At-Risk Collections to Receive Preservation and Distribution Support from Artstor

Four institutions to receive financial and technical support to digitize, catalog, and distribute projects

New York, NY March 11, 2015 – Artstor announces the first four recipients of a new initiative to
preserve and increase the availability of at-risk collections.
The selected projects are:

  • The James Cahill Archive of Chinese art (University of California, Berkeley)
  •  Excavations and finds in Oaxaca by Judith Zeitlin, 1973 and 1990 (University of Massachusetts,
  • Boston)
  • Ronald M. Bernier Archive, Buddhist initiation rituals in Nepal in the '70s and '80s and key
  • historical sites from Myanmar (University of Colorado Boulder)
  •  The Mohamed Makiya Archive, Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT's archive of Iraqi
  • architect and urban planner Mohamed Saleh Makiya (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Artstor is providing financial support (between $1,000 and $4,000) to digitize and catalog these
collections and will then maintain them and make them available through the Artstor Digital Library and
open access initiatives such as the Digital Public Library of America. Artstor is also providing use of
its Shared Shelf digital media management software to support the cataloging of these collections.
The criteria for the selections included: documenting non-Western subject matter, under-studied
subjects, or material that is no longer available; having a pragmatic “roadmap” to metadata creation;
demonstrated value to colleagues in the area of study; and the provision of a license allowing the
content to be shared openly.

About the projects:

The James Cahill Archive of Chinese art (University of California, Berkeley)
Approximately 22,000 slides of Chinese art by Professor Cahill. Cahill led the project to photograph the
holdings of the National Palace Museum in Taiwan in the 1950s; he was a member of the Chinese
Archaeology Delegation, the first group of art historians to visit China from the U.S. in 1973; became
chairman of the Chinese Old Painting Delegation in 1977; and is a recipient of the College Art
Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Archive of Iraqi architect and urban planner Mohamed Saleh Makiya (MIT)
1,300 slides taken by Makiya Associates of the work of Iraqi architect and urban planner Mohamed
Saleh Makiya, one of the founders of the Department of Architecture at the College of Engineering in
Baghdad University. The images offer comprehensive documentation (images, plans, and drawings) for
residential, religious, commercial, and urban planning projects throughout the Middle East and the
Persian Gulf, areas of the world that have seen much change, destruction, and development.

Ronald M. Bernier Archive, Buddhist Initiation Rituals in Nepal in the '70s and '80s and Key Historical Sites from Myanmar (University of Colorado Boulder)
500 images selected to highlight the depth, breadth, and appeal of Dr. Bernier’s collection to a broad audience. The entire collection is comprised of 30,000 slides, with a particular strength in the cultures of Nepal, Tibet, India, and Southeast Asia.

Excavations and Finds in Oaxaca by Judith Zeitlin 1973 and 1990 (The University of Massachusetts, Boston)
At-risk group of slides of excavations in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1973 and 1990 that document an unusual mix of Tehuantepec and European cultures and of the use of locally made and imported objects. The images come from the personal collection of Judith Zeitlin, Chair of the Anthropology Department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

In addition to these four projects, Artstor intends to support other selected at-risk collections in the future as funding becomes available.

About Artstor and Shared Shelf

Artstor is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship and education in the humanities and sciences. The Artstor Digital Library brings together 1.8 million high-quality images from some of the world’s finest museums, photo archives, and libraries, and Shared Shelf is a cloud-based, enterprise-wide media management solution that enables institutions to catalog efficiently and consistently, quickly create rich data records, make collections accessible to a targeted audience, and keep files safe. It provides a stable and flexible home for vast media collections, allowing assets to be used and re-used in different contexts. Learn more at artstor.org.
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