The project will include development of the BWR policy framework, metadata structure, technical infrastructure, and a body of seed content. The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University and ARTstor will be the principal collaborators for this project. The Getty Research Institute (GRI), nine other institutions, and an international advisory council will also participate throughout the three-year project development cycle. BWR will be available for contributions and use by scholars, catalogers, and other users across all types of academic and cultural heritage organizations, both in the United States and worldwide.
"Architectural works and the built environment present unique challenges for catalogers and scholars. While the creators and locations of built works can often be clearly identified and indexed using globally shared standards and names, no authoritative standards or registries currently exist to help identify the works themselves." said Carole Ann Fabian, director of the Avery Library. "Thanks to this generous grant from IMLS, scholars and information professionals alike will benefit from such a collective and consistent approach to describing built works."
A key feature of BWR will be the collaborative aspect of the resource. James Shulman, president of ARTstor, notes that "one of the limiting factors for creation of a shared works list has been the absence of a networked, distributed environment that allows an unlimited number of contributors to participate in building and maintaining the file as a community-generated resource. There is a fundamental need for global collaboration on this enormous undertaking, and the benefits of developing such a network should accrue to the whole arts and educational community. We are thrilled to be a part of such an undertaking along with such thoroughly learned partners and advisors."
In addition, BWR data will be contributed to the Getty Vocabulary Program's planned Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA). "The Built Works Registry will be a core contributor to CONA. The Getty is grateful to the Avery Library and ARTstor for taking the lead in developing workable tools and methods for building and sharing resources for documentation and retrieval in the field of art history. We believe that the BWR will become a fundamental resource as well as a practical model for researchers and information professionals, and we are excited about being part of this important initiative," states Murtha Baca, Head of Digital Art History Access at the GRI.
For works that have never had ISBN codes or any other unique identifiers in a standardized system, this effort should begin to provide a framework and a set of tools that will enhance research and education while reducing system-wide expenditures.
For more information about the 2010 National Leadership Grants, please read IMLS Awards National Leadership Grants to 34 Institutions.