- Ongoing projects
- New projects
Museum Online Project
The Johnson Museum of Art, working in conjunction with the CIDC,
is in the process of creating digital representations of
the over 27,000 works housed in the museum. The project has begun with the works on
paper, the heart of the museums holdings. The print collection is recognized as one
of the most outstanding print collections owned by a university and is already heavily
used in support of teaching and research. Once the print collection is digitized, the
project will move onto three-dimensional objects, and other
holdings. By putting the collection on-line, students, faculty, visitors, and users on the
Internet will be able to electronically explore and research the collection from their
home, office, or one of the work stations in the museum. In addition, and building on the
work already undertake by the Universitys Digital Access Coalition to integrate
digital visual materials into Cornells curriculum, the project hopes to actively
integrate the use of digital museum images in the Universitys teaching.
To achieve these objectives, the
project intends to do the following:
- Convert the small percentage of the collection already captured
on traditional photographic media to digital format.
- Over the period of two years make digital surrogates of the
15,800 works on paper, the 6,700 objects in the Asian Collection, and as much of the
remainder of the collection as can be accomplished in that time frame.
- Images will be captured at a resolution high enough to permit
printing on a 9 x 12" 200 line-screen press, such as are used to produce
a coffee-table art book. Images will be shot with a minimum of 24-bit color, and
color bars will be included in each shot to facilitate color balance processing when
- Digital photography should in no way damage the original
objects. The Museum, therefore, plans to work with conservators from the Williamstown
Conservation Lab to certify that the procedures used to convert the objects to digital
form, and particular the lights used when shooting, are not harmful to the objects.
- At least two derivatives from the high resolution scan will also be
prepared: a medium resolution image and a thumbnail image. The high resolution images will
be stored on CDs for archiving and to produce copies for high-resolution printing.
The medium and thumbnail resolution images will be used for browsing and classroom work
over the Internet, and will be maintained on-line.
- Descriptions of the digital images will be moved from the
existing internal database within the museum into an Internet-accessible database for
browsing and searching.
- In order to meet its ambitious time-frame, the project will
actively explore methods to efficiently capture, migrate, and store the digital images.
- In addition, investigation into the possibility of digitally
watermarking the images will also continue during the course of the project.