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Art Museum Images in Scholarly Publishing -- buy from     Rice University Press. image -->

Over the past two decades, digital technology has transformed the creation, management, and distribution of images of museum objects. The transition from catalog cards and analog photography to electronic recordkeeping and digital images has offered dramatic opportunities for museums to improve collection care and documentation and to support greater staff collaboration. Museums began embracing technology in the dissemination of information about their collections by mounting collections information and educational modules on their websites in the mid-1990s. Today, virtual visitors enjoy unprecedented access to images of the most prized art objects in galleries as well as the hidden treasures in storage that are infrequently displayed, studied, or published. Digital technology has begun to change the world of art publishing by lowering the cost of new photography. Barbara Bridgers, Metropolitan Museum General Manager for Imaging and Photography, writes, “There have been tremendous savings realized with digital photography since we no longer purchase film and pay for processing…. A hidden cost savings in publication photography is the photographer’s labor. Digital photography is far more expedient than analog photography was, and we almost always finish photography well ahead of Editorial’s deadlines. It probably takes us a third of the time to photograph a full color catalog from start to finish than it would have in the days when we shot film.” Email message to the author, October 30, 2008. Expensive proofing exchanges between museums and printers can be reduced when working in a quality, color-managed digital publishing environment. In 2005, co-investigators Roy S. Berns and Franziska S. Frey published research, supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, on the direct digital capture practices of American museums. Among the key findings, the authors reported that:

  • museum imaging was output-driven (e.g., printed publications);

  • digital workflows varied widely and were not well documented;

  • visual editing still prevailed, with aesthetics deemed more important than scientific rigor and reproducibility.

See Roy S. Berns and Franziska S. Frey, Principal Investigators, Direct Digital Capture of Cultural Heritage—Benchmarking American Museum Practices and Defining Future Needs (Rochester: Rochester Institute of Technology, 2005), 1. Today, some museums have implemented digital workflows that include a scientific calibration procedure for all the imaging components (e.g., lighting, camera settings, color management, file format, and metadata) to conform to a defined set of conditions. David Mathews, previously Digital Imaging Studios Manager, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and currently Director of Digital Services, Northeast Document Conservation Center, writes, “it is…possible (…in major museums) that professionally managed color management allows synchronization of color fidelity from original to print medium. It is understood that viewing conditions vary between display and print (ink on paper is reflective, displays are transmissive). Modern digital printing works with profiling numerics mediating between devices producing results typically exceeding expectations. Art reproductions compared to originals produced through electronic publishing are quite accurate if done properly” (October 30, 2008, email to the author). Barbara Bridgers, Metropolitan Museum of Art, reiterates the point. “At the Met, we have a fairly closed color management system in the Studio with which the Production staff in Editorial, and our primary separator…have become familiar. Because we have standardized our capture methods and apply color management consistently, they are able to rely upon our files and get good, dependable results. But this has been an effort that took a few years to get right” (October 30, 2008, email to the author).
Yet there is a downward trend in the number of scholarly art history books published yearly. Some distinguished presses have significantly reduced their art publication programs and others have ceased publishing art monographs entirely.

Museum licensing fees are frequently cited as one—if not the —factor in this decline. In standard museum practice, these fees are charged to partially underwrite the expense of new photography, the reproduction of analog film, and the staff overhead associated with processing the order. Additional fees are levied for permission to reproduce the photograph and are calculated according to the intended use and size of the print run.

This report reviews the debate in the scholarly community about the effects on publishing of fees for the use of museum images. It examines the rationale for charging fees, the costs museums incur in creating images, the changing landscape regarding image production and access, and the solutions three museums have found to provide fee-free images for scholarly publication.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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