This is an outline of the elements needed by the MESL technical report team in order to produce the MESL Final Report. The outline also attempts to gather some data related to implementation personnel requirements, costs, and experiences needed by the staff of the Mellon grant for their needs. It is intended as a simple mechanism to collect and document the MESL experience from each individual institution. All the reports will appear as is in an Appendix to the MESL Final Report.

There are three basic parts. (1) An institutional profile, (2) A technical implementation overview, and (3) A report on the experience. In order to help us understand the MESL process, please try to be as complete as possible (long is good). Please feel free to add questions, comments, and points. All reports will be made available to members of MESL for their own reporting purposes.

Address questions to <mesl-documentation@ahip.getty.edu >. Questions and answers will be posted to the list and will be available for review through the list's hypermail archive on the MESL Web Site. Robert Yamashita <hydrogn@violet.berkeley.edu> will be the contact person for answering questions and resolving problems. Howard Besser and Christie Stephenson will provide back-up.

  1. Institutional Profile
  2. This section is summary information of the sort you provided in your initial applications. It is intended to provide a brief overview of the institution to those outside the project

    1. Organizational Profile
    2.  

    3. Collections Overview
    4.  

    5. Technical Overview
    6.  

    7. STAFFING
    8. These questions can help us analyze what organizational/staffing adjustments might be required to move from a demonstration project to a production environment

      1. Organization of MESL Project Team
      2. List titles, roles and responsibilities with respect to MESL, Number and level of staff devoted to MESL technical processing, Changes, year 1 to year 2, Approximate amount of time spent by each staff person listed

         

        Titles

         

        ROLES

        Tech

        (Y/N)

        approx.
        time or %

         

        yr. 1

             
         

        yr. 2

             
         

        yr. 1

             
         

        yr. 2

             
         

        yr. 1

             
         

        yr. 2

             

        add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

      3. Others in your organization that "did the work" of MESL
      4. List titles, roles and responsibilities with respect to MESL. Number and level of staff devoted to MESL technical processing (Changes, year 1 to year 2). Approximate amount of time spent by each staff person listed

         

        Titles

         

        ROLES

        Tech

        (Y/N)

        approx.
        time or %

         

        yr. 1

             
         

        yr. 2

             
         

        yr. 1

             
         

        yr. 2

             
         

        yr. 1

             
         

        yr. 2

             

        add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

      5. Training needs

      Did you encounter any specific training needs required to perform MESL technical tasks?

       

      Describe how those needs were met.

       

    9. COMMENTS

     

  3. Technical Implementation
  4. This section is intended to get a detailed picture of each museumís MESL processing procedures as well as some baseline information.

    1. Description of Current Collection Management and Imaging Systems
    2. This section is intended to capture a picture of the museumís systems on which MESL drew. A fuller picture of the entire information technology environment could be given in the contextual section I.1.

      1. General Background Information
      2. Report numbers prior to MESL participation as well as at the end of each year listed for the various MESL distribution e.g. January 1995, current. Note whether participation in MESL had an effect on this.

        1. How many objects are in your collection?
        2.  

           

          Approximate #

          before MESL

           

          Year 1995

           

          Year 1996

           

          comment:

        3. How many objects have been photographed? What percentage of your collection? Year 95? Year 96? Projected for Year 97?
        4.  

           

          Approximate #

          before MESL

           

          Year 1995

           

          Year 1996

           

          Year 1997

           

          comment:

           

            1. Photography costs
            2. Please supply any figures that would help us estimate how much it costs or how long it takes you to photograph an average object in your collection.

               

            Approximate

            $

            time

            before MESL

               

            Year 1995

               

            Year 1996

               

            Year 1997

               

            comment:

          1. Charges for Photographs

          What kind of pricing scales do you use for selling color transparencies of objects in your collection? For slides?

           

           

          Transp.

          Slides

          before MESL

             

          Year 1995

             

          Year 1996

             

          Year 1997

             

          comment:

          When you sell these do you generally try to earn enough to cover costs (or do you lose money or try to make a profit)?

           

          Do you provide special information about photographs? Explain how, and approximate costs.

           

        5. Analog Image Distribution Questions
            1. Do you currently have any contractual agreements with third parties (Rosenthal, Art Resources, Sandak, etc.) who distribute your images (most likely in traditional forms, such as slides, Color Transparencies etc.)?
            2.  

