Earlier this summer, the Internet Archive announced its partnership with the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) to form a collaborative, web-based art resources preservation and access initiative. We are now thrilled to announce that the initiative has kicked off with a diverse roster of 24 participating member institutions throughout the United States and Canada.
The Collaborative ART Archive (CARTA) project has a mission to collect, preserve, and provide access to vital arts content from the web by supporting a vibrant, growing collaboration of art and museum libraries. With funding from federal agencies and foundations, the Internet Archive is able to expand CARTA to a diverse set of museums and art libraries worldwide and to broaden the ways the resulting collections can be discovered and used both by scholar and patrons.
The arts institutions actively participating in this program so far include:
- American Craft Council
- American Folk Art Museum
- ART | library deco
- Art Gallery of Ontario
- Art Institute of Chicago
- Fashion Institute of Technology
- Getty Research Institute (Getty Library)
- Harvard University – Fine Arts Library
- Harvard University – Graduate School of Design
- Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
- Maryland Institute College of Art
- Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
- National Gallery of Art Library
- National Gallery of Canada
- New York Art Resources Consortium
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
- Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library
- The Corning Museum of Glass
- The Menil Collection
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Spencer Reference Library
- University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hamilton Library
Membership in the program includes national and regional art and museum libraries throughout the United States and Canada committed to the preservation of 21st century art historical resources on the web. One of our early supporters and current CARTA member Amelia Nelson, Director of Library and Archives at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, noted the increased risk of losing art history on the web in comparison to earlier generations of artists: “Websites are the letters, exhibition postcards, exhibition reviews and newspaper articles of today’s artists and artistic communities, but they aren’t resources that scholars can find in archives like the physical materials that document the careers of earlier generations of artists. I worry that as we lose these sites, we are also losing the potential for scholars to place this moment in the canon of art history and culture broadly. This initiative will build a collaborative and sustainable way for art libraries to pool their limited resources, with the technical, administrative, and organizational expertise of the Internet Archive, to ensure that this content is available for future generations.”
The initial group of member institutions have identified an initial set of more than 150 valuable and at-risk websites, articles, and other materials on five primary collection topics: Local Arts Organizations; Artists Websites; Art Galleries; Auction Houses (Catalogs/Price Lists); and Art Criticism. These collections will continue to grow and evolve over the course of the project, capturing thousands of websites and many terabytes of data.
We’re actively seeking more US-based arts institutions to participate in the project as we continue to grow our collections of web-based art history resources. Collaborative members attend meetings every two months to coordinate curation and other group activities as well as participate in subcommittees focused on collection development, metadata, end-user/researcher engagement, and outreach. If you are involved with an art and/or museum library interested in joining this collaborative project, please complete this form.