Friday, 29 July 2011

Copyright breakout session - Thursday 14 July (afternoon session)

Copyright breakout session with Tim Padfield (National Archives) and Peter Hirtle (Cornell University Library)

The format of this breakout session was question and answer, both questions we were asked to think about beforehand and anything that may have come up during Tim and Peter's earlier copyright talks. Questions included the following:

Q: Is the display of the literary content of books allowed in a library?
A: No, this is not allowed! But there are very few challenges to this. A notable exception was James Joyce's son Stephen, who ended Bloomsday anniversary exhibition plans by not allowing a display of different editions of Ulysses. It should be noted that this relates to copyright in literary works, and it is likely that this wouldn't apply to artists' books, as the content is an artwork itself and would be treated like any other display of artwork.

Q: How do you figure out if a work is within copyright?
A: Tim Padfield distributed a handout with a flowchart of copyright issues and how they would determine the duration of copyright.

Q: What are galleries' rights regarding artworks they own if the author is dead? Can images of these artworks be used freely?
A: Rights of ownership do not allow publication of images of artworks if they are still in copyright. But if this work is in the public domain (i.e., Wikimedia in the USA), people can probably use and distribute the image. However, the gallery which owns the artwork may not be very happy if you don't pay them for their ownership rights! We discussed the idea of YouTube as a 'safe harbour'; they go beyond what the law requires re. takedown and digital 'fingerprinting', though they are being sued by Viacom at present for their earlier less cautious behaviour.

Q: Can copyrighted materials be posted behind the 'wall' in a VLE?
A: We discussed current lawsuits in the USA (whistle blowers reporting on what was posted?), and it was agreed there are limits on what you can and should do.

Q: Tim mentioned preservation exceptions in the main talk: would he elaborate?
A: No one objects to these preservation exceptions, even the rights owners. At present, though, this would only mean you could digitise slides before they are thrown out - but they couldn't be used, only dark archived! So, even though increased access should go hand in hand with slide digitisation, these preservation copies cannot be used to increase access - this contradiction is an important point. There has been no official government response to the Hargreaves report yet. This is supposed to be out within the month (but probably not until the autumn), so the law wouldn't be implemented until at least mid-2012

Q: What directives are there to come for orphan works?
A: We discussed collective licencing mandates for orphan works, where the majority of publishers are able to mandate copyright for *all* orphan works in their sector (for example, children's books).

Finally, Peter recommended we check out Tim's book "Copyright for Archivists and Record Managers" if we wanted more helpful advice. :)

(post by Paula Cuccurullo [EDINA, University of Edinburgh] and Kerry Watson [Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art]; both also from Scottish Visual Arts Group)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Art & Architecture Walk, 14th July 2011

Images from art and architecture walk, which focussed on the layout, history, and development of Briggate in Leeds city centre. The walk started at the junction of Briggate and The Headrow, took in various arcades and lanes (plus a pub or three!), and ended by the railway bridge towards the lower end of the road.

These are my photos of the walk, but I know that there are many more taken by other delegates (I also have a couple more). Please contact me if you'd like more adding to the set -


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Arts Future Books - Wednesday 13th July

This was a very interesting talk, filled with lots of information, delivered by Charotte Frost, an art historian of Digital Technology and New Media.  She talked about the ways in which digital technology might impact both the form but also the content of the art history/criticism/theory book. Using the combined archival theories of Foucault, Derrida and Kittler, the talk linked meaning between art historical texts and memory. She asked big questions, relevant to librarians and archivists about how dissemination of a text (how it's stored and transferred) also influences and adds new meaning to it, what is referred to as "archival technicity."  

I think her most interesting points were that archival technicity not just stores knowledge, it informs it.  Art history as a discipline is partly understood through the logic of archival technicity, that is that the medium is the message.  After examining past technologies of photography and the printed text, she ended with a big question: what do new archival technologies mean to the discipline of art history? Frost brought some examples of online art discussion platforms and the way in which they engage their audience. She then specifically talked about innovative approaches to academic publishing – including her own series Arts Future Book.  She also talked about her website DigitalCritic and an online resource for academic book publishing advice for PhD and early career academics. 

