Museum Multimedia in Universities: The Art Museum Image Consortium's University Testbed Project

Jennifer Trant
David Bearman
Art Museum Image Consortium
2008 Murray Ave, Suite D
Pittsburgh, PA 15217


The Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO ) is a not-for-profit organization formed in late 1997 to create a digital multimedia library of art available for licensed educational use. Twenty-three founding members contributed digital documentation of approximately 20,000 works in their collection to a test library. In collaboration with the Research Libraries Group (RLG), AMICO made this collection available to sixteen universities as part of the University Testbed . This paper summarizes the results of the AMICO University Testbed, including user studies, focus groups conducted by AMICO, and online surveys conducted by Cornell Universities Interactive Media Group. The Authors will review their implications for the design and delivery of rich primary source materials for humanities scholarship, including the first edition of the AMICO Library -- approximately 40,000 works from 30 institutions -- to be released in July 1999.

The Authors: Jennifer Trant, Executive Director, AMICO and David Bearman, Director Strategy and Research, AMICO have been involved in development of online humanities knowledge bases for several decades. They co-chair the annual Museums and the Web Conference and the bi-annual International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meetings (ICHIM), and consult for consortia of cultural heritage institutions worldwide in their capacities as partners in Archives & Museum Informatics. Their papers and research reports have appeared in numerous online and print journals.