What does an AMICO Library entry include?
An AMICO Library entry minimally includes a descriptive
"cataloging" record for an artwork, a digital image, and metadata documenting
that image. Based on the AMICO Member?s documentation, entries may also
include image details and alternate views, collection data, curatorial
records, original scholarly research, and other educational material
related to those works, much of it not published in other forms.
How good, in lay terms, are the images?
The apparent quality of any image depends on many factors, but in general
the AMICO images are being delivered at more than twice the resolution
of most images on the web sites of museums today. The general
specification is 1024 x 768 pixels
in 24 bit color, which is the maximum screen resolution of most 17"
monitors. At this resolution over 1 million pixels (picture elements)
are captured in full color. The perceived quality of this image varies
with the size of the original work of art, though. For small objects,
it could be a magnification over the unassisted eye; for large objects
it could be quite poor.
Some AMICO images are available in resolutions
up to twenty times the minimum, allowing for considerable "zooming".
However, there are some images in the Library that are not quite this
large, either because existing digital images were captured at a lower
resolution, or because the over-magnification of some objects at this
resolution, such as ancient coins or miniatures, is distorting.
What kind of "art" is in the Library?
Images in the AMICO Library include a broad range
of works of the following genres: painting, sculpture, photography,
print, drawing, ceramic, textiles, metalwork, furniture, books and scrolls,
architecture, and archeological finds.
Are there works by contemporary artists in the AMICO Library?
Yes. Artworks from the 20th century are represented
in the Library when a museum holds the proper copyright clearance. Also,
AMICO has come to an agreement with the Artists Rights Society (ARS)
and The Visual Arts and Galleries Association that greatly expands the
Library's access to contemporary and modern content. AMICO pays a royalty
to artists and their representatives enabling AMICO Members to contribute
copyrighted works of art into the AMICO Library.
Will the Library grow over time?
Yes. Members have committed to adding a minimum
number of new works to the Library each year, in addition to adding
to the documentation of works already contributed. Over time, AMICO
Members hope to add documentation from internal museum files, from museum
education programs, from public exhibitions and from published scholarly
When the AMICO
Library is updated each year, will the prior version be archived for
The archival record of the works of art and their
documentation is maintained by the museums as part of their mission
to preserve the works in their collections. The AMICO Library is a continually
updated reference tool.
What proportion of Member collections is represented?
Some Member institutions (albeit small) will have
the entirety of their collections represented in the AMICO Library soon.
Others will add works each year, possibly over decades, until their
collections are significantly represented.
Will Members manage to keep up with the
AMICO work load?
AMICO Members have set contribution targets that
they believe they can meet. It is expected that over time the works
contributed to the Library will be those whose documentation is created
or updated as part of the regular workload of the museum, through new
acquisitions, items going on loan or exhibit, items being studied or
published, and items whose commercial rights have been requested.
Who determines what images the AMICO Library
contains and how?
Each member determines what they will contribute
to AMICO each year. Users may make suggestions for works to be added
to the AMICO Library using the forms at http://www.amico.org/AMICOlibrary/suggestawork.html.
Members have generally been able to satisfy these requests.
Who contributes to the AMICO Library?
To contribute to the AMICO Library, you must be
an AMICO Member. Please contact Jennifer Trant, AMICO Executive Director,
for more information, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who may have access
to the AMICO Library?
The AMICO Library is available under subscription through a number of
distributors. Institutions and individuals may subscribe to the AMICO
Who are the AMICO Library end users?
The AMICO Library wishes to serve the interests of a varied array of
users. In AMICO Member institutions The AMICO Library may be used by
staff members from curatorial to educational departments, as well as
placed in the museum as a reference tool for visitors.
In Subscriber institutions The AMICO Library could assist in teaching
art history and a broad range of humanities subjects. It can be used
by students in their research and projects. Generally, access to The
AMICO Library will help learners of all ages and levels increase their
understanding of art objects and cultural heritage.
Will users influence what works the AMICO
It is expected that users will have considerable influence over what
is included in The AMICO Library. In the aggregate, what content is
being used will be reported back to the museums. Users will also be
surveyed to request input on areas not represented.
In addition, users with close relationships with Members holding works
which they are studying or teaching will doubtless advocate contribution
of particular works directly with museum staff. Where specific needs
are identified AMICO Members are exploring joint projects to address
lacunae in The AMICO Library.
Could we mount the AMICO database on our
Yes, if you are a licensing institution. Universities signing
the "long-license", may mount any part of The AMICO Library
(including the whole) on local servers. But it is a large amount of
data, and AMICO expects this strategy will, over time, be most useful
for establishing "reserve readings" and class laboratory facilities,
or for applications that require extremely high quality images which
will not transmit easily over the Internet.
It is also expected that some institutions will
opt to mount The AMICO Library in order to exploit local software functionality.
Individual universities may elect to become "distributors" to other
AMICO licensed institutions or to other categories of institutions,
such as regional K-12 schools or public libraries.
How would my organization become an AMICO Distributor?
To discuss creating distribution functionality
for the AMICO Library you should contact Jennifer Trant, AMICO Executive
Director, via email to email@example.com.
Each Distributor may have access to test data through a Development
Agreement for a period of up to one year prior to offering the service,
in order to develop software appropriate to accessing the AMICO Library.
Is AMICO developing a network of museums?