She was a good, engaging speaker.  Because Frost's topic was quite dense, it's a pity she was scheduled as the last speaker on a very, long first day when many people are ready for dinner, and willing everyone else to only ask short questions.

New Technologies - Living Libraries, Wednesday 13th July

Catherine Greene, a research associate based at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art gave a talk on ‘Living Libraries’, a project that ‘aims to inform the design of new settings for the library, and more broadly, the future knowledge workplace’.

Taking the academic library as an example of an extreme research environment, Catherine described how she visited several universities to find out if their libraries held clues to how particular environments can nurture independent thought and be conducive to work. She also interviewed researchers working in different fields to gain an insight into how they use libraries as part of their own research. Her research found that overall 80% of students and academics now access their library catalogue’s remotely and that, in general, academics prefer working from home. From these results it is difficult to see how the library features in the research process at all but Catherine explained that the problem for many researchers is that they feel they are unable to use the library for every part of the research process. Catherine’s project developed a generic cycle of research to reflect the largely similar stages researchers working in different fields go through. These are: discover, gather, analyse create and share. After distinguishing the different phases of research, the next task was to come up with design solutions to reflect each stage. The challenge was to create designs that could work in co-operation with one another, and designate areas that would not impinge on users carrying out different forms of research. The designs can be viewed here:

The project’s emphasis is timely. The increasingly wide usage of the term ‘knowledge industries’ refers not only to the production of knowledge and cultural artefacts, but also to a valuable economic resource. Knowledge and expertise are now considered to be as, if not more central to businesses than other commodities. The suggestion that the academic library holds the key to the successful production of knowledge is both supported and thrown into doubt by this project but even with the high use of remote access and online research, it seems important to re-assess the physical learning environment. The ‘Living Libraries’ project proposes strategies for cultivating a more stimulating working environment, which can be extended to academic and non-academic workplaces, and in that way it creates an interesting link between different organisations concerned with the production of knowledge.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Penelope Curtis - Keynote Speech Weds 13th July 2011 10.30-11.30

Interior of Roger Stevens lecture theatre building
(constructed 1968-70), at University of Leeds.
From the Leeds University Archive
Penelope Curtis, the first female director of Tate Britain is no stranger to Leeds, having worked at the Henry Moore Institute for 16 years. Given her vast experience and her local links, Curtis was the ideal choice to deliver the ARLIS UK/Ireland Conference 2011 keynote speech. Curtis used this forum to cleverly weave links between architecture, art, memory and the way in which libraries can inform and develop artists’ work. She began with examples of black and white photographs of buildings around Leeds University, stressing how difficult it is to date un-peopled photographs, which creates a timeless quality, to both the pictures and the way in which we read a building. Curtis focused on the Roger Stevens Building, a modernist structure designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, which carries echoes of their earlier building; the Barbican. Curtis asserted that these buildings have a futuristic and utopian quality, suggesting ‘a future that never happened’.

Two artists, Gerard Byrne and Dorit Margreiter created artworks to display in the Henry Moore institute in 2009 relating not only to the architecture of these stunning and sculptural post-war buildings, but to the voices these buildings have and the memories they impress upon us. Both produced films, with Byrne’s being a black and white film using actors playing students in the 1960s using verbatim dialogue sifted and lifted from various archival material, such as the union magazine, while Margreiter’s video was a more abstract and contemporary affair, using real students. Both videos ran on a loop when displayed, so the excerpts of dialogue were without chronology and instead the viewer captured snap-shots of the voice of the university and had to make meaning and cohesiveness themselves. Both Byrne and Margreiter, with the help of Penelope Curtis, made extensive use of the rich collections available in the Leeds University Archive and the Brotherton Library Special Collections in order to inform their artworks, favouring the raw student voices rather than architectural plans, in essence, their art was a response not only to the shell of the buildings, but to the relationship between a social organisation and the vessel that houses it. They were conscious that a building is not just a building, but a product with an outcome and a means for a way of living and working, and that the soul of a building is the way in which we communicate with it.

The campus has now been listed, which will halt any future evolutions of the building, instead a building projecting an imagined future from the 1960s and 1970s has been preserved, and only its voice will now continue to adapt and grow, in the modular fashion that Chamberlin, Powell and Bon intended it to.

