American Art Collaborative

Britain in the World display, fourth-floor galleries, Yale Center for British Art, photograph by Richard Caspole

The American Art Collaborative (AAC) is a consortium of fourteen US institutions—thirteen museums and one archive—working together to create a critical mass of Linked Open Data (LOD) around the subject of the visual arts in America.

The Yale Center for British Art has been an advisor to, and member of, the AAC early after the consortium’s formal establishment in 2014. For a full list of participating institutions, educational briefings, presentations, and general project background, visit AmericanArtCollaborative.org.

Thanks to generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and a leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the AAC has converted over 230,000 museum object records to LOD.

Using the AAC Data

The URI construction for SPARQL queries of the AAC dataset is data.americanartcollaborative.org/sparql. The AAC invites developers to make use of this data in their applications and share their results with members of the consortium.

Metadata and LOD from the AAC partners is freely available on GitHub, including:

View the Browse Application Prototype

To design and develop a usable application for exploring the collected data, the project established a Browse Working Group, involving six of the fourteen institutions and led by Design for Context, who developed a demonstration application, available at browse.americanartcollaborative.org.

The site allows objects and artists from across the fourteen partner institutions to be explored through one interface. This application is a prototype and is not meant to represent all the things that can be done with museum data in the future. Rather, it provides easy access to the available partner information and focuses on a few straightforward ways that data from the different institutions can be connected and explored.

Licensing and Usage Guidelines for the Center’s Data

The Center has licensed the use of its collections metadata under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). This license allows for reuse of the metadata without legal restriction. The Center provides hyperlinks as a means of referencing underlying image, multimedia, and authoritative content associated with the metadata. Please be aware that hyperlinked content is not part of the metadata being released and is not necessarily covered by the CC0 license.

The Center’s metadata references many of its own collection images. Digital images of works in the Center’s collection believed to be in the public domain are available for use, without restriction, through the Center’s Open Access Policy. Please see Using Images for more information.

The availability of a link to a digital resource does not imply or convey permission to download, distribute, or use that file in any way that would be incompatible with the Center’s Terms of Use.

Additional Guidelines

• Access to or use of the Center’s data is subject to the Center’s Open Data and Data Services Terms of Use.
• Where possible, give proper attribution by including the statement “Data Source: Yale Center for British Art” and by providing the URI for the object being referenced.
• Do not mislead others or misrepresent the metadata or its sources.
• Understand that data is used at your own risk.

AAC Next Steps

As a next step, the AAC is seeking additional funding to expand the application of LOD within the museum and archival communities. As more museums produce LOD, the AAC hopes that they will contact colleagues in this field, dialogue will ensue, and opportunities will increase to link or interconnect data, further demonstrating the value of LOD.

Contact Us

For questions or feedback about the Center’s data, contact Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Collections Data Manager at the Center (emmanuelle.delmas-glass@yale.edu | +1 203 432 8454).

For more information about AAC’s next steps, contact Eleanor E. Fink, Manager and Founder of the ACC (eleanorfink@earthlink.net).