and tools, explore issues of cross-resource
access, and look to make SCRAN resources available in North America
to educational subscribers.
As AMICO's Executive Director, Jennifer Trant,
notes, "SCRAN has created a rich array of educational materials centered
on Scottish cultural heritage. We hope that SCRAN subscribers will see
The AMICO Library as a complementary addition to those materials, allowing
for connections to be made across our two collections. We are excited
to see our Members' collections available to U.K. primary and secondary
school teachers and students. It broadens the educational reach of the
museums we represent, and integrates nicely with our North American
efforts to make The AMICO Library widely available to school users this
fall." Bruce Royan, Executive Director of SCRAN, concurs, "The AMICO
Library will be a welcome addition to the current resources we deliver.
The diverse connections to be made between collections, educators, and
students should be a natural and vibrant outgrowth of this agreement."
SCRAN was founded by a partnership of the National
Museums of Scotland (NMS), the Scottish Museums Council (SMC) and the
Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS).
Also on the SCRAN Board are representatives of the British Computer
Society (BCS), the Conference of Scottish Higher Education Principals
(COSHEP) and the Learning and Teaching Scotland (LT Scotland), under
the Chairmanship of Lady Balfour of Burleigh. SCRAN is available at
a wide range of community information points, including schools, libraries,
museums, community centres and tourist information centers.
A central co-ordinating body signs a licence agreement
form and SCRAN provides a site licence, password and username for each
participating institution. This allows them to access and download large
sized images and fully operational video and audio files. These, together
with a range of tools and CD-ROMs may be used copyright cleared for
teaching and learning. Personal licenses are also available for home
use. SCRAN is accessible via the World Wide Web and its resources will
also be available on CD-ROM and other multimedia formats as they develop.
Today, SCRAN contains 700,000 text records of historic monuments and
of artefacts held in Scottish museums, galleries and archives, plus
120,000 related multimedia resources. In addition, SCRAN will have commissioned
70 multimedia essays, based on these resources, for educational use.
The Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) is an
independent non-profit corporation with 501 (c) 3 designation from the
IRS. Founded in 1997 with 23 Members, the Consortium today is made up
of over 30 major museums in the United States and Canada. It's an innovative
collaboration - not seen before in museums - that shares, shapes, and
standardizes digital information regarding museum collections and enables
its educational use. Membership is open to any institution with a collection
AMICO Members make annual contributions of multimedia
documentation of works in their museums' collections. This is regularly
compiled and made available as The AMICO Library to universities, colleges,
schools, and public libraries. The 2001-2002 edition of The AMICO Library
documents approximately 75,000 different works of art, from prehistoric
goddess figures to contemporary installations. More than simply an image
database, works in The AMICO Library are fully documented and may also
include curatorial text about the artwork, detailed provenance information,
multiple views of the work itself, and other related multimedia. "Subscribers
find The AMICO Library valuable because it combines the immediacy and
accessibility of the Web with the persistence and academic weight of
traditional library reference sources," states Ms. Trant.
The AMICO Library is accessible over secure networks
to institutional subscribers including universities, colleges, libraries,
schools, and museums, and is now licensed to over 2 million users, including
faculty, students, teachers, staff, and researchers. Educational institutions
may subscribe to The AMICO Library by contacting one of its distributors.
These include the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the Ohio Library
and Information Network (OhioLINK), and now SCRAN. A subscription to
the AMICO Library provides a license to use works for a broad range
of educational purposes. Potential subscribers may preview a Thumbnail
Catalog of the AMICO Library and get further information at http://www.amico.org.