May 20, 2022

New Interactive, Multimedia Art Catalogue Released by Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative, Final Publication From Group

From Today’s Announcement:

The Getty Foundation, together with eight major museums, is leading the way in digital publishing for museums, including the recent launch of an interactive, multimedia catalogue by the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the final publication from the group.

The Getty Foundation began the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI) in 2009 in partnership with the J. Paul Getty Museum and eight other museums: the Art Institute of Chicago; the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Seattle Art Museum; Tate; and the Walker Art Center. Together the group has been tackling the challenges of online publishing by creating new prototypes for scholarly catalogues in the online environment.


While many organizations are charging a premium for this type of online content, the OSCI group is providing it free of charge as a resource to scholars and the general public. When the initiative first began in 2009, tablet computers were not yet in widespread use and the iPad had not been released.  Five years later, audiences have come to expect that all organizations, including museums, will provide quality digital content in easily accessible and dynamic formats. This is what the Getty Foundation’s OSCI collaboration aims to deliver.


During the process, the group has developed a set of tools and resources that are now being freely shared, paving the way for digital innovation among museums. The software tools developed by the group are both flexible and replicable, so they can support a broad variety of collections-based publications by other museums. Under the OSCI banner, the collaboration has produced an abundance of dynamic online content. Thanks to these OSCI resources, readers are now able to study detailed images of artworks online, overlay them with conservation documentation, view videos with artists discussing their work, discover scholarly essays in easy-to-read formats, take notes in the margins that can be stored for later use, and export citations to their desktops – among a variety of interactive ways to engage with the new scholarship.

Direct to Interactive/Multimedia Catalogues

Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler: The World of the Japanese Illustrated Book: The Gerhard Pulverer Collection

Art Institute of Chicago: Monet and Renoir Paintings and Drawings

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): Southeast Asian Art at LACMA

National Gallery of Art (NGA): Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA): Rauschenberg Research Project

Seattle Art Museum: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy

Tate: The Camden Town Group in Context

Walker Art Center: Living Collections Catalogue: On Performativity (Volume I)

Additional Resources

From 2011

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.