Museum Educational Site Licensing Project: Content Selection Working Group

MESL Content Selection
Harvard University Art Museums

First Distribution Description

The Harvard University Art Museums approach to the selection of works for the first round of distribution for the MESL project was very clinical and practical. Since the initial time frame for the selection of works was limited, relying on existing visual documentation from our Photographic Services Department was necessary in order to meet the required deadline. The group of images available to the academic communities for selection was based upon existing high quality 8 x 10 color transparencies and color slides of the HUAM collections. Naturally, these selections represent, in general, the most well published works from our permanent collection. Had time and resources permitted a different approach, the selection would have been driven by the academic needs. Due to copyright concerns, contemporary works with questionable copyright status were eliminated from the list of available images.

Lists were generated for universities involved in MESL and the academic community asked to make a selection from the list. When all selections were returned to the HUAM, we enterd all requests into our database and, based on ther number of requests for an image, included or excluded images to be shared in the project. Works which were requested by two or more institutions were included in the selection. Generally individual requests for an image were not included unless a strong case was made to justify inclusion. The resulting list was particularly strong in 19th century paintings and drawings and ultimately, the museum shared over the required 500 images.

Accompanying collection data for the initital round of images ranged from brief core records to complete documentation including full bibliography, provenance and exhibition histories. Condition notes, conservation notes and general curatorial notes were available for certain selections.


[ Content Selection-HUAM ] [ MESL Content Selection ]

Last Modified: Thursday, 01-Feb-1996 11:54:34 EST