Advancing Art Libraries and Curated Web Archives

A National Forum

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded a collaborative grant to the New York Art Resources Consortium and the Internet Archive’s Archive-It staff to host a national forum event, along with associated workshops and stakeholder meetings, to catalyze collaboration among art libraries in the stewardship of historically valuable art-related materials published on the web. This National Leadership Grant in the Curating Collections program category to conduct a National Forum and affiliated meetings builds on NYARC’s and Archive-It’s work together expanding web archiving amongst art and museum libraries and archives.

Logos of Art Libraries Forum partners

By mobilizing a broad effort through an invitational forum, the project aims to achieve national scale through network building and shared infrastructure planning that the project team will foster through a program of discussion, training, and strategic roadmapping. The project will include the contribution of a diverse group of members of the art library community, lead to published outputs on strategic directions and community-specific training materials, and launch a multi-institutional effort to scale the extent of web-published, born-digital materials preserved and accessible for art scholarship and research.

Read the Internet Archive blog post: Internet Archive and New York Art Resources Consortium Receive Grant for a National Forum to Advance Web Archiving in Art and Museum Libraries.

More information on the grant from IMLS: Advancing Art Libraries and Curated Web Archives: A National Forum.


April 2020: Read our report on the research, events, and evaluation that were conducted to convene a community of web archiving practice among art and museum libraries, and contact us here to join us.

March 2020: The project team hosted key stakeholders meetings in New York (April, 2019) and Los Angeles (March 2020) in order to review the ideas and challenges raised at the National Forum, outline a collaborative collecting program, and define roles in broadening the program to include art libraries around the country and the world.

The Internet Archive and NYARC will introduce the program and how to get involved via an upcoming webinar. Please register here to join us on Thursday, April 23 at 11AM Pacific, 2PM Eastern to learn more. A final public report will follow.

National Forum

The Advancing Art Libraries and Curated Web Archives National Forum, including a full-day symposium and half-day of community workshops was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) on February 11-12, 2019. The agenda included:

Day 1: Symposium

8:30 AM – Coffee and registration

9:00 AM – Welcome and opening remarks: Lori Donovan (Internet Archive), David Senior (SFMOMA), and Deborah Kempe (Frick Art Reference Library)

9:30 AM – Keynote speaker Jenny Odell, introduced by Amir Saber Esfahani (Internet Archive Artist-in-Residence Program)

10:15 AM – Break

10:30 AM – Community research report and panel discussion on digital collecting and preservation with Karl-Rainer Blumenthal (Internet Archive), Michelle Elligott (Museum of Modern Art), Heather Saunders (Cleveland Museum of Art), and Emily Rafferty (Baltimore Museum of Art)

11:30 AM – Panel discussion of curating web archives at various scales, with Sumitra Duncan (NYARC), Samantha Abrams (Ivy Plus Libraries), Andrea Puccio (Clark Art Institute), and Coral Salomón (University of Pennsylvania)  

12:30 PM – Lunch

1:30 PM – Rotating breakout discussion groups on collection development with Kathryn Stine (California Digital Library), outreach and creators with Megan Halsband (Library of Congress), policy and resource allocation with Deborah Kempe and Lori Donovan, and preservation and storage with Jefferson Bailey (Internet Archive)

3:30 PM – Break

3:45 PM – Group discussion report-outs and roadmapping

4:30 PM – Wrap-up and workshop logistics with Karl-Rainer Blumenthal

5:00 PM – All-attendee reception

Day 2: Workshops

9:00 AM – Workshop

12:00 PM – Lunch and tour of the Internet Archive Headquarters

2:00 PM – Workshop (repeat)

Attendees reconvened on Day 2 for an in-depth workshop on web archiving program and technology factors, decisions, and practices led by the project team from the Internet Archive and NYARC. The program covered decision points and processes for defining the scope, collection development policies, and staffing a collaborative web archiving program. Attendees worked together in small groups to create sample collection and preservation plans for their home institutions and/or collaborations among them. 

Community Research

The project team conducted a literature review and survey of the art and museum library community yo prepare and program the above National Forum events. These public reports summarize the state of art and museum library experiences with and aspirations for web archives:

> Advancing Art Libraries and Curated Web Archives: A Literature Review

> Advancing Art Libraries and Curated Web Archives: A Community Survey

For more background introduction, you can watch this short informational webinar, recorded in August 2018, to learn more about the project, its timeline, and hear answers to questions:

Thanks to all who have shared their input and ideas via the above events and community survey. Questions in the meantime may be directed to the project team at: artforum [at] archive [dot] org.