Information and Resources Study Group

The Information Management Working Group had its first meeting in 1993, and in 2004 changed its name to the Information and Resources Study Group. Since then, the Group has been actively involved in considering the various information technologies used in art museums, such as websites and collection databases, along with a museum’s many forms of textual resources, such as collection and exhibition catalogues. The Group has worked hard to achieve a balance between the issues from the past common to all museums regarding the handling of information on books and artworks in their collections, and the more contemporary issues of information technology that supports such activities today, with the aim of conducting all of these activities on an information-sharing basis.
Working from the changes in the information environment that have embroiled art museums in recent years, the Group has held a series of discussions on such topics as: How to Disseminate Information Through Art Museum Websites; Construction of Collection Databases and their Public Access; Participating in the “Cultural Heritage Online” Website; Copyright Issues; Materials Management in Art Museum Libraries; and Bibliographic Information for Art Museum Publications. The Group also strives to disseminate the results of these meetings to museums nationwide through the holding of curatorial study sessions and special seminars.
In July 2004 the Group surveyed the public access status of the collection databases for JCAM member museums and confirmed examples of unique forms of information dissemination such as collection works, books in their libraries and exhibition information that went beyond the database framework. In April 2005 the group carried out a survey of art museum websites, aimed at getting a grasp of the actual situation regarding information dissemination, such as domain management, and the division of responsibilities regarding website management in museums and its outsourcing.
In addition to such trend surveys, over a three-year period starting in 2009 the Group held special two-day seminars for curators nationwide on “Utilization Methods for Art Information and Materials – From Exhibition Catalogues to the Internet.” The comprehensive contents of these seminars, ranging from the basic handling of bibliographic information to the utilization of art museum materials and information, were very well received by the participants. Further, through workshops and curatorial study sessions (numbers 25 and 29), the Group has created places for sharing information on such subjects as artwork information dissemination.
In December 2014, after a three-year preparation period, we selected the most fundamental and comprehensive of the collection catalogues and databases published by JCAM member museums, and compiled the bibliographic information into the Selected Bibliography of Collection Catalogues of the JCAM Member Museums (2014) and made it available on the JCAM website.
In the future art museums will need to switch from the stage of broadening the amount and frequency of information dissemination to the stage where the contents and quality of such dissemination is improved. We plan to actively focus our study activities on this theme.

Kamogi Toshiyasu and Kawaguchi Masako
December 2, 2015
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