Rationale, Categories, Proposals for 2001
Objectifs, catégories, propositions pour 2001
CIHA London 2000
Academic Section 23
DIGITAL ART HISTORY TIME
CIHA Londres 2000
Section Académique 23
LE TEMPS DE L'HISTOIRE DE L'ART NUMÉRIQUE
The Jury and AHWA-AWHA wish to encourage innovation in the use of the web, and its spread amongst all Art Historians, by publicising and praising sites of special note. The development of the use of the web in teaching and learning will increase, and such awards should help promote online learning, the widening of available resources, and resource-sharing in times of finanical stringency. Resourse-sharing should, in its turn, promote enhanced communication and collaboration between universities across the world.
Naturally, we wish to give credibility and status to serious projects, not just for their inherent qualities, but also to their creators, who have sometimes suffered in esteem and even in promotion possibilities from the computers-are-playthings and should-be-writing-papers syndromes.
Just as important, in 2001 and subsequent years we want to acknowledge and promote sites in languages other than English. Computing and the development of the web have had a homogenising effect on international communication; but, as art historians, we must value and promote languages as one key to research and communication - and to areas of art and architecture that those centred on the European traditions rarely experience.
The categories used in this first year of the competition (see below for future plans) are somewhat fluid, because of the fluid and indeed anarchic nature of the medium. We have left out museums altogether, because we felt uneasy about trying to pit multi-million-dollar operations against the one-academic-and-a-dog websites.
We decided, firstly, to recognise the pioneers. These are the people who, often beginning their engagement with the possibilities offered by computers in our discipline long before the web-beginning of 1994, have in effect defined the initial parameters of what is possible. Their work has probably required dogged persistence and long unpaid hours, perhaps in the face of the indifference of colleagues. Pioneering work can sometimes look primitive and out-of-date: it is to the credit of our winners that this is not the case with their work.
The second category wishes to recognise people and institutions who have developed sites containing material and links of use in art-historical research at all levels, and overlaps with our third category, that of learning resources, for sites which contain collections of data, in a variety of media.
As we pursued our deliberations, it became clear that there are sets of useful information which we need in order to make fair judgments between servers, not least the number of people involved in construction and maintenance, the programming resources and, of course, the finance. It is largely for this reason that museums and galleries were omitted this year, because we found it difficult to assess a large national museum against a small and poorly-funded local museum. This is not to say that museum sites do not contain large quantities of material useful to art-historians.
Hence for 2001 web a pro-forma should be mounted on the AHWA-AWHA site inviting webmasters to enter the competition after they have supplied to the Jury (not publically) the categories of information we need.
The initial categories we propose for 2001 are:
Art History Webmasters
ASSOCIATION des webmestres en histoire de l'art
Research and Communication Tools in Art History
Outils de recherche et de communication en histoire de l'art
Since November 14, 1997. Depuis le 14 novembre 1997.