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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.

Online Scholarly Catalogues at the Art Institute of Chicago: From Planning to Implementation


As part of an effort to shape the future of scholarly publishing, the Getty Foundation invited the Art Institute of Chicago and eight other museums to participate in a venture called the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI). This project aims to create new platforms for digital publications that provide in-depth curatorial research and conservation science alongside richly illustrated content in a format that readers find engaging, manageable, and unobtrusive.

The very definition of an online scholarly publication suggests accessibility and functionalities beyond print—a complex and groundbreaking endeavor entailing many challenges and opportunities.  In envisioning our version of the online scholarly catalogue, the Art Institute of Chicago’s goal was to create a publication that would embrace the exciting world of digital publishing without leaving behind the weight and authority naturally ascribed to the book format.

We will demonstrate the Art Institute of Chicago’s first online scholarly catalogue entries, from the series Paintings and Drawings by the Impressionist Circle in the Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago launched in November 2011, including their rich high-resolution imagery, the ‘Multilayer Interactive Image Viewer’ as well as citation and marginalia reader tools. For those interested in the publication’s more technical end, we can also demonstrate the easy-to-use catalogue-authoring environment built in Drupal 7.


Paper - in formal session


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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...
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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...