Art Libraries Society of
Carlucci, Ph.D., Director,
Stynes, Educational Technologist,
Chou, Educational Technologist,
Sommer, Ph.D., Director of Education for Projects and
Services, Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning,
Blitz, Digital Collections/Art Research Librarian, Avery Architectural &
Fine Arts Library,
Sykes-Austin, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library,
Barbara Sykes-Austin, from the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library,
Robert Carlucci opened with a brief
description of the Visual Media Center (VMC) in the Department of Art History
and Archaeology at
basic digital image
resource development. In a separate
effort the Department of Art History and Archaeology developed a 35,000 image
departmental image database over a three year period, to demonstrate to faculty
the potential of continuous normal slide production.
the Media Center developed a QuickTime virtual reality (QTVR) resource, for
example, panoramic movies that are especially effective for both interior and
exterior architectural subjects, to support the development of pedagogical
tools for interactive tours on the Web, allowing students to ‘walk through’
archaeological or architectural sites.
Carlucci used Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house in Bear Run,
At this point, Jeremy Stynes, whose responsibilities span the spectrum of Web site production including graphic design, site architecture, imaging, and coding, noted that the VMC seeks to answer the question “How can we create meaningful online experiences for the core curriculum?” The VMC’s Art Humanities Web Portal (http://www.mcah.columbia.edu/arthumanities/) is one answer to that question. The Art Humanities database is designed to support classroom discussions and museum visits and contains all of the images in the Art Humanities syllabus. During its first two years the database included color images online, as well as all course media from the Art Humanities syllabus; 1200 images were scanned from class slide kits. The Art Humanities Database can be searched by a variety of strategies coordinated with the syllabus and can be used to create customized and shareable portfolios of images. The Web site and Database contain 12 primary topics; each topic Web site is comprised of three sections: images, texts, and supplements. Using the Parthenon as an example, Stynes took the audience on a QuickTime virtual tour that was dazzling in its comprehensiveness and subtlety. The site includes images of architectural replicas, photos, and plans, as well as portfolio links drawing on images from the image database. Please see the Database Web site for a personal view: http://www.mcah.columbia.edu/arthumanities/html/arthum_parthenon.html.
Juliet Chou, who specializes in the
combination of a wide variety of Web site design programs, especially Flash
programming, to create new ways of exploring complex works of art and
architecture, described the benefits of
teaching Asian art using innovative technologies. Asian art is distinguished by distinctive
physical formats that can be challenging to display for teaching or
research. At best the nature of the
objects being reproduced is distorted.
For example, the scroll, because of its unbroken length, is awkward to
reproduce in slides and books. Chou
demonstrated a prototype project using the painted scroll “Mountain Villa” by
Li Gonglin (or Kung-lin) (104?-1106).
She showed an interactive page with three horizontal images containing
Chinese characters, a cartouche, and an English translation of the poem which
is part of the painting, respectively.
In the case of this painting, there is a bibliographic problem of
multiple copies. The demonstrated
technology allows the viewer to reconstruct the original from multiple sources
in dispersed geographic locations, as well as facilitating the comparative
study of brush work. The Web site home page (http://www.learn.columbia.edu/mvilla/mvilla2.html)
contains brief information; the images are available only to the
Questions: Panelists provided
additional information in response to questions: the CVMC uses VRA core metadata.
Peter Sommer described the mission of
Services and University Librarian, James Neal.
The CCNMTL has worked with approximately 2000 faculty in 18 schools
Sommer outlined the Center’s design research approach. The first stage, beginning with the curricular context and identifying challenges and hypotheses, takes two hours to six months. The second stage includes designing solutions with educational technologies, the educational experience itself, and research and evaluation.
To underscore the importance of trying not to repeat past errors, Sommer showed an 1899 image which predicted the classroom of 2000. He noted that the classroom occupants are all white and all male; the faculty member dumps the lecture material into a machine which pumps the information directly into the heads of the pupils via helmets with tubes. Sommer suggested this image raises the question of whether the digital library is a machine or an institution, clearly opting for the latter alternative.
used the Mutimedia Study Environments (MSE) of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children as an example
of CCNMTL’s work. The MSE was created to
complement a stage adaptation which was at the Apollo Theater in
In conclusion, Sommer compared the idea of a culture of use which flourished in the 1980s when everyone worked separately in pre-network environment with a culture of infrastructure which characterized the 1990s during which lots of infrastructure was built and everyone was getting wired. In the emphasis on infrastructure the culture of use shrank. Sommer observed that in the 2000s we have begun to build back the culture of use once again.
Is there a formal process for development with the faculty?
Answer: There is an online project proposal form. In some instances the proposal can be implemented with a single already available educational technology; in other cases solutions are invented for a particular proposal. The CCNMTL works on 25 to 28 projects at the same time. One third of the budget is externally funded; faculty do not need their own funding in order to submit a proposal. The tool used to create the MSEs is proprietary and still being tested; eventually the design tool will be made publicly-available.
Blitz outlined some of the problems for access to images. The traditional approach is labor-intensive and expensive. Project CLiMB addresses the question “Is it possible to harvest image descriptions for metadata?” CLiMB is employing computational linguistic tools to identify and extract proper nouns, terms and phrases from existing scholarly literature associated with image collections, for use as metadata. Using the example of the Pratt House by Greene and Greene, Blitz demonstrated how a collection could be made searchable at a finely-grained level of detail. See http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~delson/cni/ for this example and others.
· Research: Development of richer retrieval through increased numbers of descriptors
· Practice: Development of a suite of CLiMB tools
In essence, the project piggybacks on pre-existing scholarship, using scholars themselves as “catalogers” by utilizing scholarly publications.
Blitz described the process of extracting metadata as the
Metadata Squeeze. Beginning with image
collections and associated texts, the texts are scanned. Target object identification (TOI) (a unique,
"canonical" name for a major art object) creates an “authority” list
of terms to load into the CLiMB Toolkit.
The list of terms varies from project to project. In the Greene and Greene prototype project
names were of interest. In the
The CLiMB Toolkit (http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~delson/CLiMB/gui/dev/) is a software tool designed for use by image catalogers for the semi-automatic generation of subject metadata. Please see http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cria/climb/presentations.html for a link to Blitz’s PowerPoint presentation and http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cria/climb/ to view the CLiMB home page.
Questions: Blitz provided additional information in response to questions:
The project only takes out metadata terms, so there are no copyright issues. The project uses OCR and TEI scanning technologies.