            3. Are any of these distributors making plans for electronic distribution of images?
            4.  

            5. What are the basic terms of your agreements with these distributors?

         

      3. Collection Management System
        1. What is your collection management information system?
          1. Hardware/software required?
          2.  

          3. In-house developed? Custom-developed by vendor? Standard product?

           

        2. For what percentage of objects in your collection do you have complete collection management (CM) information? Partial CM information? No CM information?
          1. Cataloging costs

          Please supply any figures that would help us estimate how much it costs or how long it takes you to create a collection management record (for example, what percentage of a registration assistantís time is devoted to this and approximately how many items she catalogs in a year).

           

        3. Who is responsible for the implementation and management of your collection management system? Were they on the MESL project team?

         

      4. Image Management
        1. Do you have an image management system?
        2. Describe and note what functions itís supposed to serve.

           

          1. Is this system related to the Collections Management System outlined above? If so, describe how.

           

        3. Are the same people responsible for it? If not, who is?
        4.  

          1. How are the responsibilities divided?

           

        5. Are the same people responsible for digital images and still photographs?

         

      5. Digital Imaging
        1. How many new digitized images are you adding per year? Approximate numbers, pre-MESL, Year 95, Year 96, and Projected for Year 97?
        2.  

           

          #

          before MESL

           

          Year 1995

           

          Year 1996

           

          Year 1997

           

          comment:

        3. How many digitized images do you have of objects from your collection?
        4. Please report the number or percentage of the total number of objects, the number or percentage of the number of objects photographed? What number was done for MESL? What number was done before MESL?

           

           

          TOTAL
          % / #
          digitized

          % / #
          digitized FOR MESL

          % / #
          digitized BEFORE MESL

          any multiple versions of the same object or photo

          please explain

          OBJECTS

                   

          PHOTOS

                   

          comment:

            1. Digitizing costs
            2. Please supply any figures that would help us estimate how much it costs or how long it takes you to create a digital image (for example, what percentage of someoneís time is spent digitizing, and approximately how many images do they digitize per year).

               

            3. Charges for Digital Images

          Do you sell digital images? If so, what level(s) of image quality do you offer? What kind of pricing scales do you use? Do you generally try to earn enough to cover costs (or do you lose money or try to make a profit)?

           

        5. Did your museum have a "standard" digital image preparation process before MESL? If so, describe.
        6.  

            1. How did you decide what to digitize, i.e. project basis, new acquisitions, requests, etc.?
            2.  

            3. Do you digitize images in-house or outsource them to a service bureau?
            4.  

              1. If In-House, explain your process of having images digitized. Do you have a special team that digitizes images, is there a specific requisition process, etc. Expand on the description of process supplied in Section 2.1.4.3.
              2.  

              3. If outsourced, please supply a information about the typical specifications you provided to your service bureau.
              4.  

                1. What issues would you consider critical to highlight when dealing with an outside vendor?
                2.  

                3. Where did you have difficulties in the process?

           

        7. Pre-MESL Digital Image File Characteristics
        8. This set of questions target digital images that were created prior to participation in MESL. MESL related questions appear below in Section 2.3.1. The intent is to discover to what extent MESL may have influenced your procedures.

            1. Image File Formats
            2. For digital images you produced prior to MESL, please describe the typical image file format(s) [JFIF, TIFF, GIF, PCD, etc.] you maintain (including multiple formats for a given image if applicable).

               

            3. Describe how you decided what image file size(s) to maintain before MESL. Describe your institutionís attitude towards compression (lossy and lossless).
            4.  

            5. Image File Size
            6. For images created before MESL, could you provide the following approximation of file size information (i.e. compressed, uncompressed, pixel dimensions).

               

             

            size

            Average image size

             

            compressed file size

             

            uncompressed file size

             

            pixel dimensions

             

            largest image file

             

            compressed file size

             

            uncompressed file size

             

            pixel dimensions

             

            smallest image file

             

            compressed file size

             

            uncompressed file size

             

            pixel dimensions

             

            comments:

             

          1. Do you manipulate/enhance your images prior to saving them?

      If yes, describe.

       

      Do you have any recommendations for guidelines in this area?

       

    3. MESL Content Selection
      1. Number of images supplied
      2. How many images did you make available to MESL? From which collections or subject areas?

