November 24, 2020

Just Released: 2014 Annual Report From The Getty Focuses on Digital Humanities

The 2014 annual report from the J. Paul Getty Trust includes financial info from all Getty programs (the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation) but also features a “special focus” on the digital humanities that the Getty Trust says is one of the their “highest priorities.”

Links to read online and/or download the report titled: J. Paul Getty Trust Report 2014: Digital Humanities at The Getty are at the bottom of this post.

From the Message From the Chair Section
by Mark S. Siegel, Chair, Board of Trustees
The J. Paul Getty Trust

With the digital revolution as a focal point, you will note that this Trust Report has taken a new direction. To provide readers with a glimpse into the Getty’s work, you will find essays by two leading scholars in the digital humanities, followed by reports from each of the Getty’s programs—Conservation Institute, Foundation, Research Institute, and Museum—describing the Getty’s activities in the rapidly changing digital-arts world.

One important touchstone of our leadership commitment in this new frontier is the principal of unrestricted digital access to our collections. Consistent with this principle, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute (GRI) have both lifted restrictions on images to which they own all the rights, giving the public free, unlimited access to more than 90,000 images. We will continue to add images until all applicable Getty-owned images will be freely accessible through the Getty’s Open Content program.

Moreover, Getty Publications has released more than 250 titles through the Virtual Library, making them freely available to anyone with an Internet connection. The GRI has made 100,000 art-historical materials available through the Digital Public Library of America and released two of its art-historical vocabularies as Linked Open Data, with more to come.

Similarly, the Getty Foundation has spearheaded an initiative to transform the traditional scholarly art-historical catalogue from a traditional print publication to an interactive, freely accessible online version. This new approach to museum catalogues has already been adopted by some of the leading arts institutions in the United States.

And, in a related way, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), working with the World Monuments Fund, has developed Arches, a user friendly, open source information management software system, designed to help safeguard cultural heritage sites worldwide. This groundbreaking software is quickly gaining widespread acceptance.

From the Foreword of the Report
by President and CEO James Cuno
The J. Paul Getty Trust

Some time ago, I outlined what the field, and the Getty, should be doing to help develop digital humanities:

  • Take risks and do not be afraid of failing. This applies to individuals as well as institutions, including the Getty.
  • Work across disciplinary boundaries. Cultural institutions such as the Getty are free of inherited disciplinary boundaries. This is a great opportunity.
  • Collaborate. For us, this means collaborating across the entire Getty Trust, working in teams representative of all four Getty programs, and with colleagues from other institutions. It also means working outside our disciplines, with colleagues from the start-up community and with our users.
  • Do cross-cultural work. We should explore polycentric knowledge formation with colleagues from the rich multiverse of our fields’ many points of view.
  • Think “constellationally.” We should develop a new modality for working, what UCLA Professor and Digital Humanist Johanna Drucker calls a “constellational” modality: a means of working and publishing that is dynamic and interactive, and that embraces wide connections and deep creative thinking.
  • Publish in the full range of forms. This ranges from the extensive and expansive to the tweetable.
    Make our data sets freely and broadly available. Sharing enables us all to benefit from one another’s efforts.
  • Invest in the long-term viability of our work. This means archiving and documenting projects, and planning for sustainability.

In this Trust Report for fiscal year 2014, we explore where these guidelines have taken us over the past year and foreshadow where they will lead us in the future.

The report includes two essays:

  • “The Scale of the Human Record”
    by Jeffrey T. Schnapp
    Faculty Director
    metaLAB (at) Harvard
  • “Digital” Art History
    by Johanna Drucker
    Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies in GSEIS at the University of California, Los Angeles

Access the Full Text Report Online:  J. Paul Getty Trust Report 2014: Digital Humanities at The Getty

Download the Full Text Report (134 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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