No. AMICO is using existing distribution systems to reach educational
licensees. But members of AMICO are themselves a network that shares
information and expertise.
Is AMICO using special technology?
No. The AMICO Library conforms to existing data and technical standards.
The works of art are documented in well-known and widely supported file
formats for text, images, and multimedia.
Does AMICO Library access cost anything?
Yes. AMICO charges a subscription fee to cover the cost of collating
and enhancing the documentation provided by the members. No money is
returned to members. AMICO?s distributors may also charge a service
fee for providing access and support.
Are there subscription
Subscription fees are tiered based on the number of potential users
at a subscribing institution. Subscribers have unlimited use of the
How much does an
AMICO Library Subscription (license) cost?
Each distributor sets its own combined license and service fee. For
information about distributors and their services, you can begin at
How is the subscription
License fees are calculated to recover the
costs AMICO incurs in building the Library and delivering it to distributors.
Are there any other
No. The only fees for using The AMICO Library are the AMICO License
fee and the Distributors? access fee.
Why is this an annual
The number of works in The AMICO Library is growing annually, and works
in the Library are being enhanced regularly. This results in annual
costs to AMICO that must be covered if The AMICO Library is to continue
to be available for educational use.
Are the museums
making money from this?
No. Members of AMICO pay dues in addition to contributing documentation
of works of art that meet the AMICO Technical Specification. In addition,
the costs to AMICO Members of documenting their collections and making
digital surrogates are not reimbursed by AMICO.
Finally, AMICO Members bear the full costs of
researching rights to works, and some AMICO Members are also paying
licensing fees to contemporary artists and artists estates in order
to include contemporary works in the AMICO Library. Members see participation
in AMICO as part of their educational mission, and gain other benefits
from their collaboration.
Can I get a copy
of the AMICO License Agreements?
AMICO makes the full text of all its licenses available as .PDF files
on its web site. Please send AMICO your comments.
How are AMICO Licenses
AMICO licenses have been developed in conjunction with users from each
educational community that will use The AMICO Library. The basic principle
is that The AMICO Library is to be used for educational, non-commercial,
purposes. Institutions sign licenses and are entitled to designate categories
The AMICO license builds on work of the Museum
Educational Site Licensing project which established who in the
university community may be and may not be a "designated user" and what
"uses" they were permitted or prohibited from making under this license.
What are the terms
of the license?
AMICO offers separate licenses for universities, museums, public libraries,
unaffiliated scholars and kindergarten through grade 12 schools. Each
license has a term of one year, during which "designated users" may
make unlimited "permitted uses" wherever they are. The Licenses are
not restricted to a physical site and copies of AMICO works may be made
by any designated user. Redistribution of any part of the Library and
publication of works are prohibited without specific authorization from
the rights holder(s). One may not post works from the AMICO Library
on the public Internet.
What about Fair
The AMICO licenses explicitly state that they do not limit "Fair Use"
as defined in the US. Copyright Act. The licenses also permit many uses
that go beyond Fair Use.
Who can use the
Each license permits the licensing institution to define its "designated
users" within the classes of users allowed. For universities and museums,
these are all staff, students, researchers, and visitors to the institution.
They do not include people who pay only for access to information
services or from whom the institution is soliciting contributions (such
as alumni of a university or ?friends? of the museum). Unaffiliated
scholar licenses give access only to the individual subscriber.
Can I use the materials
in the way that I want to?
Each license establishes explicitly what can and cannot be done with
AMICO works. No further permission is required to do all that is permitted;
excluded uses will require additional permissions from the rights holders.
Generally the uses established allow for use in all ways that are part
of the educational practices and missions of the licensing institutions,
including teaching, research, on-line reserves, testing, distance education,
incorporation into student projects, and retention in portfolios.
Will the AMICO license
allow for use of images in scholarly publications? Republication
and redistribution of works in The AMICO Library, including scholarly
publication and posting materials on public access web sites is not
permitted. AMICO can not grant these rights, because it does not have
authority to relicense works contributed by the museums. AMICO has created
a simplified means for users to request such rights directly from the
museum using the Reproduction Rights Request Form at http://www.amico.org/use/reproRequest.html.
What about sponsored
Sponsored research is explicitly included, and the subjects of such
research are included within the definitions of "designated users" in
the university license. AMICO hopes that the results of such work will
be shared with the broader community.
Will I be able to
teach my course with only digital images?
It is unlikely that The AMICO Library would contain the optimum content
required to teach any topic. In some areas there may be adequate depth
and breadth in the Library to base a course solely on AMICO content.
Over time, it is of course hoped that The AMICO Library will constitute
the largest and most important digital resource for art scholarship.
But even then it will not replace other sources; scholars will always
want to use primary and secondary sources, publications, books, and
articles for their teaching and research.
Can AMICO material
be used with other digital information available on my campus?
Yes, definitely. The AMICO
Library Technical Specification conforms to many information systems
standards which are specifically designed to assist in such integration.
The AMICO license explicitly allows for the integration of AMICO cataloging
data in OPACs (including providing access to a limited subset of data
beyond the university to users who are not among the "designated users"
of AMICO) and for the incorporation of AMICO works into faculty teaching
materials and student projects.
Will I be allowed
to modify and adapt images in The AMICO Library?
This is a very sensitive issue, as any creative artist knows. Some AMICO
licenses permit the modification of works within The AMICO Library for
educational purposes in return for agreements by licensees that they
will monitor and report such uses.