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May 1999


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From: "Vicki Weiss" <[log in to unmask]>
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Subject: Regional meetings on museum technology
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Office of Cultural Education Budget Initiative for FY2000
Rediscovering New York History and Culture

New York's cultural heritage is endangered!  Fragile artifacts, perishable =
archives and manuscripts, poor storage conditions, inadequate technology, =
and deferred maintenance are all taking their toll. An estimated 80% of =
New York's chartered museums, historical societies, archives, special =
libraries, and other cultural institutions do not meet basic collection =
care standards.  Computers and Internet tools can help improve collection =
management and public access, but most institutions lack sufficient =
resources for equipment, software, training and technical assistance. In =
addition, statewide use of standards for automated collection control =
might allow "seamless" access to cultural heritage resources regardless of =
format and location.

The Office of Cultural Education (OCE) has proposed a budget initiative to =
strengthen New York's museums, historical societies, archives, and related =
cultural institutions.  One goal of the budget initiative is to expand the =
computing capacity of the museum community. A series of open meetings will =
explore how state resources can be used most effectively to meet this =
goal.  The New York State Council on the Arts, Museum Association of New =
York, Lower Hudson Conference, Regional Council of Historical Agencies, =
and Western New York Association of Historical Agencies are cooperating =
with OCE to hold the regional meetings.

We seek advice of museum staff and volunteers! Please attend one of the =
regional meetings:

Monday, May 17, 2:00 pm, at the Museum of Science and Technology, 500 S. =
Franklin Street, Syracuse. Contact Steve Karon, Director, or Rebecca =
Shaffer, 315-425-9068, x2124.

Tuesday, May 18, 10:30 am, at the Roberson Museum and Science Center, 30 =
Front Street, Binghamton. Contact: David Chesebrough, Director, or Kelly =
Smith, 607-772-0660, x227.

Friday, May 21, 10:30 am, at the Lower Hudson Conference, Westchester =
Records Center, 2199 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford. Contact: Tema Harnick, =

Monday, May 24, 10:30 am at the Nassau County Museum of Art, One Museum =
Drive, Roslyn Harbor. Contact: Constance Schwartz, Director, 516-484-9338.

Monday, May 24, 2:30 pm, at the Museums at Stony Brook, 1208 Route 25A, =
Stony Brook. Contact: William Ayres or Laurel Goberini, 516-751-0066, =

Tuesday, May 25, 10:30 am, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth =
Avenue, NYC. Contact: Arthur Tisi, Chief Information Officer, 212-570-3853.=

Monday, June 7, 10:30 am, at the Adirondack Museum, Routes 28N and 30, =
Blue Mountain Lake. Contact: Jackie Day, Director, 518-352-7311.

Tuesday, June 8, 10:30 am, at the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt =
Parkway, Buffalo. Contact: Mike Smith, President, 716-896-5200.

Tuesday, June 8, 2:30 pm at the Strong Museum, One Manhattan Square, =
Rochester. Contact: Rollie Adams, President and CEO, or Gina Penney, =
716-263-2701, x239.

Thursday, June 10, 10:30 am, at the Schenectady Museum, Nott Terrace =
Heights. Contact: Bart Roselli, Director, or Joyce Timmons, 518-382-7890.

Each meeting will last about 2 hours. We ask participants to review the =
following agenda and be prepared to discuss four key topics.

Meeting Agenda

                =B7   Welcome and introductions.
=B7   Description of the Rediscovering New York History and Culture =
initiative by OCE staff.
=B7   Overview of the meeting process and expected outcomes by an OCE =
=B7   Introductory remarks by host institution staff about their =
collection management technology needs and opportunities.
=B7   Open discussion of four key topics:

                1.      How important is computer technology to your =
institution? What advantages can computer technology bring?
2.      Does your institution have the capacity (hardware, software, and =
staff expertise) to begin or expand use of computers to manage your =
collections? What barriers exist for using computer technology?
3.      What collection management information do you now share using =
computer technology, and with whom? What information would you like to =
make more widely available to other institutions and the public? How might =
museums participate in existing networks for access to cultural and =
information resources?
4.      How can government and non-profit service agencies help your =
institution make better use of computers?  How can assistance and support =
be delivered most effectively?

                =B7   Review of a summary list of needs identified by =
the meeting participants. (This list will be compiled during the discussion=
=B7   Closing and next steps.

For more information about the meeting series, contact Tom Mills or =
Kathleen Roe at the New York State Archives (518-474-6926) or Anne =
Ackerson at the Museum Association of New York (518-273-3400.)