Talk:GLAM/Case studies/Thomas J. Watson Library at the MMA, New York

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The Thomas J. Watson Library is the main library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art ("MMA") in New York City. Watson Library, in collaboration with other departmental libraries, has created a Digital Collections of over 17,000 items (as of May 2013, still expanding). One of the primary focuses of the digitization effort has been MMA publications. The Museum Libraries are in the process of digitizing all MMA publications from 1869 (The Museum's founding) to 1963, which complements the Digital Media and Editorial Departments' efforts to digitize all MMA publications from 1864 to the present. Currently there are over 1,100 books published by the MMA, including large "doorstopper" exhibition and collection catalogues from as recently as 2009. These are available as downloadable PDF files from their website, and represent a massive resource for anything to do with art history and the history of art.

User:WilliamDigiCol, a staff member from the library, has been working with Wikipedia to place links to this material in the appropriate Wikipedia articles. Several hundred links have been added to Wikipedia, mostly as "Further reading" or "External links". Now over 50% of the over 40,000 pageviews per month received by the library's Digital Collections originate from Wikipedia. Additionally, the total number of pageviews has jumped from just over 5,000 in the month prior to adding any links in Wikipedia to over 45,000 in the last 30 days (an 800% increase), and the total number of visits has jumped from around 1,800 to over 12,000 (a 566% increase). These figures testify to the fruitfulness of this collaboration.

The working process can be seen at the working page where WilliamDigiCol proposes links and Johnbod comments (anyone else is welcome to participate), sometimes suggesting additional ones and sometimes suggesting the book may not be sufficiently relevant. The agreed links are then posted to the pages by WilliamDigiCol. This page then functions as a record of the links made and the process that led up to them.

The collaboration in fact began when Johnbod reverted some early link additions by User:WilliamDigiCol, but explained on his talk page [1] why he had done so, and what were the useful links to post.

Thomas J. Watson Library[edit]

From the MMA site: "The Thomas J. Watson Library is a world-renowned research collection with over 800,000 volumes. It is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s central research library, and its mission is to support the research activities of the Museum staff; in addition, it serves an international community of scholars. Holdings reflect the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, with emphasis on European and American art, architecture, and decorative arts, ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Asian, and Islamic art, as well as an extensive collection of clippings and other ephemera relating to the Museum’s history.

The primary mission of the Watson Library Digitization Initiative is to expand access to the Library’s rare and unique materials by developing, supporting, and promoting a distinctive digital collection of these items.

The initiative will target materials that fall outside the parameters of other major digitization efforts, such as Google Books or the Internet Archive, and make them accessible to support the scholarly endeavors of Metropolitan Museum of Art staff and an international community of researchers."