Three Major New York City Art Libraries Announce Plans For A Shared Program To Preserve Digital Art Resources

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The New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC), consisting of the libraries and archives of The Frick Collection (Frick Art Reference Library), the Brooklyn Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art, has been awarded a grant of $340,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to initiate a program of web archiving for specialist art historical resources. The two-year program will follow a 2012 pilot study, Reframing Collections for the Digital Age, also funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. That study demonstrated that the types of materials the NYARC libraries had been collecting in printed form were increasingly migrating to online versions available exclusively on the web. It concluded that there was an urgent need to document the dynamic web-based versions of auction catalogues, catalogues raisonnés, and scholarly research projects, as well as artist, gallery, and museum websites, because otherwise there is a real and imminent danger of a “digital black hole” in the art historical record.