Sean Curran
(Publications Committee member)

2010 conference photos on Picasa

For those of you who may be interested in a blast from the past, here is a link to the photographs from the 2010 conference in Edinburgh. Enjoy :)

(post by Paula Cuccurullo)

Friday, 15 July 2011

Copyright sessions - Thursday 14 July (morning sessions)

Copyright in Art in the UK (Tim Padfield, National Archives)
Tim gave a basic explanation of the concept of copyright in general and how this applies to artistic works. Copyright is not a human right, but rather one granted to authors by Parliament, for a limited (though possibly) extended period of time rather than ‘forever’. This allows authors or rights owners the right to control specified uses of their works, which can be enforced by law. There are defined exceptions to these rights, and Tim explained how important those are to archives and libraries.

He defined what are considered to be artistic works, including ‘obvious’ works like paintings and drawings; but these also include collages, maps, forms, sculptures and even signatures, if these are significantly different from the signer’s ‘normal’ script! It is hard to define artistic works sometimes, but if the artist asserts that his/her work is an artistic work, this is usually accepted. The works must have artistic quality; courts say if works are intended to appeal to the eye and are the work of a craftsman, they would qualify. However, video art is definitely not artistic work, as it is protected under film copyright.

For artistic works, the standard duration of copyright is the life of the author plus 70 years; this is standard in the UK, Europe and the USA, and is a very long time! If you don’t know the author, it works in different terms - date of publication plus 70 years. Copyright controls reproductions of artistic works; if you’re outwith the defined exception, you need to get a licence to reproduce artistic works (through licencing agencies like DACS). Also, the artist has 2 principal moral rights - to be identified as the author (though he/she needs to assert the right to be identified as such) and to object to derogatory treatment of the artistic work. The important exceptions for archives and libraries to consider are preservation copyright and copying for users. However, neither of these applicable to artistic works! It is not lawful to create a preservation copy of an artistic work, or to copy it for a reader or student. This was not addressed in the Hargreaves report but it looks like this might be addressed soon by the government. There is also a European directive on copyright of orphan works in the works, along with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) considering a draft treaty on library and archive exceptions at their November meeting. These would all be major movements in copyright law, and strengthening the rights of users rather than authors, which is unique.

Learning to Live with Risk (Peter Hirtle, Cornell University Library)
Peter Hirtle’s 2 main issues in his talk were ‘how do I use other people’s stuff?’ and ‘how do I prevent people from using mine?’. Librarians want to obey copyright law but that is nearly impossible as the laws are too complex; in doing our jobs, we infringe without knowing it. He showed quite a few examples of digital collections put together by libraries (including the George Eastman House collection in Flickr Commons, the Ezra Cornell papers and the Archives of American Art), how they did/didn’t get permission to digitise and post the works online, and how they addressed legality. What else can be done? OCLC and Society of American Archivists have tried to establish guidelines to encourage aggressiveness in dealing with copyright. In addition, some sites are publishing images with limited resolution online and using disclaimers to show issues with copyright. Mostly, the risks are low - what bad things would happen? It could be cheaper to put the material up and take it down if anyone objects than it would be to seek out death date information to determine copyright length. In the UK, if someone wanted damages (rather than just taking material down), it would just be the cost of reproduction to be paid. In a way, our desire to follow the law makes us more cautious than we really need to be! But, going back to Peter’s second point, how do we stop others from using our stuff? Well, you can’t! But you can see it as a positive rather than a negative, with open exchange of information. In conclusion, we need to be respectful of copyright, but not afraid; also, we need to encourage others to use and build on our collections.

(notes by Paula Cuccurullo, EDINA, University of Edinburgh)

Visit to The Leeds Library

A small group of ARLIS delegates visited The Leeds Library, a subscription library tucked away above some shops in the centre of Leeds. The oldest surviving library of its kind in the British Isles, it began life in 1768.

The Librarian, Geoffrey Forster, has incredible knowledge of the library and the history of Leeds. He and Claire (the Assistant Librarian) gave a fascinating overview of the library’s history, current state and future plans, including their current bids for Heritage Lottery Funding.