         

         

        #

        Collection/Subject Area

        First Round total

           
             
             

        Second Round total

           
             
             

        TOTAL

           

        add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

      3. Image Selection Criteria
      4. (Report any or all criteria that apply, separated by MESL distribution)

          1. How were the images selected?
          2.  

           

          D1

          D2

          comment

          surveyed users with checklists

               

          used images already digitized from previous projects

               

          selected based on quality and completeness of text record

               

          used available good photography

               

          Other:

               

          add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

          Comment:

        1. Who involved
            1. Who in your institution was involved in the content selection process, and approximately how much time did each of them spend on this activity? Estimate the amount of time each person spent on this phase, and include a "confidence level" to your estimate (Levels ranging from A for a wild guess to F for careful record-keeping).

         

        Who/title

        % D1

        % D2

        level
        (a-f)

               
               
               

        add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

      5. Permissions
          1. General
            1. Did you supply any images to MESL for which you were not the copyright holder?
            2.  

            3. Did you specifically avoid providing images for which you were not the copyright holder?
            4.  

            5. Did you specifically attempt to provide images for which you were not the copyright holder in order to discover some of the issues involved?

             

          2. Organizational Process
            1. Who in your organization is responsible for rights clearance? Does the same unit handle requests for print and electronic uses?
            2.  

            3. Was that unit involved in clearing rights for MESL images?
            4.  

            5. What process did you use to ensure that MESL images were free of copyright restrictions?
            6.  

            7. Did this process differ from your normal procedures? If so, how?
            8.  

            9. Rights Clearance costs

      Please supply any figures that would help us estimate how much it costs or how long it takes you to clear reproduction rights for any image, analog or digital (for example, what percentage of someoneís time is spent on rights clearance, and approximately how many objects do they clear rights on per year). Estimate the amount of time each person spent on this phase, and include a "confidence level" to your estimate (Levels ranging from A for a wild guess to F for careful record-keeping).

       

      Who/title

      task

      %, time, cost

      level
      (a-f)

             
             
             

      add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

       

    4. MESL Image and Text Processing Routines
        1. MESL Image Preparation
          1. Descriptive Statistics
            1. Number of images supplied (Repeat from Section 2.2.1)
            2.  

              #

              First Round

               

              Second Round

               

              TOTAL

               

              add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

              comments

            3. For each MESL distribution, when were digital images supplied in MESL created?
            4.  

               

              % D1

              % D2

              already done from previous project

                 

              specifically created for MESL

                 

              comment:

            5. For those images already created for a previous project, what percentage were provided to MESL "as is," and what percentage were "derivatives" for each distribution

             

            Images Previously Processed

            % D1

            % D2

            provided "as-is" to MESL

               

            "derivatives" provided to MESL

               

            comment:

          2. Procedural Overview
              1. Did you have a standard procedure for digital image preparation prior to MESL? Repeat from Section 2.1.4.3.
              2.  

              3. How did MESL image preparation and creation compare to your institution's standard procedures for digital conversion of images)? What additional steps did you take to prepare images for MESL? Please be specific.
              4.  

              5. If you did not have prior procedures in place, please describe those you developed for MESL, including any specifications for in-house or outsourced image production.
              6.  

              7. Did the procedures implemented for MESL result in any changes to your standard image processing procedures? Describe.
              8.  

              9. Did you make any changes between the first and second MESL distributions? Describe.

             

          3. Image Capture for MESL-supplied images
          4.  

              1. For images you supplied for MESL, what was the source medium from which digital images were captured (number or percentage of each and "confidence level" -- from A being a wild guess to F being something youíve kept careful records on)
              2.  

              Medium

              # OR %

              confidence
              (A-F)

              object (direct capture)

                 

              35 mm slides/negatives

                 

              medium format film (e.g. 2-1/4 or 4x5)

                 

              large format film (e.g. 8x10)

                 

              other film format

                 

              photographic prints

                 

              video disc

                 

              other:

                 

              Comments:

            1. What digitizing device was used (number or percentage by each method and "confidence level" -- from A being a wild guess to F being something youíve kept careful records on)
            2.  

              Medium

              # OR %

              confidence
              (A-F)

              video camera

                 

              digital camera

                 

              photo CD scanner

                 

              35 mm film scanner

                 

              large format film scanner

                 

              flatbed scanner

                 

              other:

                 

              Comments

            3. Did you manipulate/enhance your images prior to saving them?

            If yes, describe.

