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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Integration of Print and Digital Publishing Workflows


The Art Institute of Chicago has been publishing award-winning scholarly and popular print catalogues for decades… but is this model sustainable? Digital publication appears to hold great promise for both user experience and global reach. To achieve these bright outcomes, however, institutions need to approach the challenges and opportunities of digital publication with creativity, willingness to reorganize around new ideas and the careful and adequate resourcing of this vitally important publishing agenda.

 In this paper, we will share the Art Institute of Chicago’s experiences gained from forging new integrated print and digital publishing workflows. The discussion will focus on case studies from our ongoing efforts on the Monet and Renoir Systematic Catalogue supported by the Getty’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI), the Martin European Decorative Arts Gallery Interactives, the French Impressionism iPhone, iPad and Android applications, and other publications.  These projects have all required a deeper collaboration between the technology, publications, education, and marketing/ communications departments.  We will discuss our approaches to challenges brought on by these digital publishing opportunities, such as:  How do we address the impact these workflows have on both job responsibilities and available human resources?  Does increasing the digital publishing portfolio imply decreasing the number of print catalogues planned?  How can we incentivize scholars to write for digital publication?  Will certain features, such as footnotes and citation tools, allow the field of art history to better recognize the legitimacy of these digital works? What content and which publication channels are appropriate for revenue generating goals? Is new hardware like the iPad creating a new generation of expectations for digital publication?  How sustainable are these digital publications as software evolves—are we considering the ongoing maintenance costs?


Paper - in formal session


squigl's picture
Sam Quigley is VP for Collections Management, Imaging, and Information Technology / Museum CIO at the AIC. He oversees care of the physical collection, imaging documentation systems, and art-related digital publication. His experience ranges from curatorial work at the MFA, Boston, to technology at...
eneely's picture
Elizabeth Neely is the Director of Digital Information and Access at the Art Institute of Chicago. Working with museum departments and leading technical developer teams, many of her efforts center on planning and developing innovative means to deliver exhibition and collection information to the...