The library collects books requested by members along with items to add to historic collections and anything they think the members will like. Members are allowed to borrow anything; although as the library collects for perpetuity it has some valuable and fragile items which are restricted. In the early days of the library catalogues were printed so members could select books at home and then send a servant to collect them! Nowadays part of the catalogue is online and accessible through their website.

On the way back to the conference, Geoffrey took us on a couple of detours to see St Paul’s House and the Tiled Hall Café. We were late back for lunch but it was definitely worth it!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Photos from the Leeds Art & Architecture Walk

All photos from this post were taken by Stephanie Silvester.

The start of the tour - at the corner of Briggate and The Headrow in Leeds City Centre.

Looking down Briggate.

Creating a Volunteer Programme for your Organisation

Run by Natasha Mort, Volunteering Development Manager for Voluntary Action Leeds

Natasha started by explaining a bit about Voluntary Action Leeds, and also noting that most cities now have a volunteer centre, where you can get advice about working with volunteers.

The economic value of volunteering in the UK is estimated at £45 billion

Photo album added... see left menu

Public Libraries and Art

There were very good talks in the afternoon, particularly Session 3: Culture and Collaboration. Both were excellent speakers who addressed how collaborating with artists and bringing art into public libraries was something benefiting the local communities.  The speaker from Leeds, Catherine Blanshard, and Liz Le Grice, the speaker from Cornwall, had two very different approaches in presenting, but echoed similar themes of inclusion, inspiration, and making a visible impact on people's lives through contact with art.  Blanshard gave a very professional overview with lots of ideas to ponder on and actual projects Leeds is implementing.  Le Grice's presentation was highly personal and deeply moving.  As she spoke I had flashbacks of my trip to the Cornish coast to visit Tintagel years ago.  She spoke of how the rugged, rocky land/sea scapes shaped and inspired artists, and how much the local economy depends on tourists coming to see art.  She talked about a young man, engaging with a public library event on art, shared the story of his grandfather who would have been an artist if not for crippling poverty.  The young man, now an artist himself, was very appreciative of his own opportunities and the chance to connect with art and the art world through the public library, which provides a community meeting space, activities, and access to helpful people as well as books on art, and art itself (in the libraries' collections).

Keynote: Penelope Curtis

Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain gave our keynote speech.

Having worked in Leeds at the Henry Moore Institute, Penelope has a great familiarity with the city, especially the architecture.

Her focus was on her work with two artists creating work about the University of Leeds Campus, looking at the futuristic buildings (some of which used in science fiction films such as Blakes 7) built in the 1960s.

Both created films to be installed in a gallery, one (Gerard Byrne) focussing on black and white film and using actors playing students from the 1960s, and the other making a moe contemporary film with actual students.

Since this exhibition this part of the campus has been listed - I know I will certainly be taking a closer look as I walk around campus over the next couple of days!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Welcome to the University of Leeds

Dr Stella Butler, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, welcomed delegates to the University of Leeds, and to the city.

Leeds has a long tradition of academic study in fine art and cultural studies, and the University is delighted to host the 2011 conference.

Welcome to the 2011 ARLIS Conference Blog!

The day of the conference has arrived. Get ready for an exciting programme over the next 3 days, in the lovely city of Leeds.  We look forward to greeting you at the University of Leeds Business School.

Conference accommodation at the University of Leeds
Photo from University website

If you are coming this afternoon, and want to check-in first, please see this link to accommodation driving directions.  If you are coming by train, for £0.50 you can take the shuttle bus (Leeds City bus run by First) from the train station, and alight at the Leeds Dental Institute stop. You can then walk up to Charles Morris Hall, which is number 86 on all the University Maps.

James Storm Court is located in Charles Morris Hall.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A day in food - late night

Later still, Leeds is brimming with good bars and pubs. Two of the best for a huge range of delicious beers and a good bar atmosphere, both on New Briggate:

North Bar


(Photo: North Bar)

Sela Bar – also does great pizza!


For those wishing to explore slightly further afield, make for Headingley for a ra

nge of bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants. Why not try the lovely Arcadia for real ales and a traditional pub environment:


Or head to Trio for a round of cocktails!


Headingley is a leafy suburb ten minutes bus ride on the number 1, 6 or 28 from the stop at the steps of the Parkinson Building.

(Photo: Market Town Taverns)