The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America

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Art in Context: Identity, Ethics, and Insight (Virtual Symposium) – November 19

Art in Context: Identity, Ethics, and Insight
Philadelphia Museum of Art Virtual Symposium
Friday, November 19, 2021
1:00pm-3:30pm ET

Libraries, archives and museums have long had systems in place to manage identities (e.g. Library of Congress and Getty authorities) to help organize and share resources. Great responsibility is attached to this work due to the complexities surrounding assignments of identity. Identity is complex, fluid, and multilayered. It is public, yet deeply personal, therefore there is much to be considered.

How can we ethically and responsibly manage identities in today’s rapidly-changing technological landscape? How do we leverage new technologies such as Conceptual Reference Models, Linked Open Data, Wikidata, Wikibase, etc. for more ethical and democratic management without losing the work and context that’s already been done in long-established authorities such as the Getty and LOC? What actions are we putting in place now to prepare for a better, more ethical future in identity, archival practices, cataloging, and other information management concepts? What are the best practices for soliciting and capturing the identity of living artists and also for respecting those who are deceased or are otherwise unable to identify themselves?

While we may not have answers to all of these questions, join us as we explore these issues in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s fall Art Information Commons Symposium and share what folks have been doing to tackle some of these ideas.

Moderators and speakers include:

  • Steven J. Baskauf, Data Science and Data Curation Specialist, Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries, Vanderbilt University
  • Tanya Calvin, Community Engagement Archivist, Black Metropolis Research Consortium Zakiya Collier, Digital Archivist, Schomburg Center for Research
  • Alex Kapitan, trainer, speaker, consultant, editor, and activist, Radical Copyeditor
  • Alex Kron, Digital Projects and Collections Specialist, Balboa Park Online Collaborative
  • Bree Midavaine, Taxonomist, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Sarah Osborne-Bender, Head of Library Technical Services, National Gallery of Art
  • Gala Porras-Kim, Contemporary Interdisciplinary Artist
  • Synatra Smith, CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American Studies, Philadelphia Museum of Art/Temple University

Free RSVP required by November 1.

The Art Information Commons creates new possibilities for our audiences to discover meaningful connections between our art objects and related contextual resources, supports broader scholarship, and establishes the museum as a vital and reliable source of accessible, authoritative information. Support for this project has been generously provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Library Company of Philadelphia Francis Johnson Fellowships

Francis Johnson Fellowships: Applications due March 1

Calling all performing artists, musicians, actors, visual artists, and other creative scholars and practitioners! America’s oldest cultural institution, the Library Company of Philadelphia welcomes applications for a new grant that seeks to engage our African American history collections critically and creatively.

The newly-launched Francis Johnson Fellowships will support two fellows—one creative practitioner and one academic humanist—who will delve into the compositions of one of the most popular black composers prior to the American Civil War, Francis Johnson.

These fellows will be encouraged to collaborate as they explore a manuscript book of 80 compositions (many unpublished) as well as other printed materials held at both the Library Company and at the Kislak Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Each Francis Johnson Fellow will receive a stipend of $5000 to support research this summer; a $2500 research fund to be defined by the fellow and program director; travel expenses (up to $500); and lodging at the Library Company’s Cassatt House residence for four to eight weeks.

To apply, email a proposal (no more than 1000 words) plus a preliminary budget and timeline, resume, or c.v., and one letter of reference to by March 1.

For more information, visit the Francis Johnson Fellowship webpage ( or email Will Fenton at

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