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4 May 2001














Cross Currents No 1 May 2001 

A digest of cross sectoral information management events, issues and ideas in organisations, libraries, archives and museums, with special emphasis on arts and the humanities.




Artefacts [US]

Arts and Culture Think Tank [US]


Coalition of Network Information Task Force Meeting [US]

Digital Promise Project [US]

Emerging Trends In Library and Archival Services [Singapore]

Information Industry Consolidation [UK]

Information Technology Reports [US]

Information Visualisation [UK]  

Institute of Museum and Library Services [US}

Music Information Retrieval [US].



Archiving Web Resources

Arts and Humanities Think Link

Arts E-business

Arts Libraries Society / Australia and New Zealand

Arts Strategy

AusStage National Performing Arts Database

Digital Resources For Research In the Humanities

Dramatic Online

Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative

Information Orienteering

Integration of University Information Services

Music Library Advisory Group

Music at the National Library of Australia

New Technology Special Interest Group

Performing Arts Museum, Perth

Performing Arts Museum, Brisbane

Performing Arts Resource Centre and Think Tank

Performing Arts Special Interest Group


Visual Arts Gateway






A draft report on the role of the artefact in scholarly research and related preservation issues is available on the website of the Council on Library and Information Resources. Key points: there is increasing pressure to establish digitisation and preservation priorities, increased demand by scholars for access to original sources as well as electronic resources; funds are often insufficient for this purpose; there is poor awareness of the vulnerability of audiovisual resources and preservation and shortcomings in preservation treatments; scholars can play an important role in preventing the future loss of valuable resources by articulating clearly the full range of contemporary formats and genres that have and will have potential research value. The report considers the notion of digital surrogacy, articulating its advantages and disadvantages and identifying those parts of the information infrastructure that need to be in place to maximize its benefits. Draft  report: The final report will be available in print and online in July. [Source: NINCH-Announce] 


The Center for Arts and Culture claims to be America's first independent think tank for arts and cultural issues. Based in Washington DC, the centre aims to consider the role of creativity and innovation in national and international life through research, analysis, publication and dialogue, hopes to spark a fresh look at the scope and contributions of art and culture to society and stimulate links between people, groups and governments. Website: [Source: Fuel4Arts]


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is sponsoring the formation of ArtSTOR, an independent not-for-profit organization that will develop, store and distribute electronically digital images and related scholarly materials for the study of art, architecture and other fields in the humanities particularly for teachers, students and scholars at educational and cultural institutions. It aims to reduce costs for participating institutions by eliminating the need for each entity or institution to create its own core archive, address issues of sustainability, create a Web image gallery that will facilitate the teaching of art history courses, both in the US and abroad, build and distribute a number of deep scholarly collections, working with content providers to obtain perpetual, non-exclusive rights to aggregate such materials and distribute them electronically for educational and scholarly purposes and support the mission of institutions that seek to expand access to their own holdings for academic audiences without incurring the financial and administrative burdens of distribution. Website:

[Source NINCH-Announce]


Held in Washington, DC, April 9-10, 2001. Sessions included developments in the UK and collaborations with CNI; evaluation; advanced networking; infrastructure developments; preservation developments; collaboration and cooperation; course management systems; innovative new scholarly information resources and services. Keynote speakers included Paul Resnick, University of Michigan's School of Information on Computer Networks, Social Networks and Social Capital. 

CNI website: http:// Resnick website for papers on networked information systems as tools for new kinds of community collaborations:  


A coalition of educators, library, museum, science and arts officials and leaders of top information technology companies have urged the creation of a Digital Gift to fulfill the educational promise of the Internet and other digital technologies. The recommendation was made in a new report A Digital Gift to the Nation, a project of The Century Foundation, sponsored by five major foundations. Authors Newton N. Minow and Lawrence K. Grossman liken the proposal to the Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862, which set aside public lands to create a world-class system of 105 universities across the nation. They urge the creation of the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT), funded with $18 billion from the auction of the publicly owned electromagnetic spectrum, today's equivalent of public land - an electronic land grant for the Information Age. The idea is that the Trust will serve as a venture capital fund for our nation's non-profit educational and public service institutions, administered on the model of the National Science Foundation, dedicated to innovation, experimentation and research in utilizing new telecommunications technologies across the widest possible range of public purposes, including the development of innovative educational prototypes and models through the digital transformation of archives, training materials, online courses, civic information, and quality arts and cultural programs. The Digital Promise Project was supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Century Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. The report and 17 background papers are all available on



The inaugural Emerging Trends in Library and Archival Service (e-tlas 2001 and Asia International Book Fair/International Library Expo was held in April 2001 at the Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre on the theme reinventing centres of information excellence. Details:


The [London] City Information Group debated a number of issues in April: the continuing trend of consolidation in the information industry [will it provide better or worse information solutions?]; the changing landscape of power in the industry and the blurring of roles between users and providers of information [what impact does this have on vendors, end-users and information professionals; is there a trend back towards information professionals being at the centre of information procurement?] and other issues. Speakers: Jim Malkin [Managing Director, Thomson Financial Europe]; Daniel Franklin [Editorial Director, Economist Intelligence Unit], David Green [Institute of Information Scientists]..Chair: Jackie Marfleet [VP Business Research Centre, JP Morgan]. Further details: [Source SOLO]


The following reports are available from the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) website: Digital Libraries: Universal Access to Human Knowledge; Transforming Health Care Through Information Technology; Using Information Technology to Transform the Way We Learn; Open Source Software for High End Computing; Transforming Access to Government Through Information Technology; Resolving the Digital Divide: Information, Access and Opportunity; Information Technology Research: Investing in Our Future. Website:  [Source: CNI]   


The International Conference on Information Visualisation has called for papers, videos and participation for its 5th conference. Themes: design visualisation, visualisation in mobile communication environments, web graphics and other topics. Further information available at: The proceedings of IV2001 will be published and distributed by IEEE Computer Society


The White House has nominated Robert Martin as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Institute website: [Source: NINCH-announce]


The International Symposium on Music Information Retrieval will be held on Oct 15-17, 2001. Themes: music representation and indexing; estimating similarity of music; problems of recognizing music optically and/or via audio; routing and filtering for music, building up music databases, evaluation of music-IR systems, intellectual property rights issues, user interfaces for music IR; issues related to musical styles and genres; language modelling for music; user needs and expectations. Web: . [Source IAML-]


Go to Australian section


This issue of Cross currents compiled by Paul Bentley



The Wolanski Foundation would be grateful for feedback on the scope, format and content of this bulletin..


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