             

            Do you have any recommendations for guidelines in this area?

             

          5. Image Formats and Compression
              1. Did MESL project prompt you to rethink your attitude towards file formats and compression? If so, how.
              2.  

              3. Note whether you made different file size decisions for the MESL project, and whether the MESL project prompted you to rethink your attitude towards file size.

             

          6. MESL Image File Characteristics (Use for primary images created specifically for the MESL project)
              1. Image File Formats
              2. For digital images you produced specifically for MESL, please describe the typical image file format(s) [JFIF, TIFF, GIF, PCD, etc.] you created.

                 

              3. Describe how you decided what image file size(s) to create.. Describe your institutionís response to the MESL "specification" of lossless compression.
              4. Can you characterize the size of the images you supplied if these differ from the file-sizes already in your collection? (file size--compressed, uncompressed, pixel dimensions)

             

             

            D 1

            D 2

            Average image size

               

            compressed file size

               

            uncompressed file size

               

            pixel dimensions

               

            largest image file

               

            compressed file size

               

            uncompressed file size

               

            pixel dimensions

               

            smallest image file

               

            compressed file size

               

            uncompressed file size

               

            pixel dimensions

               

          7. Resources: People, Skills, Time, Cost: Primary Images
          8. List the staff or positions involved in creating digital images for MESL. Make a very short list of skill-sets they needed to effectively accomplish these. Estimate the amount of time each person spent on this phase, and include a "confidence level" to your estimate (Levels ranging from A for a wild guess to F for careful record-keeping).

             

            Who/title

            Required Skills

            % D1

            % D2

            level
            (a-f)

                     
                     
                     

            add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

            Comments:

          9. Derivative Image File Characteristics (Answer these questions only if you 1) supplied images for MESL which were derived from pre-existing digital image files or 2) you provided multiple sizes/formats of images files created specifically for MESL.)
          10.  

              1. Did you produce derivative images to supply through MESL? If yes, describe process.
              2.  

                Were there problems associated with this process that we could control in the future?

              3. Image File Formats
              4. For the derivative images you produced specifically for MESL, please describe the typical image file format(s) [JFIF, TIFF, GIF, PCD, etc.] you created.

                 

                Describe how you decided what image file size(s) to create.

                 

              5. Can you characterize the size of the derivative images you supplied? (file size--compressed, uncompressed, pixel dimensions)
              6.  

               

              D 1

              D 2

              Average image size

                 

              compressed file size

                 

              uncompressed file size

                 

              pixel dimensions

                 

              largest image file

                 

              compressed file size

                 

              uncompressed file size

                 

              pixel dimensions

                 

              smallest image file

                 

              compressed file size

                 

              uncompressed file size

                 

              pixel dimensions

                 

              comments:

            1. Resources: People, Skills, Time, Cost: Derivative Images

            List the staff or positions involved in creating derivative images for MESL. Make a very short list of skill-sets they needed to effectively accomplish these. Estimate the amount of time each person spent on this phase, and include a "confidence level" to your estimate (Levels ranging from A for a wild guess to F for careful record-keeping).

             

            Who/title

            Required Skills

            % D1

            % D2

            level
            (a-f)

                     
                     
                     

            add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

            Comments:

          11. Image Transmission Routines
              1. Method of transmission to Michigan for each MESL distribution:
              2.  

              HOW

              Distribution 1

              Distribution 2

              Photo CD

                 

              Writable CD

                 

              FTP

                 

              tape

                 

              other:

                 

            1. Resources: People, Skills, Time, Cost

          List the staff or positions involved in this stage of the project. Make a very short list of skill-sets they needed to effectively accomplish these. Estimate the amount of time each person spent on this phase, and include a "confidence level" to your estimate (Levels ranging from A for a wild guess to F for careful record-keeping).

           

        Who/title

        Required Skills

        % D1

        % D2

        level
        (a-f)

                 
                 
                 

        add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

        Comments:

      1. MESL Text Data Preparation
          1. General:
            1. Was MESL data drawn from your collection information system? Was it extracted by simple query/report generation or did it require special programming? How long did it take?
            2. If not, describe the source of your MESL data. Was it extracted by simple query/report generation or did it require special programming? How long did it take?
            3. Resources/People needed

            List who was involved in converting text/data for export from the collections management system and what skill sets they needed. Estimate the amount of time each person spent on this phase, and include a "confidence level" to your estimate (Levels ranging from A for a wild guess to F for careful record-keeping).

