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Re: Close and Personal With Your Digital Treasures - Thoughts?


"Dillow, Taunya K. (EHQ)" <[log in to unmask]>


Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 8 Mar 2012 10:45:35 -0600





text/plain (1 lines)

I will begin with a short introduction as this is my first posting to this listserv. My name is Taunya Dillow and I have recently been asked to manage the small yet mighty Records Management team at Express Scripts, Inc. I am new to the Records Management world, as my background is in Project Management. I am grateful for all I have learned from the discussions within this group and appreciate the variety of interests, comments, and opinions.

My undergrad is in Art history, so I felt compelled to comment on this thread.

Throughout my youth and my undergrad experience, most of the art I had access to was either printed in books, or (thankfully) on the internet. I did, however have access to the lovely St. Louis Art Museum once I got a car and spent many hours there! Although my family was not struggling to eat and maintain shelter, we did not have money to travel. It wasn't until, just a few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel for a year as part of my graduate education. I spent time in Europe and China and took every opportunity to visit museums and art districts.

I agree with Hugh that there is no equivalent to the experience of interacting with a work of art first hand, but I am not of the opinion that the printed and imaged versions of that work cheapened the treasure. I understood as a student, that the image I was viewing was not entirely "true" to the work, there is no scale, the colors are not exact (especially when considering the effect of situational light on a work), and you often miss the tiny details that make the work come alive (brush strokes, fingerprints/tool marks on clay, the hardness/softness of material, etc).

To your point (and somewhat to Virginia's) of the exhaustion of rushing the art experience. As a student, I took the images as a way to understand the story of a piece, the artist, the environment in which it was created, and what it influenced. This knowledge helped me plan what I wanted to see (because you can't see it all), in what order, and what other art I might encounter in the same space (including the ceiling frescos) when I finally had the opportunity. As I stood in front of the work, my knowledge allowed me to interact with the piece at a much more detailed level, exponentially magnifying the first hand experience!

Yes, some people will see an image online and move on (thinking they have "seen" it) - I suspect those people also judge books by their covers. But for some, those "all too easily accessed" images are a door to magic worlds, history, knowledge, ideas, and unbelievable experiences!

As an artist, I also (somewhat) accept the risk of sending my work out into the world. It is, unfortunately, a problem for which I cannot offer a solution.

Taunya Dillow, MBA | Senior Manager
Corporate Records Management
Express Scripts, Inc.
One Express Way | St. Louis, MO 63121 | HQ1 2E189
[log in to unmask] |

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Hugh Smith
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:28 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Close and Personal With Your Digital Treasures - Thoughts?

In reading this RAIN, it brought back a discussion I had with a potential client. Their concern was that FIRELOCK not list them as a user on our web site. They did not want their collection known in the wide world. (Bad people live there.)

I explained that many of our clients have us sign non-disclosure statements. This made them happy for a moment. Then they had concern about someone breaking into my office and stealing the vault design files. I explained that these are CAD files which we cannot store natively on our office computers and we explained an archiving program for files after the vault is installed. (passwords, encryption, etc.)

One of the disappointing things to FIRELOCK is that many of our clients request that we never mention that they are a client.

If owners of remarkable collections display their work on line in a public forum, is that a security risk to the collection and to the value of the artifacts?

We have built vaults in Museums which then offered a Virtual Tour of the Museum. These sites explain that only 10% of the collection is ever displayed and multiple visits would be required over years to see everything. (This then encourages people to get up from their computer and visit museums.) So their actual assets are vaulted and only certain themes are displayed at scheduled times. They control their own servers and can use the servers to develop traffic by teasing at the whole collection. They have donors and sponsors of the museum that are drawn to that museum by the special ability to develop a relationship with the collections.

If smaller museums and owners of special collections allow their collections to enter the public domain, is the specialness of their collection diminished? Just as MP3's allowed the theft of copyrighted music and the music industry with lots of money to defend themselves, has failed to truly put the genie back in that lamp. The artist has lost creative control.

If small but valuable collections are exposed to the general public, will that make them more vulnerable to theft? Peter's post made me wonder; is giving away control of the digital rights already diminishing the value of the collection? Parsing the display is how you create interest.

Example: My wife and I took every cent we had (skimping on the wedding) so that we could go to Europe. We visited Museum after Museum and all the great Cathedrals and when we arrived in Paris we arrived at the Crown Jewel, La LouvreŽ and we found ourselves running around to see the great works.

Fred cover your eyes here! But it was just so vast and there was so very much. We were exhausted. It was too much. And after a while, we just were exhausted from all the treasures. And the Mona Lisa was tiny. I always thought it would be huge.

Part of being a treasure is to be unique and to be experienced individually. I think the Internet ruins that. It makes the greatest treasure just another image. It is all too easily accessed. I have seen countless images of the Declaration of Independence, I once saw it in a Pizza commercial. But to stand in the National Archive building and view it behind the protective glass is a near religious experience. I doubt Zepheira will provide a similar experience. People will think they have experienced art and artifact when they have not. Treasures require rarity, and effort to view them and focus at the crowning moment. The Internet is not conducive to that.

Remember the scene from Indiana Jones where they are wheeling "The Arc of the Covenant" back into a massive warehouse filled with crates of other treasures. Will Zepheira cause great treasures to be wheeled into warehouses because we can view it online?

Maybe our archivists can speak to the effect Virtual Museum displays have on the museum traffic?

Hugh Smith
FIRELOCK Fireproof Modular Vaults
[log in to unmask]
(610) 756-4440 Fax (610) 756-4134

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