             

          who/title

          Required Skills

          % D1

          % D2

          level
          (a-f)

                   
                   
                   

          add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

          comment

        1. MESL Data Dictionary/Structured Records
            1. Which fields (if any) did you routinely leave empty?
            2. Why? (e.g. no data, too difficult, restricted?)

            3. Did your data map easily to the MESL data dictionary?
            4. If not, briefly describe the problems. Specify the fields which were problems and the nature of the problem.

            5. Were there any of the MESL fields for which you use an external authority file to govern data values (e.g. LC Graphic Materials, AAT, other?)

          Please specify.

        2. Unstructured Texts
            1. Did you supply unstructured texts?
            2. If yes, characterize their nature and number and the % of objects in each distribution with unstructured texts?
            3.  

             

            Number / %

            Collection level

             

            Object level

             

            Comments:

            What were the source?

             

             

            Number / %

            Collections Management System

             

            Other datafiles

             

            Comments:

          1. If no, why not? (e.g. not perceived as valuable, unavailable in machine-readable form, other reasons?)

           

        3. Data Processing Routines
            1. Does your collection information system (or source database) have an export routine? Describe.
            2.  

            3. What steps did you go through to put your data into the MESL format? Describe
            4.  

            5. Did you make any changes between the first and second MESL distributions? Describe

           

        4. Data Transmission Routines
            1. Method of transmission to Michigan for each MESL distribution:
            2.  

            HOW

            Distribution 1

            Distribution 2

            FTP

               

            floppy

               

            other:

               

            comments:

          1. Resources/People needed

        List who was involved in transmitting text/data to Michigan. Estimate the amount of time each person spent on this phase, and include a "confidence level" to your estimate (Levels ranging from A for a wild guess to F for careful record-keeping).

         

        who/title

        Required Skills

        % D1

        % D2

        level
        (a-f)

                 
                 
                 

        add rows as needed (in MS word: tab at last cell, or table menu insert rows)

        comments:

      2. Coordination of Image and Text Processing
          1. How were the preparation of image and text data coordinated?
    5. COMMENTS

     

  5. Experiences
  6. This section is intended to give participants an opportunity to reflect on the MESL Technical experience. What was easy? What was difficult? Specific problems encountered? Questions unanswered? We will probably want to follow-up with structured interviews for this more qualitative portion of the assessment.

    1. Description of MESL Technical Processing Routines
    2. Describe how you responded as a project team to accomplishing the MESL technical tasks

       

      Would a complete technical specification have been helpful or are you the kind of organization that couldnít have used this anyway?

       

    3. Content Selection
    4. Provide observations on the content selection process (first and second rounds) and speculate the role of content selection in any future distribution scheme

       

    5. Image Processing
    6. If you created digital images specifically for MESL, describe how you responded to the accords reached at the initial meeting re: image size and quality?

       

      were the specifications clear?

       

      were you concerned about providing images of a certain quality level?

       

      What types of problems did you encounter in the image creation process?

       

      What types of problems did you have meeting the MESL specifications?

       

    7. Text Processing
    8. What types of problems did you encounter in extracting and processing the text descriptions?

       

      What types of problems did you have meeting the MESL specifications?

       

      Why was it a problem? (e.g. our system inherently made it one? the instructions were unclear, etc.)

       

    9. Transmission
    10. What kind of problems did you encounter in transmission of texts and images to Michigan

       

    11. General Changes
    12. Did the MESL experience prompt you to change any procedures you previously had in place for dealing with digital images or text records? Explain

       

      Did the MESL experience prompt any organizational changes, job reassignments, etc. in your institution?

       

      Did the MESL experience spawn any kind of new communications activities in your institution?

       

    13. How Difficult Was This?
    14. How did this rank (in terms of difficulty) among other projects your institution has undertaken?

       

      Did this project nearly stretch you to your limits?

       

      Would MESL have been much easier to begin 2 years later?

       

      Knowing what you do now, would you do this project again?

       

      Would you be able to continue something like this on a broader scale?

       

    15. Observations about copyRights
    16. Do you have any thoughts about copyrights and rights clearance issues raised by MESL? Did MESL require rethinking these issues, force new procedures, raise new problems for your institution?

       

    17. Other Observations